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What is the difference between "la" and "le". I noticed the robe is "la robe" like woman. Is there an associated gender with specific inanimate objects or is it completely random?
Every noun has a gender. Sometimes the gender is obvious but most of the time you need to learn the gender along with the noun.
I'm confused at why the first 'e' is pronounced the same way as an 'a' sound is? Isn't an 'e' normally an 'eh' sound? Is it because it's a feminine word?
It's an irregular pronunciation. It's an exception to the rule.
How do you tell "woman" or "wife" apart on the sentence? I am on level one and this makes NO sense!!!
Normally if the sentence has "la femme/les femmes/une femme" it will be translated as "the woman/the women/a woman".
If you see "ma femme", you'll know it's "my wife" because saying "my woman" would be rude. Also "ta femme/votre femme" would be "your wife". And "sa femme" would be "his wife".
So basically, just translate "femme" as "woman" unless you have some context to indicate otherwise.
le is for masculine nouns (grammatically masculine)
la is for feminine nouns (grammatically feminine)
The plural form for both is les
La femme - les femmes
L'homme - les hommes
The l' replaces either le or la when the noun starts with a vowel or non-aspirated h
Give this a peek. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/articles_2.htm
Une femme = a woman
La femme = the woman
Un homme = a man
L'homme = the man
Une dame = a lady
La dame = the lady
No, the pronunciation of "femme" is an exception to the rule. The first 'e' is always pronounced as 'ah'.
Aren't they somewhat interchangeable, as in English? Dame would be more formal, but I don't see why using the more formal version in English would be a problem. I could see if you used the informal instead of the formal, i.e. "woman" for "dame" being a problem, but not the reverse.
I think they can be interchangeable in how you use them, but it's the definitions that aren't interchangeable. Does that make sense?
I suppose that's a distinction I will have to accept if I want to be correct.
Woman and lady are different words in English, so why are you surprised that they're different words in French?
It said la femme and la means a women or the women and so then I put a women and then it just said the answer was women and I'm like what??
I don't get your "and la means a women or the women"...
- La femme <-> The woman
- Une femme <-> A woman
- Les femmes <-> The women
- Des femmes <-> (some) Women
The woman. A would be une. Le, La, and Les all me the. Une and un mean a. Does this help?
The same reason why woman and female aren't interchangeable.
Une femelle = a female
La femelle = the female
Une femme = a woman or a wife
La femme = the woman or the wife