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In French, articles and determiners are required on almost every common noun, much more so than in English.

They are inflected to agree in gender (masculine or feminine) and number (singular or plural) with the noun they determine, though most have only one plural form (for masculine and feminine). Many also often change form when the word that follows them begins with a vowel sound. While articles are actually a subclass of determiners (and determiners are in turn a subclass of adjectives) they are generally treated separately; thus, they are treated separately here as well.


1 Articles o 1.1 Definite article o 1.2 Indefinite article o 1.3 Partitive article 2 Determiners o 2.1 Possessive determiners o 2.2 Demonstrative determiners o 2.3 Interrogative determiners o 2.4 Quantifiers 3 Notes 4 References 5 Sources 6 External links

French has three articles: a definite article, corresponding in many cases to English the; an indefinite article, corresponding to English a/an; and a partitive article, used roughly like some in English .

Definite article
The French definite article derives from a Latin distal demonstrative.[1] It evolved from the Old French article system, which shared resemblance to modern English and acquired the marking of generic nouns.[2] This practise was common by the 17th century, although it has been disputed this became widely used as early as in the 13th century.[3][4] In French, the definite article is analogous to the English definite article the, although they are sometimes omitted in English.[5] The French definite article can vary according to the gender (feminine or masculine) and number (singular or plural) of the noun. The definite article takes the following forms: singular before consonant before vowel or mute h[a] masculine le2 l' plural les[b]



Like the, the French definite article is used with a noun referring to a specific item when both the speaker and the audience know what the item is. It is necessary in the following cases: Example La patience est une vertu. General categories and abstractions Patience is a virtue. Le vieux Londres est fascinant. Name and adjective clusters Old London is fascinating. Je comprends lallemand. Languages[c] and academic subjects I understand German. Je veux visiter la France. Countries I want to visit France. Le printemps est ma saison favorite. Seasons Spring is my favourite season. Voici les Moreau. Titles, family names Here are the Moreaus. Il se lave les mains. Parts of the body He washes his hands. Je sors le vendredi soir. Days[d] I go out every Friday night. Unlike the, the French definite article is also used with mass nouns and plural nouns with generic interpretation, and with abstract nouns. For example:


J'aime le lait. ("I like milk.") J'aime les romans. ("I like novels.") Le capitalisme a transform ce pays. ("Capitalism has transformed this country.")

Indefinite article
The French indefinite article is analogous to the English indefinite article a/an. Like a/an, the French indefinite article is used with a noun referring to a non-specific item, or to a specific item when the speaker and audience do not both know what the item is; so, J'ai cass une chaise rouge ("I broke a red chair"). Unlike a/an, the French indefinite article has a plural form, often translated as some but usually simply omitted in English; so, Il y a des livres lbas ("There are some books over there." or "There are books over there"). The indefinite article takes the following forms: singular plural masculine feminine un une des

1. The indefinite article becomes de (or d' if before a vowel) after a negative verb other than tre: Je n'ai pas de livre , "I do not have a or any book." This use is related to expressions of quantity; see below. 2. The plural form des is normally reduced to de (or d' if before a vowel) when it applies to a noun preceded by an adjective: de nombreux livres (many books), d'autres livres (other books) but des livres relis (bound books). 3. Unlike in English the article is dropped when specifying someone's occupation: ma soeur est avocat. "My sister is a lawyer."

Partitive article
The French partitive article is often translated as some, but often simply omitted in English. It is used to indicate an indefinite portion of something uncountable, or an indefinite number of something countable: J'ai du caf ("I have some coffee." or simply "I have coffee."). The partitive article takes the following forms: singular before consonant before vowel or mute h[a] masculine feminine du de la de l' plural des

1. Like the indefinite article, the partitive article becomes de (or d' if before a vowel) after a negative verb other than tre and before a plural noun preceded by an adjective. Notice that except after a negative verb, the partitive article is formed by combining the preposition de (of, from) with the definite article. Also note that in the plural, and after a negative verb, the indefinite and partitive articles take the same form; this makes sense, as there is no clear difference in meaning in these cases. (Some grammarians actually classify des as either exclusively indefinite or exclusively partitive, and say that the other article has no plural form. This does not affect the interpreted meaning of des.)

Determiners, like other adjectives, agree in gender and number with the noun they modify (or, in this case, determine).

Possessive determiners
The possessive determiners (also called possessive adjectives or, misleadingly, possessive pronouns; analogous to English my, their, etc.) are used to indicate the possessor of the noun they determine. They lexically mark the person and number of the possessor, and are inflected to agree with their noun in gender and number. While English distinguishes between masculine and feminine singular possessors (his vs. her), French does not. As in English, possessive determiners do not necessarily express true possession in the sense of ownership. Their forms are as follows:

possessed singular first person singular mon, ma[e] plural singular plural singular plural notre ton, ta[e] votre son, sa[e] leur plural mes nos tes vos ses leurs

possessor second person

third person

Demonstrative determiners
singular masculine feminine ce cet (before vowel and mute h) cette plural ces

The demonstrative determiners (or demonstrative adjectives) can mean either this or that, these or those. To be more precise or to avoid ambiguity, -ci or -l can be inserted after the noun:

cet homme-ci "this man" cet homme-l "that man"

Interrogative determiners
The interrogative determiner quel means which or what. It agrees in gender and number with the noun it modifies: singular plural masculine feminine quel quelle quels quelles

Examples: quel train, quelle chaise, quels hommes, and quelles classes. Quel can be used as an exclamation.

Quel film ! (What a movie!) Quelle gentillesse ! (What kindness!)

A quantifier is a determiner that quantifies its noun, like English "some" and "many." In French, as in English, quantifiers constitute an open word class, unlike most other kinds of determiners. In French, most quantifiers are formed using a noun or adverb of quantity and the preposition de (d' when before a vowel). Quantifiers formed with a noun of quantity and the preposition de include the following:

des tas de ("lots of") trois kilogrammes de ("three kilograms of") une bouche de ("a mouthful of") une douzaine de ("a dozen (of)")

Quantifiers formed with an adverb of quantity and the preposition de include the following:

beaucoup de ("a lot of") un peu de ("a little," "a few") peu de ("little," "few") assez de, suffisamment de ("enough of") pas de ("no," "not any")

Other quantifiers include:

bien + the partitive article ("much" or "many") quelque(s) ("some") the cardinal numbers (73, 4.2, and so on)

The "futur proche" is perhaps the most popular way to describe something that happens in the future. It is extremely easy to form and no exceptions! To form the "futur proche": conjugated present indicative form of "aller" + infinitive of literally any verb In English, this is the equivalent of saying "I am going to do something in the future". It is also known as the "Present Continuous Tense" in English. Here are some examples: Je vais manger - I am going to eat. Tu vas manger - You are going to eat. Il va manger - He is going to eat. Nous allons manger - We are going to eat. Vous allez manger - You are going to eat. Elles vont manger - They are going to eat.

Here are some more examples with different verbs: Je vais aller l'cole demain - I am going to go to school tomorrow. Tu vas danser devant la classe la semaine prochaine - You are going to dance in front of the class next week. Il va terminer ses attitudes ngatives - He is going to stop his negative attitudes. Nous allons conduire - We are going to drive.

Vous allez parler avec Jean-Paul demain - You are going to speak with Jean-Paul tomorrow. Elles vont choisir leurs cours pour l'anne prochaine - They are going to choose their courses for next year.