Indefinite Articles

Indefinite articles, shown in Table 1, refer to persons and objects not specifically identified: a girl, an apple, or some boys. Use different indefinate articles based on whether the noun that follows is masculine, feminine, singular, or plural.

The e from the indefinite article une is never dropped. This final e does, however, change the sound of the word un, which is nasalized, to une, which is not nasalized.

Omit the indefinite article in the following cases:

  • After the verb être (to be) and devenir (to become) that come before the names of professions, except after c'est or when the noun is modified by an adjective
    • Anne est docteur. (Anne is a doctor.)
    • Luc devient avocat. (Luc is becoming a lawyer.)
  • But:
    • C'est une actrice. (She's an actress.)
    • C'est un dentiste. (He's a dentist.)
    • M. Leconte est un patron populaire. (Mr. Leconte is a popular boss.)
  • After the exclamatory adjective quel (quelle, quels, quelles)
    • Quel garçon curieux! (What a curious boy!)
    • Quelles maisons luxueuses! (What luxurious houses!)
  • Before the numbers cent (100) and mille (1,000)
    • cent enfants (one hundred children)
    • mille dollars (one thousand dollars)