Du, des, au, ce, cet, cette, headache...
Hi everyone! I was wondering if anyone else was having a ton of difficulty with knowing which of these words to use. It's driving me up the wall. I can't see why cet even exists if ce does. When do you know when to use them? I've been not passing my advanced lessons mainly because of this reason. Would someone be kind enough to explain when all of these (and probably WAY more) are appropriate to use? This is killing me!
Ce is used when the noun after is masculine and doesn't start with a vowel. Cette is used if it is a feminine noun. Cet is used if it is masculine and starts with a vowel (a,e,i,o,u,y) or a silent H. The french language is very smooth and two vowel next to each other sounds too choppy. Ces is any plural, masculine or feminine.
Du = de le des = de les au = à le aux = à les
You are not the only one who is really frustrated with this. Gender has a lot to do with it, so make sure you pay extra attention there. If you really want to improve you may want to look for a french textbook that can give you more examples (Deux Mondes (McGraw-Hill), the textbook used for my college french class is about $30 for the used 6th addition). Or you can always Google something like "ce vs cet" to get more information. About.com, while not a place I typically rely on for help, has a great (et grand) french language section that's helped me on many occasions.
Thank you so much guys. I have such a difficult time knowing when to us "au" as opposed to "à la" or "à le." It seems like it should work and then it drives me crazy when my whole answer is wrong! Kriskaykj, thanks for your explanation. The cet vs. ce makes way more sense to me now! I appreciate both of your feedback! :)