French Definite, Indefinite, and Partitive Articles



French Articles

Articles can often be omitted in English, but not in French. There are three types of articles, and they have to agree in number and gender with the nouns they modify. Access a lesson guide on expressing amounts of time in my full course on articles. You must be logged in to your LLL French Academy account to access this course.

👉 Scroll down to watch Jennifer’s video lesson on French articles 👈

Definite articles mean THEle – la – les
Indefinite articles mean A / ANun – une
Partitive articles mean SOMEdu – de la – des – de l’

Masculine / Singular Nouns

le gâteauthe cake
un gâteaua cake
du gâteausome cake
Important to remember:  de + le form a contraction:  du
Definite articleJ’aime le gâteau.I like cake.
Definite articleJe mange le gâteau.I am eating the cake.
Indefinite articleJe mange un gâteau.I am eating a cake.
Partitive articleJe mange du gâteau.I am eating some cake.

Feminine / Singular Nouns

la tartethe pie
une tartea pie
de la tartesome pie
Definite articleJ’aime les tartes.I like pies.
Definite articleJe mange la tarte.I am eating the pie.
Indefinite articleJe mange une tarte.I am eating a pie.
Partitive articleJe mange de la tarte.I am eating some pie. 

Masculine / Feminine Plural Nouns

les gâteauxthe cakes
des gâteauxsome cakes
Important to remember:  de + les form a contraction:  des
Definite articleJ’aime les gâteaux.I like cakes.
Definite articleJe mange les gâteaux.I am eating the cakes.
Partitive articleJe mange des gâteaux.I am eating some cakes.
Definite articleJ’aime les tartes.I like pies.
Definite articleJe mange les tartes.I am eating the pies.
Partitive articleJe mange des tartes.I am eating some pies.

Masculine / Feminine nouns beginning with a vowel or mute h

l’eauthe water
de l’eausome water
Definite articleJ’aime l’eau.I like water.
Partitive articleJe bois de l’eau.I am drinking (some) water.

Negation

Basic negationTo make a verb negative all you have to do is put NE….PAS around the verb.
ExampleJ’aime l’eau.
Je n’aime pas l’eau.
RuleWhen the partitive follows negation it becomes DE or D’
DU, DE LA, DES, UN, UNE = All of these become DE or D’ after negation
ExampleJe mange du gâteau.
Je ne mange pas de gâteau.
ExampleJe mange de la tarte.
Je ne mange pas de tarte.
ExampleJe bois de l’eau.
Je ne bois pas d’eau.
ExampleJe mange des gâteaux.
Je ne mange pas de gâteaux.

Expressions of Quantity

beaucoupa lot
beaucoup dea lot of
Je mange beaucoup de gâteaux.I eat a lot of cakes.
Je mange beaucoup de tartes.I eat a lot of pies.
Je bois beaucoup d’eau.I drink a lot of water.



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