L'un(e) ... l'autre, les un(e)s ... les autres = One ... the other(s) (indefinite pronouns)

Look at these sentences:

Les enfants sont pleins d'énergie: les uns courent, les autres crient.
The children are full of energy: some run, others shout.

Les femmes étaient occupées: les unes cuisinaient, les autres faisaient la vaisselle.
The women were busy: some were cooking, others were washing the dishes.

Tom et Maxime sont très différents: l'un est calme et l'autre hyperactif.
Tom and Maxime are very different: one is calm, and the other hyperactive.

Mes chaussettes ne vont pas ensemble: l'une est bleue et l'autre rouge.
My socks don't match: one is blue and the other is red.

Notice that l'un... l'autre means 'one (of)... the other', and les uns... les autres means 'some (of)... others'.  

N.B.: un and autre agree in gender (un/une/autre) and number (uns/unes/autres) with the object it refers to.

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Mes chaussettes ne vont pas ensemble: l'une est bleue et l'autre rouge.
My socks don't match: one is blue and the other is red.


Tom et Maxime sont très différents: l'un est calme et l'autre hyperactif.
Tom and Maxime are very different: one is calm, and the other hyperactive.


Les femmes étaient occupées: les unes cuisinaient, les autres faisaient la vaisselle.
The women were busy: some were cooking, others were washing the dishes.


Les enfants sont pleins d'énergie: les uns courent, les autres crient.
The children are full of energy: some run, others shout.


Q&A Forum 4 questions, 9 answers

JenniferC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

les uns

Les enfants sont pleins d'énergie: les uns courent, les autres crient.

In this context, could you also use 'certains courent, les autres crient' ?

thank you

Asked 6 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Certains connotes that a certain group among the kids went running. If you didn't want to underline the group and just wanted to say that some were running while other screamed, you'd use les uns..les autres.

les uns

Les enfants sont pleins d'énergie: les uns courent, les autres crient.

In this context, could you also use 'certains courent, les autres crient' ?

thank you

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LathaB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Tom et Mary sont très différents: l'un est calme et l'autre hyperactif In this sentence suppose the first one is feminine and second, masculine does

the sentence remain the same or changes to l'une est ..... et l'autre......PS confirm

Asked 10 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Latha,

You are right.

If it was -

Nathalie et Josette sont très différentes, l’une est calme et l’autre hyperactive ...

 

 

 

LathaB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Merci

Tom et Mary sont très différents: l'un est calme et l'autre hyperactif In this sentence suppose the first one is feminine and second, masculine does

the sentence remain the same or changes to l'une est ..... et l'autre......PS confirm

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TerriC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

This is a question on grading the writing challenges (which are great-Thanks!)

I struggle with grading the Writing Challenges. An example I have just had: The correct answers were (1) "on a beaucoup de choix", and (2) "on a plein d'options". My answer was a mixture of the two: "on a beaucoup d'options". Question: when there are two correct answers, are the parts 'interchangable'? Are "a plein d' " interchangeable with "a beaucoup de", and "d'options" with "de choix"? Or is the correct answer exactly as it is written in the first or the second sentence? I hope this makes sense! Thank you in advance for your help! Terri
Asked 2 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour Terri, Yes, generally speaking, unless there's a note that says something like "familiar" or "too formal" next to one answer, the pieces of the correct answers are interchangeable.
TerriC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Thank you, Laura, for the clarity. I enjoy the writing challenges, but the grading was always a challenge - now I'll enjoy the writing even more.

This is a question on grading the writing challenges (which are great-Thanks!)

I struggle with grading the Writing Challenges. An example I have just had: The correct answers were (1) "on a beaucoup de choix", and (2) "on a plein d'options". My answer was a mixture of the two: "on a beaucoup d'options". Question: when there are two correct answers, are the parts 'interchangable'? Are "a plein d' " interchangeable with "a beaucoup de", and "d'options" with "de choix"? Or is the correct answer exactly as it is written in the first or the second sentence? I hope this makes sense! Thank you in advance for your help! Terri

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DonaldC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Puis-je aussi dire ou utiliser certain / certains / certaines au lieu de

Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonsoir Donald, Je pense que votre question confuse deux leçons uniques: l'une concerne l'un(e) . . . l'autre : L'un(e) ... l'autre, les un(e)s ... les autres = One ... the other(s) (indefinite pronouns) -- pendant l'autre concerne: Certain(e)s d'entre eux/elles : L'un(e) ... l'autre, les un(e)s ... les autres = One ... the other(s) (indefinite pronouns) Peut-être ce serait prudent de passer en revue le deux. J'espère que cela vous aidera et bien sùr, bonne chance. Ron
DonaldC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Merci Ron. Je crois que vous avez raison. Don
StanB2Kwiziq community member

Ron's response notwithstanding, is the use of "certains/certaines" in these instances wrong or just out of context for the lesson,

StanB2Kwiziq community member

Ron's response notwithstanding, is the use of "certains/certaines" in these instances wrong or just out of context for the lesson,

Puis-je aussi dire ou utiliser certain / certains / certaines au lieu de

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