I am wondering when I should use "des" and "les". I know the grammatical point about using "articles definis" but I see different sentences on the Internet which made me confused.


Comment confire des légumes ?

Braiser des légumes.

Cuisinez les légumes.

Comment blanchir les légumes ?

Is it correct to say:

Je prépare des légumes frais pour cette salade ?

2 Answers 2


"Je mange des légumes." means : I eat vegetables. You don't know which are the vegetables. It is "indéfini".

"Je mange les légumes" would be equivalent to : I eat the vegetables. You know that you eat these vegetables. It is "défini".

Example : Je mange des légumes tous les jours. Mais aujourd'hui, j'ai mangé les légumes du jardin.


This question was already asked a couple of times, here and here for example, although no answer was accepted.

Both des and les can be used in your sentences.

Comment xxxx des légumes ?


How to xxxx vegetables ? (any kind of them)


Comment xxxx les légumes ?


How to xxxx the vegetables ?

with xxxx being one of the verbs of your examples (confire, braiser, cuisiner, blanchir, préparer...).

Here the meaning might be identical to the previous form, when the vegetables is representing "the vegetables in general" but it might also means "the vegetables that we are talking about, the vegetables I need to cook". The context should help figuring out which meaning is intended.

In the last sentence:

Je prépare des légumes frais pour cette salade

You tell you are using some fresh vegetables to make this salad while in:

Je prépare les légumes frais pour cette salade

you tell you use the fresh vegetables (all the ones that are already here) to make the salad.

  • 1
    Which sentence?
    – jlliagre
    Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 16:13
  • @jilliagre If I continue the sentence with "tel que", then which form would be correct? je prépare des(les) légumes frais tel que le concombre, le tomate et les petit pois pour cette salade. The nouns after "tel que" must be défini or not?
    – elli
    Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 16:50
  • They might be definite Je prépare les / des légumes frais tels que le concombre, la tomate et les petits pois or indefinite Je prépare des légumes frais tels qu'un concombre, une tomate ou des petits pois or partitive Je prépare les / des légumes frais tels que du concombre, de la tomate et des petits pois. The first option sounds more natural.
    – jlliagre
    Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 17:25

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