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Definite Articles:

 

French Articles must agree in gender and number with their nouns, so looking at the definite articles for example, to express “the” in French you need to know what gender and number the noun is using, to say “the house” you need to figure out its gender, “house/ maison” in French for some reason is feminine, and of course we’re talking here only about one house (singular), so the proper article to use is “la”, the house = la maison.

Milk is masculine in French, to say “the milk” we need to use the definite article for masculine/singular “le” with “lait/ milk” we get “le lait”

Sometimes you may need to use the definite article (l’) instead of (le/ la) when the noun starts with a vowel, like (a, e, o, u, h…), the school: l’école.

Finally to form the definite article in the plural we use “les”, “the kings = les rois”.

 

French Definite Articles

masculine

Le roi (the king)

feminine

La reine (the queen)

before vowels

L'homme (the man)

plural

Les rois

 

Note that French sometimes uses the articles in places where English don’t. for example in English you can simply say “kings are ….” without “the” but in French you have to use the definite article “les” with the word “rois = kings” les rois …”. Same thing with “milk”…you can say “milk is very rich in calcium” but in French you have to use the “le” before “lait”  “le lait est très riche en calcium”.

 

Indefinite Articles:

 

French indefinite articles are gender/number sensitive as well, so to express “a” in French you need to know what gender and number the noun is using, to say “a house” you need to figure out its gender, “house/ maison” in French is feminine, and we’re talking here only about one house (singular), so the proper article to use is “une”, a house = une maison.

“Computer” in French is masculine, to say “a computer” we need to use the indefinite article for masculine/singular “un” with “ordinateur” we get “un ordinateur”.

French Indefinite Articles

masculine

Un roi (a king)

feminine

Une reine (a queen)

before vowels

Un homme (a man)

plural

Des rois (kings)

 

Note, unlike English, where you don’t use the indefinite article in the plural, French does use it in the plural with the expression “les”, the closest equivalent in English is “some”, (I have a pencil, an eraser, and (some) books = j’ai un crayon, une gomme, et des livres”.

Partitive Articles:

 

The partitive in French is used to indicate a part of a whole, since it’s not used in English the closest would be “some” or “a piece of”,

So to say “I have (some) meat, oil, and (some) bread” you need to use the proper partitive articles: “J’ai de la viande, de l'huile, et du pain”.

 

French Partitive Articles

masculine

Du pain

feminine

De la viande

before vowels

De l'eau

plural

 

 

This is an overview of the French articles:

 

French Articles

 

Definite

Articles

Indefinite

Articles

Partitive

Articles

masculine

Le roi (the king)

Un roi (a king)

Du pain

feminine

La reine (the queen)

Une reine (a queen)

De la viande

before vowels

L'homme (the man)

Un homme (a man)

De l'eau

plural

Les rois

Des rois (kings)

 

 

 

Demonstrative Articles:

Again French demonstrative articles have to agree in gender and number with the noun they precede.

 

French Demonstrative Articles

Masculine Singular

Feminine Singular

Plural (Masc/ Fem)

Ce / cet  (this/ that)

Cette (this/ that)

Ces (these/ those)

Ce livre (this/ that book)

Cet homme (this that man)

(cet is used only before vowels)  

Cette ville

(this/ that city)

Ces gens (these/ those people)

Ces villes (these/ those cities)

Ces hommes (these/ those men)

 

In French you don’t really have to specify if something is near (this) or far (that), they’re all understood by context, but still in some cases you need to, when there some confusion, so the solution is to add -ci (here) and -là (there) after the noun. Below is a table showing the exact equivalent, which you need to use when you think there is a need for it:

 

Masculine Singular

Feminine Singular

Plural (Masc/ Fem)

Ce ….-ci (this …)

cet …..-ci (this … only before vowels)

Cette ….-ci (this …)

Ces  …-ci (these …)

 

Ce ….-là (that …)

cet …..-là (that … only before vowels)

Cette ….-là (that …)

Ces  …-là (those …)

 

 

Example: cette maison-là {that house (there)}, A ce moment-ci (at this very moment), ces gens-là (these people).

All French Grammar Articles
Alphabet
Numbers
Articles
Adjectives
Adverbs
Verbs
Present Tense
Past Tense
Future Tense
Imperfect
Imperative
Nouns
Pronouns
Conjunction
Negation
Subjunctive
Conditional
Comparative
Prepositions

 

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