In French, countries, continents, regions and states have genders. See Continents/countries/counties/regions/states are masculine, feminine or plural in French (Gender).
Learn how to use the French definite articles with continents, countries & region names
Now look at these sentences:
La France est un merveilleux pays.France is a wonderful country.
J'adore le Portugal et l'Italie.I love Portugal and Italy.
Les États-Unis sont un immense pays.The United States is a huge country.
Il adore l'Europe.He loves Europe.
Je déteste la Californie ou la Provence.I hate California or Provence.
Notice that in French, countries/continents/states/regions are used with the definite article le, la, l' or les, when used in general statements, unlike in English.
When talking about going to or from a country, you won't use the definite article.
See En/au/aux = In/to with countries and continents (French Prepositions).
NOTE that cities do not use articles:
J'aime Paris et Londres.I love Paris and London.
Want to make sure your French sounds confident?
We’ll map your knowledge and give you free lessons to focus on your
gaps and mistakes. Start your Braimap today »