Plurals of the and a = les and des (articles)

Look at these examples:

La voiture est devant les voitures.
The car is in front of the cars.

Le chien joue avec les chiens.
The dog is playing with the dogs.

Où est l'hôtel?  - Avec les autres hôtels
Where is the hotel?  - With the other hotels.

Il y a un chat.  - Non il y a des chats.
There is a cat.  - No there are (some) cats.

Une fille se promène avec des filles.
A girl walks with (some) girls.

 

The plural forms of le, la and l' is les

The plural forms of un and une is des

Note that when you say ''I have strawberries.'' in English, you are actually saying ''I have some strawberries.'', but in English, you can omit 'some'. 

NOT in French!

In French you must always use "des".
E.g. J'ai des fraises. 

See also Using du, de la, de l', des to express some or any (partitive articles)

 

Grammar jargon: Les is the plural definite article; Des is the plural indefinite article. These articles are used with countable nouns (things you can count, like dogs, as opposed to mass nouns for things like milk which use partitive articles instead.)

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources



le, la, l' -> les


Le chien joue avec les chiens.
The dog is playing with the dogs.


La voiture est devant les voitures.
The car is in front of the cars.


Où est l'hôtel?  - Avec les autres hôtels
Where is the hotel?  - With the other hotels.


un, une -> des


Il y a un chat.  - Non il y a des chats.
There is a cat.  - No there are (some) cats.


Une fille se promène avec des filles.
A girl walks with (some) girls.


Q&A Forum 2 questions, 3 answers

Des vs Quelques

The correct answer to "There are some girls" was Il y a des fille. I had Il y a quelques filles. This was deemed to be wrong. Can someone explain the difference?

Asked 6 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Mark,

As in English it is the difference between ‘some’ ( des) an indeterminate number and ‘a few’ ( quelques), a small number...

Des vs Quelques

The correct answer to "There are some girls" was Il y a des fille. I had Il y a quelques filles. This was deemed to be wrong. Can someone explain the difference?

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How to understand its a definite or indefinite articles in french

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Samuel,

The difference between definite and indefinite articles is actually important in French as many mistakes are made by confusing them as sometimes in  English no article is used ...

e.g.

J'aime les chats tigrés = I like tabby cats 

You use the definite article 'les' as it is presumed you like all the cats who come under that specification.

J'ai des chats très exigeants à la maison! = I have (some) very demanding cats at home! 

In this example you don't know which cats you are referring to , how many there are or what type of cats , so you use the indefinite article 'des'.

For more details take a look at the following lessons on each set of articles:  

https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/my-languages/french/glossary/4

https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/my-languages/french/glossary/4

Hope this helps!

 

Elle a des chats. -- She has (some) cats. -- indefinite

Elle a les chats. -- She has the cats. -- definite

How to understand its a definite or indefinite articles in french

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