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When do you use "the"?

I saw in some French magazines that "the" or "le/la/l'" was used in the middle of senctence even when describing some thing. Why is that?

December 19, 2017



ahhh - the French are very particular, as my first French teacher would always tell me.

Yes, the French language works differently to English, and in the majority of cases they ALWAYS use an article before a noun. The article identifies in most cases the "gender" of the noun. And all nouns have a gender, as is the case for Latin languages. Even for items such as a ball, and chair.

So you have :
le : the article for a masculine noun, meaning the.
la : the article for a feminine noun, meaning the.

and un : the article for a masculine noun, meaning a.
une : the article for a feminine noun, meaning a.

Also check out :
https://www.duolingo.com/comment/7201008 which has more information on nouns.

I will talk about l' in a moment.


Interesting, Thank you very much! I am a test tomorrow on possessive adjectives.


For general adjectives, check out :

For possessive adjectives:
je – mon, ma, mes (my)
tu – ton, ta, tes (your - personal, singular)
il / elle – son, sa, ses (his / her)
nous – notre, nos (our)
vous – votre, vos (your - plural)
ils / elles – leur, leurs (their)


Also I advise checking out:
Possessives match the thing being owned! by DXLi


Also, I wish you all the best with your test tomorrow. :D


As was also advised to me, all those years ago when I began learning French, is that it is strongly recommended that when you learn a noun, you should use the related article at the same time. So that you then also learn the gender of the noun, at the same time that you learn the noun.

It is important to learn the gender of the noun, as because articles, adjectives, pronouns, and verbs have to agree with nouns; that is, they change depending on the gender of the noun they modify.

And this brings me to : l'.

And why for myself, I learn the noun along with the article un / une, rather than the article le / la.


When the following noun begins with a vowel, le OR la becomes l'.

So you can not tell, when you see a noun beginning with l' , whether it is a masculine noun, or a feminine noun.

This is why I learn my nouns using un , or une.


French uses article significantly more often than English. In fact, in French nouns are almost always preceded by some kind of article. This is something you'll have to get used to.


Le is for masculine nouns.

La is for feminine nouns.

L' is for nouns starting with a vowel.


Well, can you be a little more specific? In my experience "The" is used the same in French as in English.


Le = Masculine La = Feminine L' = Nouns starting with a vowel Les = Plurals

BUT remember that Le and Les CANNOT be used as "De le" or "À les". À + le = Au À + les = Aux De + le = Du De + les = Des

Hope this helped :D


If you were saying "I helped him", being "Je l'ai aidé", the l'ai or le (it's l' in this case because the "e" in le and "a" in 'ai are both vowels) is in the middle of the sentence because you are describing the "him" that is being helped. That's just how the French forms their sentences when a verb is acted upon an object. This can change to "lui", "il", or "elle", depending on the context. Hopefully, you may get to that in your studies because it would take awhile for me to explain the situations you would use those articles.

Sorry if I misinterpreted your question! Also, I apologize if I made an error in my explanation. ^ ^

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