Prepositions with Islands and Cities

French prepositions with islands and cities
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Prépositions avec îles et villes

French prepositions with islands and cities are easier than with other geographical names because gender plays no role. You just need to think about number (singular vs plural) and whether you’re coming or going.

Going to / Being in an island or city

1) Singular: à

Je vais à Cuba. I’m going to Cuba.
Tu es à Madagascar ? Are you in Madagascar?
Il va à Rouen. He’s going to Rouen.
Elle est à Orange. She’s in Orange.

Four islands include an article:

  1. à la Barbade
  2. à la Dominique
  3. à la Grenade
  4. à la Jamaïque

As do cities that have an article in their name (it contracts with the preposition according to the normal rules):

  • Le Havre > au Havre
  • Le Mans > au Mans

2) Plural: aux

Je vais aux Bahamas. I’m going to the Bahamas.
Il est aux Fidji. He’s in Fiji.

Again, cities with an article in the name contract:

  • Les Lilas > aux Lilas
  • Les Sables-d’Olonne > aux Sables-d’Olonne

Coming from an island or city

1) Singular: de

Je viens de Cuba. I’m coming from Cuba.
Tu arrives de Madagascar ? Are you arriving from Madagascar?
Il rentre de Rouen. He’s returning from Rouen.
Elle vient d’Orange. She’s from Orange.

Same deal with articles in island and city names:

  • de la Barbade
  • de la Dominique
  • de la Grenade
  • de la Jamaïque
  • du Havre
  • du Mans

2) Plural: des

Je viens des Bahamas. I’m coming from the Bahamas.
Il arrive des Fidji. He’s arriving from Fiji.
  • Les Lilas > des Lilas
  • Les Sables-d’Olonne > des Sables-d’Olonne

Geographical Prepositions Quiz

Think you’ve got it? Test yourself on the French geographical prepositions with this fill-in-the-blank exercise: Un été international

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French prepositions with cities and islands

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