From the dictionary, it looks like biceps and triceps get the "le" since they're masculine:

But sometimes they are referred to as plural:

and sometimes singular:

In cases where we need to translate the biceps, is it both acceptable to translate it into les/le biceps since the plurality is ambiguous? e.g.

English French Singular / Plural
the left and right biceps les biceps gauche et droit PL
the left biceps le biceps gauche SG
the right biceps le biceps droit SG
the biceps les biceps / le biceps PL / SG

1 Answer 1


When talking about these muscles in general, the singular is more common than the plural:

Le biceps est un muscle du membre supérieur fléchisseur qui provoque le rapprochement de l'avant-bras vers le bras. Wikipedia

but it's not forbidden to write:

Les biceps sont des muscles des membres supérieurs fléchisseurs qui provoquent le rapprochement des avant-bras vers les bras.

I guess that would be similar in English ("The biceps is..." / "The biceps are...")

However, as soon as more than one actual muscle is involved, you need to use the plural:

Ils « poussent de la fonte » pour se muscler les biceps. (not "le" biceps).

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