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Annie
Un Une Des, or le la les? Hello! I'm still a bit confused on this point but.... When is it appropriate to use un, une or des instead of le, la les, l'? Thank you =)
Feb 24, 2010 4:52 PM
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Answers · 4
The first respondent is very appreciated in terms of his well explained answers and examples. Additionally, for a singular French substantive that starts with a vowel or with a silent "h" (h muet), its definite article is given by [l' ] regardless its gender, i.e., NOT le or la. For instant, l'arbre = the tree; l'école = the school; l'île = the island; l'orchestre = the orchestra; l'université = the university; l'heure = the hour; l'homme = the man. In order to know the gender, it is revealed from its indefinite article, in which the same rules are applied as for a typical singular French substantive, i.e., "un" for masculine and "une" for feminine. For instant, un arbre = a tree; une école = a school; une île = an island; un orchestre = an orchestra; une université = a university; une heure = an hour; un homme = a man. However, if such singular substantive starts with an aspired "h" (h aspiré), then its definite article is again followed by the same rules as for general substantive, i.e. "le" for masculine and "la" for feminine. For instant, le hall = the hallway; la halle = the (covered) market; le hic = the snag; la hutte = the hut [N.B. Formation of indefinite article remains the same as for general cases.] Now, for a plural French substantive that starts with a vowel, or a silent/aspired "h", the formation of definite or indefinite article again follows the same rules as for general cases, i.e., "les" as definite, and "des" as indefinite. For instant, vowel case: les arbres = the trees, while des arbres = some trees; silent "h": les heures = the hours, while des heures = some hours; aspired "h": les huttes = the huts, while des huttes = some huts. So, in general, forming a definite or an indefinite article onto a French substantive is not that bad when comparing to other languages, for example, Italian :)
March 3, 2010
Hi, when you say : un chat (a cat), it is undefined, same thing for une, des but when you say : le chat (the cat) it is defined. still need help contact me :).
February 25, 2010
Hello Annie It is the difference between an indefinite article (un, une, des) and a definite article (le, la, l' , les). If you are still confuse about them please contact me...
February 24, 2010
it's simple: le = used for a single male (human, object ...), example: le chat (the cat), le nez (the nose), le policier (the policeman) la = used for a single female (human, object, ...), example: la voiture (the car), la table (the table), la guitare (the guitar) les = used for multiples (males or femeles, humans, objects, ...), example: les yeux (the eyes), les boites (the boxes) un = used for a single male (human, object ...), example: un chat (a cat), un nez (a nose), un policier (a policeman) une = used for a single female (human, object, ...), example: une voiture (a car), une table (a table), une guitare (a guitar) des = used for multiples (males or femeles, humans, objects, ...), example: des yeux (an eyes), des boites (a boxes) you can see that "la", "le", "les" could mean "The", wich it's used for the known things, and "un", "un", "des" means "a" or "an", wich it's used for the unknown things. I hope that I made you understand, and if you need something, just ask !!
February 24, 2010
Annie
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish
Learning Language
French, Italian, Spanish