French Lessons-French Preposition

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À – French Preposition

À is a very important French preposition, despite its tiny size. Its many different meanings and uses in French include all of the following:I. Location or destinationJ’habite à Paris – I live in ParisJe vais à Rome – I’m going to RomeJe suis à la banque – I’m at the bank II. Distance in time or space J’habite à 10 mètres de lui – I live 10 meters from him Il est à 5 minutes de moi – He is 5 minutes from me III. Point in time Nous arrivons à 5h00 – We arrive at 5:00 Il est mort à 92 ans – He died at the age of 92 IV. Manner, style, or characteristic Il habite à la française – He lives in the French style un enfant aux yeux bleus – blue-eyed child / child with blue eyes fait à la main – made by hand aller à pied – to go on / by foot V. Possession un ami à moi – a friend of mine Ce livre est à Jean – This is Jean’s book VI. Measurement acheter au kilo – to buy by the kilogram payer à la semaine – to pay by the week VII. Purpose or use une tasse à thé – teacup / cup for tea un sac à dos – backpack / pack for the back VIII. In the Passive Infinitive À louer – for rent Je n’ai rien à lire – I have nothing to read.
Note: When followed by the definite articles le and les, à contracts with them into a single word:
For example
à + le = au au magasin
à + les = aux aux maisons
But à does not contract with la or l’
à + la = à la à la banque
à + l’ = à l’ à l’hôpital
In addition, à does not contract with le and les when they are direct objects.

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