https://www.duolingo.com/es528

When do you use la and le for objects or animals?

March 15, 2018

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal

Being an object or any living thing is not what decides: it's the grammatical gender that decides.

More precisely:

  • if the noun starts with a vocal noun, the definite article will be l'
    => l'homme, l'abeille, l'hippopotame, l'hiver, l'enfant
  • otherwise,
    • if the grammatical gender of the noun is masculine, the definite article will be le
      => le garçon, le bureau, le haricot, le hérisson
    • if the grammatical gender of the noun is feminine, the definite article will be la
      => la fille, la chaise, la hache, la maison

How to know the grammatical gender of any noun?
=> By learning it by heart when you learn the noun.

Learning a noun in French is all together learning its grammatical gender, its spelling and its meaning.
Learning only the meaning an the spelling is not learning the noun (nor is learning only the grammatical gender and the spelling, or learning only the grammatical gender and the meaning).

Advice: when you learn a noun, learn it with its indefinite article.
Learn them as un homme, une abeille, un hippopotame, un hiver, un garçon, un bureau, un haricot, un hérisson, une fille, une chaise, une hache, une maison, etc.
Not only the noun.

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/FrenchWarriorCat

La is feminine , le is masculine. So it would depend on the object if it is feminine or masculine. If the animal is a boy you use le, and a girl la.

Ex: Le chat, La chatte, Le chien, La chienne

Objects is different. There is no easy way of finding if the object is feminine or masculine.

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/LovroV

"La" is feminine and in majority of cases feminine objects end with "e". Le is masculine and in majority of cases they don't end with "e". That's how you can distinguish them.

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal

I would avoid such a "rule" about ending in "-e" as there are tons of words that don't follow that.

Tons of words ending in "-e" and being masculine: frère, père, maire, confrère, repère, âge, devoir, nuage, garagiste, ouvrage, juriste, mirage, lycée, ...
(yes, the "majority" doesn't, but still tons that do).

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rachel_Margison

Including what everyone else has said; you also use it when you want to say "The animal" or "The book", which would then translate to "L'animal" and "La livre."

"The" is a definite pronoun and usually means there is only one of an object. In French, you have to alway keep in mind the number of the objects you are talking about and the gender they have.

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal

which would then translate to "L'animal" and "La livre."

=> le livre as it's a masculine noun

March 16, 2018
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