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French definite articles

  • The English definite article the translates into three separate words in French:

    (1) le, the definite article for singular masculine nouns;

    (2) la, the definite article for singular feminine nouns;

    and (3) les, the definite article for plural nouns of either gender.

    Before a vowel

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    When either le or la comes before a noun that starts with a vowel sound, the e or a of the article is elided, creating l’—for example, l’eau (the water), l’accent (the accent), l’heure (the hour).

    A series of nouns

    Whenever a sentence contains a series of nouns, each noun should have its article—for example:

    Elle a un chat, un mari, est une maison.

    (She has a cat, a husband, and a house.)

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    Comments

    1. Et* une maison. Est is the conjugation of the verb être in the third person singular form.

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