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One of the eight parts of speech, an article is a word that modifies a noun in a particular way, by stating whether the noun is specific, unspecific, or partial. There are three types of French articles and they all agree in gender and number with the nouns they modify.
1) Definite / Défini
The definite article indicates that the speaker is referring to either a specific noun or to a class of nouns in a general sense. The English definite article, the, has four equivalent forms in French, depending on the gender and number of the noun as well as what letter it begins with.
|Masculine||le||le livre||the book||les||les livres||the books|
|Feminine||la||la table||the table||les tables||the tables|
|Vowel or h muet||l’||l’abricot||the apricot||les abricots||the apricots|
Learn more about definite articles
2) Indefinite / Indéfini
The indefinite article indicates that the speaker is referring to either an unspecific noun or to one/some of something. The English indefinite article has two forms, a and an, while the French has three, depending on the gender and number of the noun.
The English equivalent of des is some, which is considered an adjective rather than an article.
|Masculine||un||un abricot||an apricot||des||des livres||some books|
|Feminine||une||une table||a table||des tables||some tables|
Learn more about indefinite articles
3) Partitive / Partitif
The partitive article indicates that the speaker is referring to only a portion or some of an uncountable noun, often food or drink. There are four forms in French, depending on the gender and number of the noun as well as what letter it begins with.
|Masculine||du||du beurre||some butter||des||des asperges||some asparagus|
|Feminine||de la||de la tarte||some pie||des épinards||some spinach|
|Vowel or h muet||de l’||de l’argent||some money||des pâtes||some pasta|
Learn more about partitive articles
- PwLF super list of article lessons
- Article comparison
- Introduction to nouns
- Parts of speech
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