French Grammar: The Preposition À

French Grammar: The Preposition [À]

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French Grammar: The Preposition [À]
la grammaire française: la préposition [À]

The preposition [À] means “at”, “in”, or “to”  in French!

Study:

The preposition [À] means “at”, “in”, or “to” in French!

The preposition [À] frequently indicates a moment in time or a location:

Je déjeune à midi.
I eat lunch at noon.

Il habite à Paris.
He lives in Paris.

Nous allons à la bibliothèque.
We are going to the library.

Several French verbs require the preposition [À].  When used this way, [À] often has no English translation. These verbs include:

aller à : to go (to someplace)

Tu vas à la piscine?
Are you going to the pool?

demander à : to ask (someone)

Il faut demander à mes parents.
I have to ask my parents.

donner à : to give (to someone)

Donnez l’argent à Claude.
Give the money to Claude.

penser à : to think of (someone; something)

Je pense souvent à ma famille.
I often think about my family.

répondre à : to answer (someone; something)

Elle répond à la lettre.
She answers the letter.

When the preposition [À] is combined with the definite article LE, they contract to create a new word: AU.

Ils vont au théâtre.
They are going to the theater.

Vous répondez au téléphone.
You (formal) answer the telephone.

Mes amis mangent au restaurant.
My friends eat in the restaurant.

Elles sont au cinéma.
They are at the movie theater.

When the preposition [À] is combined with the definite article LES, they contract to create a new word: AUX.

Je parle aux enfants.
I speak to the children.

Ils sont en vacances aux montagnes.
They are on vacation in the mountains.

There is never a contraction with the preposition [À] and the definite article LA or L’.

Nous allons à la maison.
We are going to the house.

J’étudie à l’université.
I study at the university.

Adapt: 

Vous allez où?
Where are you (formal) going?

Je vais au musée.
I am going to the museum.

Il donne le livre à qui?
He is giving the book to whom?

Il donne le livre à Michel.
He is giving the book to Michael.

À quelle heure est le cours de français?
At what time is the French class?

Le cours de français est à quatorze heures.
The French class is at 2:00 p.m.

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