Toast my French - au aux du des Contracted Articles in French Youtube

How to use the contracted article like “au”, “aux”, “du” and “des” in French?

This is one of the basic rules of French, which can make all the difference between someone who speaks well and someone who speaks French poorly!

In this video from my YouTube channel, I will give you the rules for using contracted articles.

Remember to put in any subtitles you want to make it easier to understand and read the transcript below!

au aux du des: the Contracted Article in French

Je vais au cinéma.
(I’m going to the movies.)

Je garde le chien du voisin.
(I keep the neighbor’s dog.)

In French, we often use the prepositions “à” and “de”.

But beware, they sometimes transform as you have seen in the example!

We don’t say: je vais à (+) le cinéma, but je vais au cinéma (I go to the cinema)!

We do not say: le chien de (+) le voisin, but le chien du voisin (the neighbor’s dog)!

You will never see de le or à le in French!

It does not exist! 
It is a mistake that no French makes!

But you too can manage to use these expressions as well as the French!

Let me help you understand the rules of these contract articles and you will no longer make mistakes!

Au, aux, du, des

Hello everyone!

Welcome to Toast my French, my name is Morgane and I am a certified French teacher.

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Today we are going to study the formation of the prepositions “à” and “de” with the determinants “le, la, les”.

Contracted Article

Contracted articles au aux du des
The formation of contracted articles: a preposition (à/de) + a definite article (le/les)

An article that is composed of the preposition “à” or “de” and an article defined as “le” or “les” is called “contracted article”.

When you use the indefinite article “un, une, des” it’s easier!


For example: Ce soir, je vais à une fête. (Tonight I’m going to a party.) Je téléphone à un ami. (I’m calling a friend.)

We see here that the preposition “à” does not change with “un” or “une” (or “des”).

Now let’s look at sentences with the preposition “de”:

Je garde le chien d’une collègue. (I keep a colleague’s dog.) Je lis le livre d’un grand écrivain. (I read a great writer’s book.)

Here we see a very common change in French, the transformation of “de” into “d'”, but they don’t contract.

À / DE + LE, LA, L’, LES

Now let’s move on to the definite article “le, la, l’, les“.

With the preposition “à”, we say:

Je vais à l’école. (I go to school) or Je téléphone à la banque.(I phone the bank.

There has been no change.

But with “le” or “les”:

Je vais au cinéma. (I go to the cinema.) Je téléphone aux professeurs. (I phone the teachers.)

  • “à” plus “le” changes to “au”.

  • “à” plus “les” changes to “aux”.

Likewise with the preposition “de”:

Je garde le chien du voisin.(I keep the neighbor’s dog.) Je lis le livre des enfants. (I read the children’s book.)

  • “de” plus “le” turns into “du”.

  • “de” plus “les” turns into “des”.


Remember to contract “le” and “les” when you use them after the prepositions “à” or “de”!

To check if you have understood correctly, write sentences in the comments, with the articles contracted!

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