French preposition à
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French preposition

The preposition à is generally summarized as "to, at, or in," but it has quite a few more meanings and uses than that.

  When à is followed by the definite article le or les, the two words must contract.

  le les But… la l’
à au aux   à la à l’

 However, à does not contract with the direct objects le and les.

Je me prépare à le faire – I’m getting ready to do it.

1) Destination

     Nous allons à Nice. We’re going to Nice.
 Je veux conduire à la poste. I want to drive to the post office.

2) Location

 Habitez-vous à Toulouse ? Do you live in Toulouse?
 Elle est à l’école. She’s at school.

3) Distance

 Nous sommes à deux kilomètres de la plage. We’re two kilometers from the beach.
 Il habite à 20 minutes d’ici. He lives 20 minutes away from here.

4) Point in time

     Elle va arriver à midi. She’ll arrive at noon.
 J’ai publié mon premier livre à 25 ans. I published my first book at 25.

5) Until

 à demain until tomorrow
 à la prochaine until next time

6) Range

     Il me faut 2 à 3 heures pour le faire. I need 2 to 3 hours to do it.
 du lundi au samedi from Monday to Saturday

7) Purpose or use

     un verre à vin wine glass (glass for wine)
 un sac à main hand bag

8) Characteristic

 une fille au teint pâle pale-skinned girl
 chaussures à talon haut high-heeled shoes

9) Manner or style

 une robe à manches dress with sleeves
 un tapis fait à la machine machine-made rug

10) Measurement

 acheter au kilo to buy by the kilo
 faire du 110 km à l’heure to go 110 km per hour

11) Possession

 C’est à moi. It’s mine.
 Cet argent est à Michel. This is Michel’s money.

12) In the passive infinitive

 à vendre for sale
 Nous n’avons rien à faire. We have nothing to do.

13) After verbs

 Many verbs must be followed by à in front of a noun or infinitive.

14) After adjectives

 Some adjectives must be followed by à in front of a noun or infinitive.

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À - French preposition

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