L', le and la

So I don't understand. What is the use of l' because we use it on the masculine l'homme and l'enfant but also on the feminine l'eau. Can someone please explain the difference? Its getting me messed up.

September 25, 2017


when the word starts with a vowel or non-aspirated h then you use l' (regardless of the gender)

September 25, 2017

What LICA98 said. Some more examples are L'anglais (The English) L'heure (the hour) and L'amie (the friend)

September 26, 2017

Hi Maggi,

Welcome to Duolingo.


Le and la become just l' if they're followed by a vowel sound. This is an example of elision, which is the removal of a vowel sound in order to prevent consecutive vowel sounds and make pronunciation easier.
Elisions are mandatory—for instance, je aime is incorrect. It must be j'aime.

The grammar "Tips and notes" in the web version of Duolingo (
You can read them on Pc or on your phone or tablet , when you set your browser in "Desktop mode"
(maybe not possible on an iPhone with a small screen)

.... and here are the links to other useful grammar explainations in Duolingo:

Good luck.

September 26, 2017

Thanks everyone. That really helps. I haven't practiced since I had a formal class about 3 years ago and I'm really rusty on everything. Thanks for the explanations!

September 27, 2017
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