In French, countries, continents, regions and states have genders. See Continents/countries/counties/regions/states are masculine, feminine or plural in French (Gender).
Learn how to use the French definite articles with continents, countries & region names
Now look at these sentences:
Notice that in French, countries/continents/states/regions are used with the definite article le, la, l' or les, when used in general statements, unlike in English.
When talking about going to or from a country, you won't use the definite article.
See En/au/aux = In/to with countries and continents (French Prepositions).
NOTE that cities do not use articles:
Want to make sure your French sounds confident? We’ll map your knowledge and give you free lessons to focus on your gaps and mistakes. Start your Braimap today »