1. wallacewalrus Junior Member

    U.S. and English
    Hi
    I have a question about the usage of un de/l'un de..
    For example:
    Je suis allé chez un de mes amis, ou
    Je suis allé chez l'un de mes amis.
    Are both of these correct, and if so, is it merely a question formal vs. informal speaking? I swear I have seen/heard examples of both, and I'm wondering if there's something I'm not picking up in the context or if it's really just the author's/speaker's choice, as is the case with on vs l'on.
    Thanks much.

    Moderator note: multiple threads merged to create this one.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2014
  2. veryshy Senior Member

    CASABLANCA
    Morocco/ Arabic
    Both are correct but I prefer the second! The first would sound better if it's; Je suis allé chez un ami des miens! but it's correct though!
     
  3. wallacewalrus Junior Member

    U.S. and English
    I found one of my housemate's socks in the dryer with my clothes and I told her :
    "J'ai trouvé l'une de tes chaussettes dans ma lessive."
    Then I asked her if I should say "l'une de tes chaussettes" or "une de tes chaussettes (without the l')". She said "l'une de tes chaussettes" is correct. So why can't I say "une de tes chaussettes" in this case? Or was she just telling me the better way to say it?
     
  4. veryshy Senior Member

    CASABLANCA
    Morocco/ Arabic
    Well,L' here is a definite article, and un de mes amis is indifinite, but adding L' does not define ami whome I visited, eventhough we know all his friends! that friend is uncknown to the reader / listener in both cases! So you can use both! My preference of L'un is better to my ear only!

    Si on veut et si l'on veut! it's not an article here, it's just added to make the speech softer!

    Hi Wallacewalrus! I'm just learning but sure of nothing Iam saying here !:)
     
  5. wallacewalrus Junior Member

    U.S. and English
    Hi veryshy!
    Hmmm..it's not quite clear to me yet. So, I know that the l'on is optional. It exists for aesthetic reasons and corresponds to a higher level of language. When I say l'un de mes amis, l'une de tes chaussettes, l'un des films les plus célèbres du monde, l'un de mes romans préférés, or l'une des deux pommes que j'ai mangées (these are just various examples), is the l' necessary/optional/incorrect in each case? I get the sense that it's always optional with the construction un de... So what do you think?
    Thanks for your help!
     
  6. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    The same is true of l' in the following examples.

    It is optional.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2014
  7. Hugh08 Junior Member

    calgary
    English - Canada
    Hook publia l'un des tout premiers recueils

    Ma question concerne 'l'un'. Est-ce qu'on peut dire également 'publia un des tout premiers recueils'? Y a-t-il des règles pour l'emploi de l'article avant le 'un'?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2014
  8. cropje_jnr

    cropje_jnr Senior Member

    Wollongong, Australia
    English - Australia
    Non, cela sert uniquement à des fins stylistiques, asthétiques. Il est tout à fait possible de laisser tomber ce « le » supplémentaire.
     
  9. Fred_C

    Fred_C Senior Member

    France
    Français
    Pour faire un parallèle, on peut dire que "l'un" et "un" sont interchangeables exactement comme "l'on" et "on". On peut choisir "l'un" à la place de "un" pour des raisons d'euphonie, éventuellement.
    (Voir cette discussion)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2012
  10. Corky Ringspot Senior Member

    English - England
    I wonder if someone could give me an idea of when to use un de & when to use l'un de, to translate phrases such as one of the cats was black or one of the biggest rivers in the world?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  11. Donaldos

    Donaldos Senior Member

    French - France
    Voici deux réponses : Un vs L'un (anglais) ou L'un (français).

    Tu peux donc choisir:

    L'un des chats était noir. ou Un des chats était noir. (less formal)

    L'un des plus longs fleuves du monde. ou Un des plus longs fleuves du monde.
     
  12. ride7359 Senior Member

    Spinoff from another thread -

    A native speaker states that "L'un des épagneuls..." is smoother sounding than "Un des épagneuls.."

    Can someone give an example where "Un(e) de.." is used? Is it more colloquial? Is it less formal?

    I'm trying to think if I have ever noticed hearing "L'un de mes amis est en Afrique" instead of "Un de mes amis..."
     
  13. jetset

    jetset Senior Member

    France\Nice
    French
  14. ride7359 Senior Member

    Thank you.

    In spoken French, is the use of the article as common as the omission of it?
     
  15. ShineLikeStars Senior Member

    English - Canada
    Bonjour !

    In the following sentence would you say l'un or just un (what is the meaning of l' in this case and why might it be necessary?)


    English : One of my goals this year is to get an A+ in history.
    Français : (L')un de mes buts de cette année....


    Merci beaucoup !
    SLS
     
  16. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    Both are equally correct and have exactly the same meaning. Adding l' is just a bit more formal than omitting it. As for its grammatical role, it's hard to say; it is expletive.
     
  17. Ala888 Senior Member

    English/Chinese
    aussi est-ce que il faut toujours mettre un "l" article devant un des ....
    comme:

    je vien de travailler avec l'un de mes amies
    ou
    je vien de travailler avec un de mes amies

    […]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2014
  18. Fluttershy Junior Member

    Pennsylvania
    English - American
    Since un is a pronoun in this context, we'd use l'un. So the first example that you gave is more correct.

    Je viens de travailler avec l'un de mes amis.
    Note: The correct conjugation of venir in the first person singular

    If un was used as a number or an article, we'd simply just use un.
    For example:

    Il y a un chat. - There is one cat.

    C'est un chat. - It's a cat.

    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  19. Ala888 Senior Member

    English/Chinese
    So let me get this straight, each time I use "one of .." I need to put an le infront of un
    because its a pronoun ?
    is there any rules where I need to follow or is it basically always "l'un"
    comme:
    Ma petite ami est triste parce que ton chien a mangé l'un de ses chaussures
     
  20. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    Actually, both un and l'un are correct in this case.
     
  21. Fluttershy Junior Member

    Pennsylvania
    English - American
    @Maître Capello:
    That's why I said, "...is more correct."

    I think it has to do with formality, am I wrong? You can use just un if you're not in a formal situation.

    @Ala888:
    I'm not 100% on this and hopefully someone with more experience than me can verify or clarify, but I believe if you're trying to be formal, you would put l'un, but sans l'article "le" is correct too. I was told that you're safe and "more correct" putting l'un if it is followed by a preposition (usually de).

    Remember when you're saying "one of my friends" or "one of his shoes," you're not talking directly about the friends or the shoes, but you're talking about one of the friends or one of the shoes.. if that makes sense?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2012
  22. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    That would however imply that un is less correct than l'un, which is not right. Both un and l'un are indeed equally fine.

    I would not say formality but rather style and mere personal preference, just like on vs. l'on as mentioned by Fred_C. In other words, you can use either in both formal and colloquial contexts.
     
  23. Donaldos

    Donaldos Senior Member

    French - France
    And yet l'un de is rarely used in informal speech.

    (Le Bon Usage)

    (BDL)

    The same remark applies to (l')on...
     
  24. Maître Capello

    Maître Capello Mod et ratures

    Suisse romande
    French – Switzerland
    Yes, but "plus présent dans la langue soutenue" doesn't mean it is not used in colloquial speech… ;)

    Anyway, as far as I'm concerned, I do use l'un in everyday speech.
     

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