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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

une aventure
an adventure


un tee-shirt
a t-shirt


un exemple 
an example


une fille
a girl



un garçon
a boy



un fantôme
a ghost


une voiture
a car


Q&A

DeAnna

Kwiziq community member

21 May 2018

1 reply

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?

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

14 June 2018

14/06/18

Hi DeAnna,


Where Have you seen : Je suis un oncle?

Roman

Kwiziq community member

26 February 2018

2 replies

misspelled English `brillant'

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

Roman

Kwiziq community member

26 February 2018

26/02/18

sorry, that's in example 5

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

27 February 2018

27/02/18

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 !

melanie

Kwiziq community member

2 November 2017

1 reply

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.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

3 November 2017

3/11/17

"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)

abderrahmane

Kwiziq community member

8 November 2016

2 replies

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

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

8 November 2016

8/11/16

Bonjour Abderrahmane !

Here is a link to our related lesson, which you can also find at the end of this lesson:
https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/my-languages/french/view/4684

À bientôt !

abderrahmane

Kwiziq community member

8 November 2016

8/11/16

ok thank you very much

Rafael

Kwiziq community member

1 November 2016

1 reply

.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.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

2 November 2016

2/11/16

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:
https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/grammar/un-and-une-become-de-or-d-in-negative-sentences-indefinite-article

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

Soner

Kwiziq community member

31 December 2015

5 replies

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

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

31 December 2015

31/12/15

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

Soner

Kwiziq community member

31 December 2015

31/12/15

Thank you for your support. Hope I can figure it out!

Bonet

Kwiziq community member

24 June 2017

24/06/17

Salut Aurélie, is there any rule that can guide me when using un/une. So time I get confuse when using these words.

Bonet

Kwiziq community member

24 June 2017

24/06/17

How do I know masculine and feminine nouns

Roman

Kwiziq community member

26 February 2018

26/02/18

I can't highlight and copy the link above!!
I'll be right with you...