French definite articles

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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

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.)