I have a doubt with the word " À la carte "
I've just learn that " à la carte " means a menu of items ordered and priced separately.
I knew that "la" is l'article défini. But, I have no cule that where "À" came from. Please help me~
It means 'on the menu'. French prepositions are tricky and sometimes don't match up to the English equivalents well.
It shows as à la carte because à and la do not contract. As txlsu said it means on the menu, à being the preposition and in French the definite article is used in places that English does not.
I asked my uncle who knew French when I saw this phrase for the first time. He said it basically means "Off the cart" or an item asked directly from the menu, or an item asked directly 'off (from) the card (menu)'. We already know that A literally means 'from' (among its many other uses) - if you have read the Tips and Notes. So basically, an item asked directly ' from (off) the card (menu)'. Without the brackets, it's a literal translation that makes sense. The one in brackets forms just the more general used phrase. This is how I understand. Hopefully you do to.