When you write The Little Shop in French there seems to be a number of ways to write it. I am wanting to write it as follows 'Le Petite Boutique' but is this incorrect? or should it be La Petite Boutique or even Le Petit Boutique (no e on petit). Please help my head is spinning : )

  • For the reference, the title of the musical "Little Shop of Horrors" was translated to "La Petite Boutique des horreurs" into French
    – Laurent S.
    Oct 8, 2020 at 15:21

1 Answer 1


As always there must be agreement of the article in gender and in number with the gender and number of the noun; since "boutique" is féminine and in the singular and since the feminine singular article is "la" you should write "La petite boutique". The same principle is applied to adjectives (petite). If "The Little Shop" is the title of a book or the name of a shop, you keep the upper case letters for the first letter of the title (La petite boutique) but you write the whole title in italics.
Independently of this principle of translation, if you want to name as shop in French you can use lower case letters if you prefer; there is no rule for that: the choice is considered to be a matter of style, of personnal taste.

  • 1
    You observed them but you should also clearly state that capitalization rules differ between English and French.
    – jlliagre
    Oct 8, 2020 at 7:05
  • There is also the case: "La Petite boutique" respecting the capitalization rules of French.
    – Dimitris
    Oct 8, 2020 at 9:54
  • @Dimitris I fail to identify the rule you are referring to; what is it?
    – LPH
    Oct 8, 2020 at 11:45
  • If I remember correctly, the rule dictates that one should write "La Petite boutique" (Petite with capital letter; boutique with lower case. But I cannot find the rule here: roberge.mus.ulaval.ca/gdrm/03-majus.htm#titres-francais So may be I am missing something:-)!
    – Dimitris
    Oct 8, 2020 at 13:14
  • 1
    @Dimitris Traditionally it would be “La Petite Boutique”: capitalize the first word, the first noun, and also adjectives qualifying the first noun if they come before it. But just capitalizing the first word (even if it's an article) is common nowadays. Oct 8, 2020 at 15:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.