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FRENCH GRAMMAR


 
 

ARTICLE / L’ARTICLE

An article is a small word (such as a, an, the) that qualifies a noun.French articles agree in number and gender with the noun they accompany.

 

DEFINITE ARTICLE / L’ARTICLE DEFINI

Thedefinite articlecorresponds to the; it is used when the speaker can identify the noun that follows.

 
  Singular   Plural
 
  Before consonant   Before vowel  
 

Masculine

 

lele garcon

 

I'I'avocat

 

lesles garçons, les avocats

 

Feminine

 

lala fille

 

I'I'idée

 

lesles titles, les idées



  1. Do not omit the definite article in a series of nouns: Le crayon, le carnet, la lettre et I'enveloppe sont tous sur la table.

  2. Use with scholastic subjects, except with languages after parlerand en:J'étudie le français; je parle anglais; je rêve en grec.

  3. Use to express general ideas, feelings, or happenings: La vie est dure.(Life is hard.) J'aime les chiens.(I like dogs.)

  4. Use with days of the week to express regular events: Elle va au centre commercial le vendredi.(She goes to themail on Fridays.) vs. Elle va au concert vendredi.(She's going to the concert [this] Friday.)

  5. Use with certain expressions of weight and measure to express a(n) or per: Ça coute 20 francs la bouteille.(That costs 20 francs a bottle.)

  6. The definite article sometimes contracts when preceded by àor de:

 
  Article   à + article   de + article
 

Masculine singular

 

lele garcon

 

auau garçon

 

dudu garçon

 

Feminine singular

 

lala fille

 

à laà la fille

 

de lade la fille

 

Before vowel singular

 

1'I'oncle (m) I'ombre (f)

 

à1'à I'oncle à I'ombre

 

de 1'de I'oncle de I'ombre

 

Plural

 

lesles garçons les filles

 

auxaux garçons filles

 

desdes garçons aux des filles



 
 

INDEFINITE ARTICLE / L’ARTICLE INDÉFINI

Theindefinite articlecorresponds to a(n) and to some in the sense of "a few." It is used when referring to one or several of a group without specifying which one(s).

 
  Singular   Plural
 

Masculine

 

ununami

 

desdes amis

 

Feminine

 

uneune amie

 

desdes amies



  1. Omit before an unmodified nationality or profession: Il est peintre.(He is a painter.) vs. C'est un excellent peintre.(He is an excellent painter.)

  2. Omit in an exclamation following quel(le)(s): Quelle belle journée!(What a beautiful day!)

  3. Omit before centand mille: J'aifait ça cent fois.

  4. Change to debefore a direct object of a negative statement: J'ai un crayon. → Je n'ai pas de crayons.(I don't have [any] pencils.)

 
 

PARTITIVE ARTICLE /L’ARTICLE PARTITIF

  1. The partitive article consists of de+ definite article; it contracts as above to du, de la, de l', des.

  2. Use to express some or any. ll a du chocolat, de la glace, et des fruits.[He has some chocolate, some ice cream and some fruit.) As-tu des assiettes?[Do you have any plates?)

  3. Use with bien(much, many); encore(some more); la majorité(the majority) la plupart(most); Encore de la viande!(More meat!). La plupart des enfants sont mignons.(Most children are cute.)

  4. When an adjective precedes the noun, just use de: de bon vin, de grands idiots.