Using un, une to say "a" (indefinite articles)

French has two words for a (or an): Un and Une.

Look at these examples:

un tee-shirt
a t-shirt

une voiture
a car

un exemple 
an example

une aventure
an adventure

Notice that unlike English, all nouns (words for things and people) in French are masculine or feminine.

Use Un with masculine nouns.

Use Une with feminine nouns.

Note that un, une also mean one: une maison means a house and one house.
 

Grammar jargon: un, une are indefinite articles (a, an are indefinite articles in English).

 

See how these articles behave in negative sentences:

 Un, une become de or d' in negative sentences (indefinite articles)

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources


un garçon
a boy



un fantôme
a ghost


une voiture
a car


une aventure
an adventure


un tee-shirt
a t-shirt


un exemple 
an example


une fille
a girl


Q&A Forum 11 questions, 19 answers

TahaniA0Kwiziq community member

En ou à

Hi,

When I am talking about myself and where I live, ,,

What shall I use (à or en)

And also what are the differences between both words

Thank you so much 

Asked 7 months ago
AnnaliseA0Kwiziq community memberCorrect answer

en - for most countries

Je viens en France

 

à - For a city/area

 

Je viens à Paris

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

What do you want to say? Something like: Je m'appelle Marie et je suis enseignante?

In this case you don't use the indefinite article.

En ou à

Hi,

When I am talking about myself and where I live, ,,

What shall I use (à or en)

And also what are the differences between both words

Thank you so much 

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JoanA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Some profession only have masculine form, if I want to say a female butcher, can I write: 'Une boucher'?

Asked 9 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Joan, 

You can indeed have,  'une bouchère'  as you have boulangère and charcutière but I think it is still quite rare in the industry as it involves more than just selling the meat and is quite a demanding physical métier...

Some profession only have masculine form, if I want to say a female butcher, can I write: 'Une boucher'?

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SaraA0Kwiziq community member

pourquoi est-ce si frustrant?

Bonjour,

Je suis encore jeune pour ouvrir ce truc, je sais! mais le problème, c’est que demain j’ai un examen d’entrée pour une école française et que les questions sont très difficiles pour mon niveau.

que devrais-je faire?
Asked 10 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Reposez-vous bien avant l'examen. Je ne crois pas que vous puissiez faire grande chose pour améliorer votre français en moins d'une journée.

Bonne chance!

pourquoi est-ce si frustrant?

Bonjour,

Je suis encore jeune pour ouvrir ce truc, je sais! mais le problème, c’est que demain j’ai un examen d’entrée pour une école française et que les questions sont très difficiles pour mon niveau.

que devrais-je faire?

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MwabatemboA0Kwiziq community member

How to know which article to place

Whether a definite or indefinite article

Asked 10 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

It is similar in English. How do you know when to use "a" (indefinite) versus "the" (definite)?

How to know which article to place

Whether a definite or indefinite article

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SamiA0Kwiziq community member

Un ou sans un

Je suis un professeur d'anglais. Ma femme est docteur.

Corrigez-moi . S'il vous plaît, Prof.

Asked 11 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer
Sans un: Je suis professeur d'anglais.
SamiA0Kwiziq community member
Merci. Je suis professeur d'anglais er vous êtes un excellent professeur. 

Un ou sans un

Je suis un professeur d'anglais. Ma femme est docteur.

Corrigez-moi . S'il vous plaît, Prof.

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DeAnnaC1Kwiziq community member

Je suis UN oncle?

Bonjour! I have definitely heard an excited new dad exclaim, “Je suis Papa!”  

Is there a difference between what is correct and what is actually said?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team member

Hi DeAnna,

Where Have you seen : Je suis un oncle?

DeAnna asked:View original

Je suis UN oncle?

Bonjour! I have definitely heard an excited new dad exclaim, “Je suis Papa!”  

Is there a difference between what is correct and what is actually said?

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RomanC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

misspelled English `brillant'

In example 4 misspelled English `brillant' in the You tube clip
Asked 1 year ago
RomanC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
sorry, that's in example 5
AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour Roman !

Thanks for letting us know: unfortunately, the Youtube video is a third party, so we cannot correct it ourselves. I will have a look for another "misspelling-free" video to replace it :)

Bonne journée !

misspelled English `brillant'

In example 4 misspelled English `brillant' in the You tube clip

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MelanieA0Kwiziq community member

Hi Aurelie

I am a bit confused. Is it correct to say "je n'ai pas de chien mais deux?" I read about the exception when "etre" is used however I'm confused because when we say they don't have a dog, but two I see that "une" chien is being used.
Asked 2 years ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer
"Je n'ai pas de chien mais deux" isn't entirely correct (as I understand it). What you are saying is "I don't have A dog but two." You really want to say "I don't have ONE dog but two." Therefore you'd say something like: "Je n'ai pas un chien mais deux." This is better -- and grammatically correct -- but a native speaker wouldn't say it this way either, I believe. You would hear something like: "Je n'ai pas juste un chien, j'en ai deux." Which translates to "I don't have just one dog, I have two of them."

-- Chris (not a native speaker)

Hi Aurelie

I am a bit confused. Is it correct to say "je n'ai pas de chien mais deux?" I read about the exception when "etre" is used however I'm confused because when we say they don't have a dog, but two I see that "une" chien is being used.

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Abderrahmane A0Kwiziq community member

always "un" and "une" became "de" in the négative form??

Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Abderrahmane ! Here is a link to our related lesson, which you can also find at the end of this lesson: Un, une become de or d' in negative sentences (indefinite articles) À bientôt !
Abderrahmane A0Kwiziq community member
ok thank you very much

always "un" and "une" became "de" in the négative form??

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RafaelA0Kwiziq community member

.je n'ai pas un voiture pourqui je n'ai pas acheté une voiture.

je n'ai pas un voiture pourqui je n'ai pas acheté une voiture.

Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Rafael ! "Je n'ai pas DE voiture parce que je n'ai pas acheté DE voiture." Indeed, "un" or "une" become "de" in negative sentences. Have a look at this lesson: Un, une become de or d' in negative sentences (indefinite articles) I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

.je n'ai pas un voiture pourqui je n'ai pas acheté une voiture.

je n'ai pas un voiture pourqui je n'ai pas acheté une voiture.

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SonerA0Kwiziq community member

I don't know how to distinguish between masculine and feminini words.

Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member

Bonjour Soner, Unfortunately, there's no way to know for certain the gender of a French noun without looking in a dictionary - there isn't a simple rule that tells you, so you just need to learn the gender along with every new noun you learn.

However, we do have tips that can help with some nouns: https://www.french-test.com/revision/grammar/how-to-identify-gender-by-some-word-endings

SonerA0Kwiziq community member
Thank you for your support. Hope I can figure it out!
BonetA0Kwiziq community member
Salut Aurélie, is there any rule that can guide me when using un/une. So time I get confuse when using these words.
BonetA0Kwiziq community member
How do I know masculine and feminine nouns
RomanC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
I can't highlight and copy the link above!!

I don't know how to distinguish between masculine and feminini words.

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