French Definite Article
The English definite article is "the" and has four French equivalents:
- le (masculine)
- la (feminine)
- l' (masculine or feminine in front of vowel or mute h)
- les (plural)
French definite articles are more complex than our simple English "the" because they need to agree in number and gender with the nouns they are used with, and they are often required where we omit articles in English (Zero article).
Definite articles indicate a specific noun in both languages.
Je vois le restaurant. - I see the restaurant.
Où sont les voitures ? - Where are the cars?
Paradoxically, the French definite article is also used for the general sense of a noun.
Il aime l'ail. - He likes garlic.
C'est la vie ! - That's life!