black friday cyber monday last chance to save 25% on all packages »

Why doesn't Noël use a definite article when other holidays do?

AnnC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Why doesn't Noël use a definite article when other holidays do?

Asked 3 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Anne,

As Chris has already said Noël and Pâques don't have an article in front of them but  the Saints days  do ,

e.g. C'est la St Jean aujourdh'ui or aujourd'hui c'est la Sainte Honorine , ou la Sainte Isabelle, ou la Saint Martin...

It is ( so and so ) Saint' s day today ...

You also use the article with other religious celebrations , e.g. La Toussaint, La Pentecôte, l'Ascention . ( All Saints' day, Pentecost/ Whitsun , Ascention day )

So Noël and Pâques are pretty much the exceptions here,

Hope this helps!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Hi Ann, I looked at the lesson and couldn't find a difference between Noël and the other holidays. It is either: 1) À Noël -- At Christmas (in general) or 2) Le jour de Noël -- On Christmas Day. Can you point me to what you have difficulty with exactly? -- Chris (not a native speaker).
AnnC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
It is always à la St. Valentin et á la Aïd etc but just À Noël. Just wondering why
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
In the lesson you are referencing it is "à Pâques and, "à Hanoucca". The form "à la St. Valentin" is used for name days. Here is the corresponding lesson: Using prepositions with name days, like Saint Valentine's Day Hope that helps, -- Chris.
AnnC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
MarianC1Kwiziq community member

Come on, Kwiziq, I was always taught that the accent mark on capital letters was optional.  I got this marked wrong because of the missed accent :( 

Why doesn't Noël use a definite article when other holidays do?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Ask a question

Find your French level for FREE

Test your French to the CEFR standard

Find your French level