I have stumbled across a phrase: "champion du monde de ..." I am a bit confused about the choice of articles.

The first, I suppose, means "champion of the world ..." and since in French we need articles almost everywhere, I am fine with it. But then following the same logic I would expect "du" instead of "de" for the second part like in "champion du monde du basket". Why do we actually need to skip a definite article here and simply put "de"?

Thank you!

  • "in French we need articles almost everywhere". Well there are some instances where English put an article and French does not : "je suis photographe" vs "I'm a photographer"
    – XouDo
    Commented Mar 30, 2021 at 12:43

1 Answer 1


In "champion du monde de basket", "Le monde" is definite (du = de le) whereas "basket" is a not an explicit thing but a general concept, a domain and is therefore indefinite.

The same rule applies frequently. For instance you would say "diplôme d'ingénieur" (engineering degree) and not "diplôme de l'ingénieur".

  • Thank you for the answer! May I also ask please why it is correct to say "faire du basket" even though "basket" here is also a general concept (correct me please if I am wrong). I know that some verbs may require "de" but I am not sure that verbs ca require "du".
    Commented Mar 25, 2021 at 13:24
  • I think this case is different. In the first case, "De" prefixes the domain (you can ask "De quoi est-il champion du Monde?). In the second case, "Faire de" is a specific form or the "Faire" verb which means to practice or sport or activity.
    – vc 74
    Commented Mar 25, 2021 at 13:58
  • Monde isn't a "nom propre" in this expression so I believe you should use champion du monde. On the other hand, Le Monde is a newspaper...
    – jlliagre
    Commented Mar 25, 2021 at 15:14
  • 1
    @jlliagre Thanks, fixed
    – vc 74
    Commented Mar 25, 2021 at 15:16

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