Categories: basic french

French Indefinite Articles

French Indefinite Articles

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1. Un, Une, Des

A doctor: Un docteur

Un with masculine words

A teacher (female): Une professeure

Une with feminine words

Un, Une translate: a, an, one

Doctors: des docteurs

Des with both masculine or feminine plural words

Teachers: des professeures

I saw flowers: j’ai vu des fleurs
Here we know that we need DES because when we say that we saw flowers, we don’t mean all the flowers but a part of them.
I bought some books: j’ai acheté des livres

Remember that “des” is also the contraction of the definite article: de les.

Des translate: some, any or nothing

2 Differences:

He is a doctor: il est docteur (no article)
She is a teacher: elle est professeure
It is like that with professions.
However with the expression C’est, we need the indefinite articles: C’est un docteur, c’est un bon docteur
There is a lesson about il est vs c’est.

What a pity: quel dommage!
What a stupid boy: quel garçon stupide

Such a letter: une telle lettre (tel is the masculine form)
Such letters: de telles lettres

Negative forms:

I have no pens: je n’ai pas DE crayons (we DON’T say “je n’ai pas DES crayons”)
I bought no book: je n’ai pas acheté DE livre.

so, the negative form of un, une and des is “pas de”.

Exception: verb to be
C’est un champion ce n’est pas un champion
Ce sont des champions  ce ne sont pas des champions

And it may be a bit more complicated whether you are speaking generally or not.
If you say: je ne mange pas de carottes, you mean that generally, you never eat carrots.
Je ne mange pas des carottes, mais des radis, you mean that you are not eating carrots.

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