When do you need to use an article with a country, for example, La Corse or Corse.

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Mary Anne

Kwiziq community member

11 September 2017

6 replies

When do you need to use an article with a country, for example, La Corse or Corse.

This relates to:
En, dans = In, to with regions, states, counties (prepositions) -

Ron

Kwiziq community member

12 September 2017

12/09/17

Bonjour Mary Anne,
This is going to sound somewhat terse, but, other than a couple of shortcuts provided in the lesson from Aurélie, i.e. Here is the rule to express in or to:
- You use en with feminine regions/states/counties (usually ending in -e)
- You use dans le with masculine regions/states/counties starting with a consonant.
- You use dans l' with masculine regions/states/counties starting with a vowel.
Note that en is also acceptable for reasons of pronunciation:
These will need to be learned or otherwise committed to memory. I have been studying French since 1999 and because I do not use countries, regions, states enough, most of the time I must look it up, like if I am writing a paper or something.
Is it worth the time to memorize such a thing, unequivocally YES.

J'espère que ma réponse vous aidera.
Bonne chance dans vos études en français.

Mary Anne

Kwiziq community member

14 September 2017

14/09/17

Thank you but my question was about the use of a definite article with a place name. Are you saying that "dans" does not use a definite article, but "en" does?

Ron

Kwiziq community member

14 September 2017

14/09/17

For purposes of clarification regarding the use of «dans le» and «en», typically dans le, dans l', follow the following rule:
- You use dans le with masculine regions/states/counties starting with a CONSONANT.
- You use dans l' with masculine regions/states/counties starting with a VOWEL
So yes, «dans» uses the definite article.
However, what the author, Aurélie, states is this:
Note that «en» is also acceptable for reasons of PRONUNCIATION (only); I added the «only» to indicate the emphasis toward spoken French. If the speaker chooses to use «en», it would be WITHOUT a definite article like in the example above in the lesson.
Now for one caveat, Aurélie may follow with a different explanation, possibly in more detail; however, based on the lesson and my studies, this is the best explanation that I can offer.
I do hope this clarifies, somewhat, my response for you.

Bonne chance et à bientôt !

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

13 October 2017

13/10/17

Bonjour Mary Ann !

The short answer is that you always use the definite article with countries, regions etc to simply say France, Corsica...la France, la Corse...

Have a look at our related lesson:
https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/grammar/using-le-la-l-les-with-continents-countries-and-regions-names


Bonne journée !

Randi

Kwiziq community member

10 July 2018

10/07/18

Thanks for this summary, Ron. It’s helpful to me. 


I can’t be critical of Aurélie’s lesson because, we’ll, I’m just adoring everything about Aurélie and this site. I’ve improved my French grammar so much since I signed on a month ago. So I’ll toil on, despite frustrations. That said, I’ve found this particular topic incredibly difficult to learn. 


Aurélie, it might be helpful to add more mini-lessons here, breaking this topic into sub-topics. I might digest this more easily if I could ingest it in even smaller bites. For example, maybe you could offer a lesson titled “use ‘en’ with feminine regions/states/counties”, and a separate lesson for “dans le”.


Just a thought. Ultimately, I think I’ll take Ron’s suggestion and just try to commit corresponding geographic prepositions to memory. It won’t be easy. But I never thought I’d memorize all the verbs in Mr. and Mrs. Vandertramp, and I finally did. 

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

10 August 2018

10/08/18

Bonjour Randi, et merci beaucoup pour ces compliments !


The lesson in itself is quite straightforward, though I agree that the "endless" number of cases can make it overwhelming at times :)


Remember that 95% of regions, states and countries ending in -e are feminine (and that they represent the great majority of cases), and try to focus on memorising the exceptions (and I'd say, starting with the ones you'll encounter more often in your everyday life)


Hang on, and remember that French saying:


C'est en forgeant qu'on devient forgeron !
It's by forging that we become a blacksmith! => Practice makes perfect!


Bonne journée !


PS: Look out for our next Gap Fill exercise called "Un été international" ;)

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