French contractions
Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

Formes contractées

Contractions occur when two words are combined into one, sometimes with a distinctly different spelling. In English, contractions like "I’m" and "won’t" are optional and indicate informality. In French, however, les formes contract√©es are required, regardless of the register you’re speaking or writing in.

There are two similar groups of words that contract in French.

Definite articles

Le and les contract with the prepositions √† and de into articles compos√©s, but la and l’ do not.

 Compound article 
No contraction
à + le
à + les
à + la
√† + l’
à la
√† l’
de + le
de + les
de + la
de + l’
de la
de l’

 Exceptions: Contractions with proper nouns

Only definite articles contract with à and de. The direct object pronouns le and les do not contract.

Je continue √† les utiliser. I continue using them.
Il m’a demand√© de le trouver He asked me to find it.


The le and les forms of lequel also contract with the prepositions à and de to create formes composées.

 Compound article 
No contraction
à + lequel
à + lesquels
à + lesquelles
à + laquelleà laquelle
de + lequel
de + lesquels
de + lesquelles
de + laquellede laquelle

Contractions figées (Fixed contractions)

en + les √®s licenci√© √®s lettresBachelor of Arts degree
il + elle iel Mon pronom est ¬ę iel ¬Ľ.~ My pronoun is "they."
vois + ci voici voici la voiturehere’s the car
vois + l√† voil√† voil√† le v√©lothere’s the bike

 Two words joined by dropping one or more letters and adding an apostrophe are called elisions.

 French Contractions Quiz

Think you’ve got it? Test yourself on some of these French contractions with a fill-in-the-blanks exercise:

Note: You must be logged into your Progress with Lawless French account to take this test. If you don’t have one, sign up – it’s free!

 Related lessons

Learn Spanish En espa√Īol

Learn Italian In italiano

 Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

French contractions

Questions about French?

 Ask me in the comments section below or visit the Progress with Lawless French Q+A forum to get help from native French speakers and fellow learners.

More Lawless French

 Subscribe to my twice-weekly newsletter.

Support Lawless French

  This free website is created with love and a great deal of work.

If you love it, please consider making a one-time or monthly donation.

Your support is entirely optional but tremendously appreciated.