When is "le" omitted from "le français"?

HarryC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

When is "le" omitted from "le français"?

When is "le" omitted from "le français"? Is it only with "parler", or is there a general rule? I ask in relation to this Q&A:

"He will study either French or Italian" = "Il étudiera soit le français soit l'italien".

This question relates to:French lesson "French"
Asked 2 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Harry,

Both are possible and I suppose the difference would be between

'to speak French'

and 

'to speak the French language'

but you will hear both.

Bonne Continuation !

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Harry,

I also find this point tricky to deal with. Key is the usage as a noun or adjective?

I suggest that you have a look here to assess the various options:-

https://www.wordreference.com/fren/Fran%C3%A7ais

Hope you will find it helpful

Jim

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Jim is right: when used as a noun, you add the article. If it's an adjective, you leave it out:

"Je parle le français" vs. "je parle français". Confusingly enough, both mean "I speak French" but the first one refers to French as a noun, whereas the second one uses "français" as an adjective. Here is a sentence that makes it more obvious:

Le français est une langue parlé en France. -- French is a language spoken in France. (used as a noun)
Les français parlent français. -- The French speak French. (used as an adjective)

Pierre est français. -- Pierre is French (used as an adjective)
Il est le français que j'ai rencontré hier. -- He is the "Frenchman" whom I met yesterday. In this sentence, "français" refers to a male French person and not the language, of course.

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

@ Chris

Not sure to use "le français" after the verb parler though  --  Je parle le français ?

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Yes, I've heard "je parle le français".

Harry asked:View original

When is "le" omitted from "le français"?

When is "le" omitted from "le français"? Is it only with "parler", or is there a general rule? I ask in relation to this Q&A:

"He will study either French or Italian" = "Il étudiera soit le français soit l'italien".

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