De

De - French preposition
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French preposition

The preposition de is generally summarized as "of, from, or about," but it has quite a few more meanings and uses than that.

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

    le   les   But…   la   l’
de   du   des       de la   de l’

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

J’ai promis de le faire – I promised to do it.

1) Origin or starting point

  Il est du Midi.   He’s from the South of France.
      Nous arrivons de Lille.   We’re arriving from Lille.

2) Reference point

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

3) Possession

  la voiture de Nicole   Nicole’s car
  la poste de Brest   Brest’s post office

4) Description, defining feature

      la soupe de tomates   tomato soup
  un bébé de 3 mois   a three-month-old baby

5) Contents

      un verre de vin   glass of wine
  un film de guerre   war film, film about war

6) Cause or reason

      rougir de honte   to blush with shame
  être mécontent de la décision   to be annoyed about the decision

7) Means or manner

  dessiner de la main gauche   to draw left-handed
      regarder d’un air admiratif   to look at admiringly

8) Start of a period of time / range

      J’ai travaillé de 8h à midi.   I worked from 8am to noon.
  du lundi au samedi   from Monday to Saturday

9) Presentation of agent in the passive voice

  Elle est très appréciée de ses étudiants.   She is well liked by her students.
  Je serai accompagné de mon père.   I’ll be accompanied by my father.

10) After verbs

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

11) After adjectives

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

12) After merci

  Merci de votre assistance.   Thank you for your assistance.
  Merci de vs Merci pour

 Related lessons

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Une tasse de thé de Chine
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