Video:Learn French: Definite Articleswith Milo De Prieto
The definite article in French, "the" in English, is easy to master and very important. Learn about definite articles in French and when to use them in this how-to video from About.com.See Transcript
Transcript:Learn French: Definite Articles
Bonjour I'm Milo for About.com and today we are talking about definite articles in French. These lessons and more can be found on our French site.
What is the Definite Article in French
French has three types of articles, Indefinite, as in English “a”; Definite, as the English “the”; and Partitive, as in English “some” or “any.” Articles in French, like other parts of speech, are dependant on the noun they work with in terms of gender and number as well as if the word begins with a vowel or silent h.
So there are 4 types: le - masculine singular; la - feminine singular; l' - in front of a vowel or mute h; les - plural. So if the word is masculine or feminine but begins with a vowel or an unaspirated (silent) h, then you simply use l'. And likewise if the noun is plural you simply use les.
When to Use the Definite Article in French
Like in English you use the definite article when talking about a specific noun. Je vais au cinéma aujourd'hui. Veux-tu venir? I'm going to the movies today. Want to come? La voiture est dans la rue à côté de l'arbre.The car is in the street next to the tree. L'harmonie dans la chanson est un enchantement. The harmony in the song is enchanting. Les nuages sont aujourd'hui dramatiques, je peux y voir tant de formes. The clouds today are dramatic, I can see so many shapes.
When generalising in French you use the definite article, unlike in English. Notice the use of definite articles in these sentences. J'aime les croissants.I like croissants. C'est la vie!That's life! Les serpents peuvent être effrayants.Snakes can be scary. For more helpful and excellent information on speaking and learning French, check us out at About dot com.