Indefinite articles

The French indefinite articles (les articles indefinis) agree both in number and gender.  French has 3 indefinite articles:

un, is used with masculine nouns (ex. un homme, un discipline, un peu..)

une, is used with feminine nouns (ex. une gloire, une personne, une femme…)

des, with plura nouns (ex. des hommes, des femmes, des miracles…)

* Both un and une mean a or an. De translates some in english. When un, une, and des are followed by ne…pas, they change to de (ex.  John 1.27, je ne suis pas digne de delier la courroie de ses souliers)

Definite Articles

French has four definite articles which translate simply as “the” in the english language.  The french definite articles must agree in gender and in number.  Here they are:

Le, is used with masculine nouns ( ex. Le temoignage, le prophete, le maitre…)

La,  is used with feminine nouns (ex.  la bible, la lumiere, la parole…)

 

L’, is used before a singular noun (ex. L’enfant, l’anglais, l’ange). You also use l’ if the noun begins with a vowel sound.

 

Les, is always use before plural nouns (ex. les choses,  les siens, les Juifs…)

 

A good question to ask…?

 

How does one know which nouns are masculine and which are femine?

This is a difficult question to answer. However, the generally rule is that nouns that refer to males are masculine (le garcon), whereas, those that refer to females are feminine (la fille). For now, you just have to learn the definite article that goes with each one.