How to use the definite article in French

You want to learn how to use the definite article in French? You've come to the right place! Scroll down and see the short French lessons complete with useful examples. The apple, the house, the book... we'll teach you about the French definite article in a simple, clear and enjoyable way.

The French definite article

The definite article is what we call the word 'the' in English. The definite article is used with nouns. The English definite article 'the' is 'le' or 'la' in French. The word 'le' is used with masculine nouns and the word 'la' is used with feminine nouns. If however the noun starts with a vowel, the definite article is shortened to 'l''.


the child
la fille
the girl
la table
the table
le livre
the book
the bird
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About French

About French

There are roughly 77 million native speakers with an additional 50 million who have French as a second language. If you are planning on doing some travelling, learning French would be a great way to make the most of your trip.

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Basic words and phrases in French

Learn to get by in French with these useful words and phrases. These essential phrases cover everything from French greetings to business and workplace communications to love and dating.

Bon weekend !
Have a nice weekend !
Amusez-vous !
Have fun !
Bon séjour !
Have a nice stay !
Bonne journée !
Have a nice day !
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You can learn French in just 9 easy steps.

If you want to go from beginner to fluent in French in a reasonable amount of time, you'll need a proven study method and daily dedication. Our nine-step French learning guide will show you how to teach yourself French in a structured,effective way. The steps below will take you through the progression of skills needed to learn to speak, read and understand French.

Step 4 : The definite article in French

The definite article is what we call the word the in English. The definite article is used with nouns. Using the nouns livre, chaise and porte (book, chair, door) which you learned in Step 3, learn how to use the definite article with each of the nouns. The nouns together with the definite article are le livre, la chaise and la porte (the book, the chair, the door). You can scroll to the top of this page to see a short lesson about the definite article in French including useful examples. Once you have learned to use the definite article with the French nouns livre, chaise and porte, you're ready to move on to Step 5 (the plural in French).

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