Articles

In French, a noun is always paired with an article. These articles may be definite articles or indefinite articles.

LES ARTICLES DÉFINIS


Definite articles translate to “the” in English and include the following:

  • Le (masculine)

  • La (feminine)

  • BLes (plural)

Both le and la must change to l’ before a singular noun that begins with a vowel or vowel sound.

LES ARTICLES INDÉFINIS


Indefinite articles translate to “a/an” or “one” in English and include the following:

  • Un (masculine)

  • Une (feminine)

  • Des (plural – “some”)

There is no need to change any of these articles if they come before a noun that begins with a vowel or vowel sound.

LES ARTICLES PARTITIFS (PARTITIVE ARTICLES)


A partitive article expresses “some” and refers to a portion of an uncountable noun. There are four partitive articles in French:

  • Du (masculine singular)

  • De la (feminine singular)

  • De l’ (singular before vowel or vowel sound)

  • Des (plural)

du gâteau de la pizza
de la crème des ordures
de l’argent des gens
du beurre des pommes de terre

LES EXPRESSIONS DE QUANTITÉ (EXPRESSIONS OF QUANTITY)

When a noun becomes countable via an expression of quantity, the partitive articles du, de la, de l’, des change to de/d’, regardless of their gender or whether they are singular or plural.

du gâteau une part de gâteau
de la crème une tasse de crème
de l’argent beaucoup d’argent
du beurre un kilo de beurre