Using le, la, les with weights and measures (definite articles)

Note that in French we use the definite article (le, la, les) with weights and measures to mean per or a/an kilo, litre, etc

Look at these examples:

Le pâté se vend à 1,25 € les 100 grammes.
The pâté is sold at € 1.25 per 100 grams.

Les pommes coûtent 1,50 € le kilo.
The apples cost € 1.50 per kilo

J’ai payé 2000 € la tonne.
I paid € 2,000 per ton

Ça coûte 1,20 € le litre.
It costs € 1.20 per litre.

Il le vend 3 € la livre.
He sells it € 3 per pound.

-> Note here that livre (pound) is a feminine word, unlike livre (book) which is masculine (See Nouns that change meaning depending on whether they're masculine or feminine)

Note that a Euro is divided into 100 "centimes". Different countries use "cent" but since this means 100 in French, to avoid confusion, we continue to use the same word that was used before the adoption of the Euro.

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Ça coûte 1,20 € le litre.
It costs € 1.20 per litre.


J’ai payé 2000 € la tonne.
I paid € 2,000 per ton


Le pâté se vend à 1,25 € les 100 grammes.
The pâté is sold at € 1.25 per 100 grams.


Les pommes coûtent 1,50 € le kilo.
The apples cost € 1.50 per kilo


Il le vend 3 € la livre.
He sells it € 3 per pound.


Q&A Forum 7 questions, 9 answers

AlvinA2Kwiziq community member

Use of centime

When speaking can you say "un euro virgule cinquante centimes" or is it always "un euro et cinquante centimes"?

Perhaps the lesson on "Writing decimal numbers in French" could be updated to cover this topic as well.

Asked 4 months ago
TomC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Hi Alvin,

In informal speech the usual way of saying 1,50 € is: un euro cinquante in efect the word euro is acting as the virgule. It is not necessary to add the centimes.

Hope this helps,

Tom

Use of centime

When speaking can you say "un euro virgule cinquante centimes" or is it always "un euro et cinquante centimes"?

Perhaps the lesson on "Writing decimal numbers in French" could be updated to cover this topic as well.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

DinaA2Kwiziq community member

usage of à

Hi! I don't quite understand the usage of à in the examples: Il le vend 3 € la livre; and Le pâté se vend à 1,25 € les 100 grammes. The verb is same, constraction is same. What's the difference? Can i use both? Thanks!

Asked 8 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Dina, 

In fact , in the case of the verb 'se vendre' you can say both -

'Le pâté se vend (à) .....les 100g' , with or without the à which is idiomatic...

You could also say -

'Les pommes sont à ....... le kilo aujourd'hui' = The apples are ..... per kilo today 

But well spotted!

 

DinaA2Kwiziq community member

Thanks Cecile, very helpful!

usage of à

Hi! I don't quite understand the usage of à in the examples: Il le vend 3 € la livre; and Le pâté se vend à 1,25 € les 100 grammes. The verb is same, constraction is same. What's the difference? Can i use both? Thanks!

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

AniqueA1Kwiziq community member

my question below: I don't understand why It cannot be both answers

Asked 10 months ago
CécileKwiziq team member

answered...

my question below: I don't understand why It cannot be both answers

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

AniqueA1Kwiziq community member

"Les roses coûtent 30€ la douzaine." / "Les roses coûtent 30€ par douzaine."Which sentence is correct ?

Asked 10 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Anique,

Only :

"Les roses coûtent 30€ la douzaine" 

is correct.

"Les roses coûtent 30€ la douzaine." / "Les roses coûtent 30€ par douzaine."Which sentence is correct ?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

KariB2Kwiziq community member

Do we say the word cent after the "cents"

In the sound files in this lesson it sounds like they are saying the word "cent" after the cents for currency. Is that correct? I went back to the lesson on decimals and they don't pronounce it that way on that lesson or am I just hearing it wrong? Example Ça coûte 1,20 € le litre. They appear to say "un euro vingt cent". Thanks
Asked 2 years ago
GruffKwiziq team member
Hi Kari That's a great question. A euro is divided into 100 centimes. So, "1,20" here is being pronounced "un euro et vingt centimes". The english word is "cents' but it's "centimes" in French because "cent" means one hundred and that would be confusing, and of course that's also the origin of the word "centimes". Hope that helps!
GruffKwiziq team member
P.S. The French "franc", which was the currency that was used in France before the Euro was adopted, was divided into 100 "centimes", and so this word has stayed in the vocabulary. You'll hear people write and say both "cents" and "centimes".

Do we say the word cent after the "cents"

In the sound files in this lesson it sounds like they are saying the word "cent" after the cents for currency. Is that correct? I went back to the lesson on decimals and they don't pronounce it that way on that lesson or am I just hearing it wrong? Example Ça coûte 1,20 € le litre. They appear to say "un euro vingt cent". Thanks

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

AndyC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Elles sont à 2,35€ le kilo.

I noticed in one of the writing tests "They cost..." one translation is given as "Elles sont à..." or "they are at..." Is the à after être required when talking about prices and measures in French, or is it optional? ~Thanks for your help.
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Andy ! Yes, in that case, you would need to use "être à" + price: "Cette chemise est à 45 euros." However this doesn't apply to measures, for which you simply use the verb "mesurer": "Cette table mesure deux mètres." I hope that's helpful! Bonne Année!

Elles sont à 2,35€ le kilo.

I noticed in one of the writing tests "They cost..." one translation is given as "Elles sont à..." or "they are at..." Is the à after être required when talking about prices and measures in French, or is it optional? ~Thanks for your help.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

MaryA2Kwiziq community member

I heard "un euro virgule vingt-cinq" and "un euro virgule cinquante."

when I listened to the first two sentences, This is not how currency was explained in the lesson How To Write Decimal Numbers In French.
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Mary ! Thank you very much for reporting these bad sound files: they've now been fixed! Merci et à bientôt !

I heard "un euro virgule vingt-cinq" and "un euro virgule cinquante."

when I listened to the first two sentences, This is not how currency was explained in the lesson How To Write Decimal Numbers In French.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Clever stuff underway!