Contractions avec noms propres
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In French class, we learn that contractions with definite articles are always required. But it turns out it’s not quite that simple when the article is part of a proper noun, such as a city, title, organization, or surname.
Contractions with cities: required
For cities and communes, such as Le Havre and Les Lilas, the contraction is required.
|Il habite aux Lilas.||He lives in Les Lilas.|
|Je suis du Havre.||I’m from Le Havre.|
The rules are different for other geographical names like countries and continents.
Contractions with titles of works of art: required
Again, the contraction is required with titles of works of art like Le Mariage de Figaro and Les Lacs du Connemara.
|Voici un résumé du Mariage de Figaro.||Here’s a summary of Le Mariage de Figaro.|
|Il m’a fait penser aux Lacs du Connemara.||He made me think of (the song) Les Lacs du Connemara.|
Contractions with companies and organizations: usual
Contractions are not necessarily required, but are usually made with the names of companies and organizations, such as Le Monde and Les Amis de la Terre.
|Je travaille au Monde.||I work at Le Monde.|
|C’est un projet des Amis de la Terre.||It’s a Les Amis de la Terre project.|
Contractions with people: forbidden
However, contractions are never made when the article is part of a person’s surname, such as Le Corbusier or Le Verrier.
|Je lis une biographie de Le Corbusier.||I’m reading a biography of Le Corbusier.|
|J’aurais aimé parler à Le Verrier.||I would have liked to talk to Le Verrier.|
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