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How To Use French Determiners

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A determiner's function is to introduce a noun. It also carries information about the noun it refers to. The French language classifies its determiners according to the type of information they bring. Let's get familiar with the different categories.

Category Information brought Singular Plural
Article défini

used with a noun that refers to a specific known being/object

Le/La

Les
Article indéfini  

used with a noun that refers to an unknown/ generic being/object

un/une des
Déterminant démonstratif

used to localize the being/object (in space or time)

ce/cet*

cette

ces
Déterminant possessif

informs on the owner of the being/object referred to

mon/ton/son

ma/ta/sa

mes
Déterminant cardinal

informs on the number of beings/objects referred to

un deux, trois etc.
Déterminant indéfini

used with a noun that refers to unknow beings/objects part of a bigger ensemble

Aucun(e)
Plusieurs
Tout(e), etc.
Aucuns,
Touts, etc.
Déterminant interrogatif

indicates that the question following refers to the noun

quel(le) quel(le)s
Déterminant exclamatif

indicates that the exclamation following refers to the noun

quel(le) quel(le)s

 

*when the noun it introduces starts with a vowel and is masculin.

I hope that helps. If you have any questions, please leave them in a comment below ↓ and we'll answer them as soon as possible. 😉


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