I was tutoring a French student the other day. We were doing some math homework on fractions, and one question read:
Les trois huitièmes de la solution sont de ... Le quart est de ... Quelle partie reste de ... ?
Naturally, the English equivalent would be:
Three eighths of the solution consist of ... A quarter consists of ... What is the remaining fraction that consists of ... ?
Does anyone have a good answer for why this would be definite in French? (After all, there's more than set of "three eighths"!) Or is it just one of those arbitrary quirks?