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How do you render, in French, such expressions as a straw hat, Burgundy wine?

How is the genitive case formed in French?


Preliminary Observations.

When figures are attached to one or more words, in the following exercises, they indicate the order in which those words must be placed in French.

The letter m placed after a substantive means that it is masculine; f, feminine; pl. plural.

This mark placed under a word signifies that that word must be omitted in French.

When two or more English words are put between brackets, they are rendered by the single French word placed under them.



See Rule 1 to 13, p. 7—9.

Those houses. -In the fields. By his letters.-In

Ces maison. Dans les champ.

Par ses lettre. Dans their palaces.-VaDans leurs palais. Dif

six years. From those voices.-In

De ces voix.

six an.
rious countries.-On our boats.
férens pays.

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Buy those pictures.— Sur nos bateau. Achetez ces tableau. Her beautiful jewels.-Fifteen horses.-By their works.— Ses beaux bijou. Quinze cheval. Par leurs travail. Bring me those fans. By their presents.—Call Apportez-moi ces évantail. Par leurs présent. Appelez les children. Her beautiful teeth.-Under the bridges.-Like enfant. Ses belles dent. Sous les pont. Comme his ancestors.In their eyes.-The Hamlet of Shakspeare aïeul. Dans leurs œil. Le Hamlet de Shakespeare and the Athalie of Racine are master-pieces of compol'Athalie de Racine sont des chef-d'œuvre de compo






See Rule 14 and 15, p. 9.

Your sister has a silk gown and a straw hat. It is Votre sœur a une soie robe un paille chapeau. C'est a marble pillar.-Have you spoken (to the) wine merchant ? un marbre pillier. Avez-vous parlé au vin marchand? -She has bought a gold watch.-Bring

me my velvet Elle a acheté une or montre. Apportez-moi mon velours cap. They drink spring water. (Do you see) those bonnet. Ils boivent source de l'eau. Voyez-vous ces wind-mills?-They have a vent moulin? Ils ont une was invented by a


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silver spoon. Gunpowder argent cuillère.

Canon la poudre



la voix.


See Rule 16, p. 10.

ambition. Plato's wisdom.


l'ambition. Platon la sagesse. Apollon

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voice. His brother's name. Your mother's hope. Son frère le nom. Votre mère l'espoir. My sister's book.-This man's folly. - Their father's Ma sœur le livre. Cet homme la folie. Leur père advice. My cousin's direction.-Tomorrow's lesson. Demain la leçon.

le conseil. Mon cousin l'adresse. Your aunt's book. · In

my mother's letter.

Votre tante le livre. Dans ma mère la lettre.

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your father's permission. maître les ordres, Avec votre père ia permission.

- His




THERE are, in French, three Articles; the definite, the indefinite, and the partitive.

The definite article, which is so called from its serving to define or fix particularly the substantive, or person or

thing, is rendered in French by le for the masculine, la for the feminine, and les, common, for the plural.


Of a Masculine Substantive, beginning with a Consonant.


le père, the father.

*du père, of or from the father.

*au père, to the father.


les pères, the fathers.

* des pères, of or from the fathers.

*aux pères, to the fathers.

Of a Feminine Substantive, beginning with a Consonant.

la mère, the mother.

de la mère, of or from the mother.

à la mère, to the mother.

les mères, the mothers.

des mères, of or from the mothers.

aux mères, to the mothers.

Of a Substantive of either Gender, beginning with a Vowel

l'homme, the man.

or h mute.

de l'homme, of or from the


à l'homme, to the man.

l'enfant, the child.

de l'enfant, of or from the child.

à l'enfant, to the child.

les hommes, the men.

des hommes, of or from the


aux hommes, to the men.

les enfans, the children. des enfans, of or from the children.

aux enfans, to the children.

The indefinite article, a or an, is so called, because it is placed before things spoken of indeterminately.

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* Observe that du, au, des, aux, are contractions of de le, à le, de les,

à les, which are never used.

The partitive article expresses, as its name implies, that the substantive, or thing, is spoken of as of a part, not of a whole; as, Donnez-moi DU papier, give me some paper; that is, a certain portion or quantity of paper. This article is rendered into French by du, de la, de l', or des, according as the substantive is masculine or feminine, singular or plural, and as it begins with a consonant, a vowel, or an h mute; as,

du pain, some bread.

de la viande, some meat.

des couteaux, some knives.


1. As it has been already observed, French substantives are either masculine or feminine; the article which is placed before a substantive must therefore agree with it in gender and number.

2. No article is used in English when a substantive is spoken of in a general or total sense; but in French, the definite article must then be placed before the substantive. Thus, when we say in English, Man is mortal, the word man does not mean one individual only, but all men, and the sentence must therefore be rendered in French by L'homme est mortel; and when we say, Virtue is estimable, as we mean all kind of virtues, we use the definite article in French, and say, LA vertu est estimable.

3. When a substantive is taken in a restrictive sense, the definite article is expressed in English, and must be rendered in French. Thus, when we say, The man whom you have sent me, we do not mean any man, but one particular individual, and say, L'homme que vous m'avez envoyé.

4. When several substantives occur together in a sentence, the article must be repeated before each French substantive. Ex. Le père, LA mère, et LEs frères sont ici; the father, mother, and brothers are here.

5. An article is also placed before every adjective used as a substantive. Ex. Je préfère LE blanc et LE rouge AU noir, I prefer white and red to black.

6. The article, though expressed in English, must be omitted in French before a noun expressing a degree of relationship, when that noun is preceded by the name of

the person. Ex. Alexander the son of Philip, Alexandre fils de Philippe. She is the sister of Miss B., Elle est sœur de Mademoiselle B.

7. The Article is also omitted in French before nouns expressive of dignity, office, or business. Ex. Mr. D. the governor of India, Monsieur D. gouverneur des Indes. He is the captain of his company, Il est capitaine de sa compagnie.

8. From the above two rules are to be excepted the sentences in which the verb étre has for its nominative the

demonstrative pronoun ce. Ex. C'est LE médecin de mon père, that is my father's physician.

9. The article, though sometimes not used in English, must be always placed in French before names of countries, kingdoms, provinces, rivers, winds, and mountains. Ex. La Russie est un pays fort étendu, Russia is a very extensive country. LA Tamise est une très-belle rivière, the Thames is a very fine river.

10. But it is omitted before names of countries when they are governed by the preposition en. Ex. Mon frère est EN France, my brother is in France.

11. When the name of a country is coupled with another substantive by the preposition de, the article is not used in French. Ex. Le roi DE France, the king of France. Nor do we put the article before a name of country in French, when we speak of coming or returning from it. Ex. Cette lettre vient DE France, that letter comes from France. Nous arrivons DE Portugal, we arrive from Portugal.

12. In narratives, several substantives are sometimes used together, and the article is omitted in French, in order to give more energy to the sentence; but in this case, the last substantive is immediately followed by tout or tous. Ex. Conscience, honneur, intérêt, TOUT fut sacrifié; conscience, honour, interest, every thing was sacrificed.

13. When speaking of CASES, a rule has been given (see page 10) on the formation of the French genitive, and the learner must make use of du, de la, de l', or des, whenever the substantive, used in the genitive, requires the article according to any of the preceding rules. Ex. The king's son, le fils Du roi; the queen's portrait, le portrait DE LA reine; the children's attention, l'attention DES enfans.

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