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, de, and Other Prepositions

A preposition shows the relationship of a noun or a pronoun to another word in a


sentence, clause, or phrase. In general, prepositions are followed by verb
infinitives, nouns, or pronouns.
A few of the most commonly used prepositions are:
(at; to; in)
en (in; on)
avec (with)
pour (for; to, in order to)
de (of; from; about)
sans (without)

(at; to; in)

The preposition is used in a number of constructions.

To indicate location or destination (at, in, or to), and with the


names of most cities
Jhabite Bruxelles.
I live in Brussels.
Elles vont la banque.
Theyre going to the bank.
Est-ce que Pierre est la maison ?
Is Pierre at home ?

Meaning to or for, before an indirect object noun (usually a person


or a pet)
Tu donnes le pull Jacques.
You give the sweater
to Jacques.
Il demande le numro Chantal.
He asks Chantal for
the number.
Attends! Nous donnons manger Fido !
Wait up ! Were
feeding Fido !

There are some French verbs which always require before the
indirect object noun.
Le prof montre la leon
The professor shows the
lesson
ltudiant.
to the student.
Patrick, tu ne vas pas
going to
Maman?

Patrick, arent you


answer Mom?

De/d
The preposition de/d is used in four different ways:

To indicate where someone or something comes from


Est-ce que Salim est de Marseille ?
Is Salim from
Marseille ?
Nous arrivons dOrlans.
Were coming from
Orlans.

To express possession and the concept of belonging to or being a


part of something.
There is no possessives (apostrophe s) in French.
Voici la valise de Mme Leblanc.
Heres Mme
Leblancs suitcase.

Tu travailles la librairie
university
de luniversit ?

bookstore ?

When used with the verb parler to mean about

De quoi parlez-vous?
about?
-On parle de la nouvelle
the new
picerie.

Do you work at the

What are you talking


-Were talking about
grocery store.

When used as a descriptive phrase before a noun


This type of phrase is the equivalent of an adjective in English.
Le professeur de chimie.
The chemistry
professor.
La vie dtudiant.
Student life.
Le livre de chinois.
The Chinese book.
Though English nouns can be used as adjectives (the history book),
French always uses de/d + noun in these cases (le livre
dhistoire).