Preposition de

The French preposition de means from or of and has many usages.

  • De is used to expression possession

La voiture de Jacques Jacques’ car
La maison de Marie Marie’s house
Le vélo de Jean Jean’s bike

  • What something holds

une tasse de café a cup of coffee
un bol de soup a bowl of soup
une assiette de fromage a plate of cheese
un verre de vin a glass of wine

  • Partitive article – when contracted

du fromage some cheese
de la crème some cream
des pommes some apples

  • Expression of origin

l’avion de Paris the plane from Paris
Elle est de Lyon. She’s from Lyon.
à partir de demain Starting from tomorrow
de 6 h à 14 h from 6 o’clock to 2 o’clock

  • Translates to of

Je suis fier de toi. I’m proud of you.
la fin de l’histoire the end of the story

  • Distinguishing labels

la banque de commerce the trade bank
la faculté de droit law department
le bureau de poste post office

  • By means of

écrire de main gauche to write with the left hand
pousser du pied to push with the foot

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  • What a thing is for or how it’s described

la classe de francais French class
la raquette de tennis tennis racket
la voiture de sport sports car
numéro de téléphone telephone number

  • Avoir expressions

avoir envie de to want
avoir peur de to fear
avoir besoin de to need
avoir honte de to be ashamed of

  • Many verbs are followed by de

accepter de to accept
décider de to decide
demander de to ask
refuser de to refuse
penser de to think of
parler de to talk about

  • Time expressions

de temps en temps from time to time
de bonne heure early
de nos jours nowadays
d’abord first of all

  • Faire expressions and activities

faire du stop to hitchhike
faire du mal to hurt
faire du vélo bike riding
faire du ski skiing
faire de la voile sailing
faire de la moto motorcycling
faire des études to do one’s studies

  • Compound prepositions

à cause de because of
au milieu de in the middle of
auprès de next to
le long de along

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