A in French

How do you say a in French? You’ll learn the essential French "un" and "une" in today’s online lesson, and I’ve included some examples with audio as well.

This is where I’ll introduce you to indefinite French articles – and I don’t mean the reading kind! If you’ve never heard of indefinite articles in French, don’t panic!

I’ve provided step-by-step explanations so you’ll understand these basic rules of French grammar in no time.

Making things really clear with articles

Articles are the little words that make language really clear: “The,” “A,” “Some,” “Several,” “Of,” “Of the,” and “Any.”

Define it...

In English the word “the” is what we call a definite article. That is because the word “the” points to a very specific thing. For example, you may tell someone, “I want the mug” assuming that they will bring you the mug you have in mind.

Or not!

If you tell them, “I want a mug,” you will get whichever mug they choose to hand you! That is because the words “a” or “an” or “some” are indefinite articles and point to a general group of items, things, people or places.

Using a in French

In this section, we talk about the ways to make things general, or indefinite. In French, there are 3 ways of using the indefinite articles “ a,” “ an,” “ some” or “ several.”

  • A or An + masculine noun = un
  • A or An + feminine noun = une
  • Some or Several + any plural noun = des

Une fleur

A flower

Des fleurs

Some flowers

Une copine

A friend (female)

Des copines

Several friends (female)

Un crayon

A pencil

Des crayons

Several pencils

When Indefinite and Definite Work Together in French

"Some" and "several" in French are interchangeable with "any" and "of the."  We refer to words like "some" and "several" as articles. These articles help to define words and quantities, and just like everything else in French, they have to follow gender rules.

This means that almost everything new you learn in French will be subject to the following questions:

  • Is it a female group of words?
  • Is it a male group of words?
  • Is it singular or plural?
  • Does it begin with a vowel?
For more on definite articles see The in French

Then try some more French grammar lessons!

Á plus tard! (See you later!)

Marie-Claire Rivière and the Rocket French Team


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