Using 'à' (to/in) and 'de' (from/of) with cities (prepositions)

Look at these sentences using à and de:

Je vais à Paris
I'm going to Paris

Il va au Havre.
He's going to Le Havre

Elle est à New York.
She is in New York.

Note that you use à when describing going to or being in a city.  
And you use de to indicate being, coming or returning from a city. 


ATTENTION: 
With city names containing a definite article (e.g. La Rochelle / Le Havre), you will use à La or de La for feminine nouns, and the contracted forms au or du for masculine nouns:

Il revient de Londres
He's coming back from London.

Je suis de La Rochelle
I'm from La Rochelle

On va à La Nouvelle-Orléans la semaine prochaine.
We're going to New Orleans next week.

Mon oncle vient du Havre.
My uncle comes from Le Havre.

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

On va à La Nouvelle-Orléans la semaine prochaine.
We're going to New Orleans next week.


Je vais à Paris
I'm going to Paris


Je suis de La Rochelle
I'm from La Rochelle


Il revient de Londres
He's coming back from London.


Elle est à New York.
She is in New York.


Il va au Havre.
He's going to Le Havre


Mon oncle vient du Havre.
My uncle comes from Le Havre.


Je viens de Paris
I'm coming from Paris


Q&A

Maxine

Kwiziq community member

30 August 2018

1 reply

Is there a Alexa lesson on à au de du I just can't get this one

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

30 August 2018

30/08/18

Bonjour Maxine !


Here's a link to our related lesson:


https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/grammar/contractions-of-articles-a-le-au-a-les-aux-de-le-du-de-les-des


I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

Stewart

Kwiziq community member

23 June 2018

5 replies

Use of sur ?

In 'Lawless French - Grammar Lessons there is the following example denoting 'going to' that uses SUR not À.

un vol SUR Paris > a flight to Paris

'sur' is not mentioned in the lesson above, could you please explain.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

3 July 2018

3/07/18

Hi Stewart ,


Yes you can also say "Un vol pour Paris" or "un vol sur Paris" .


It reminds me of the film/book  'Un taxi pour Tobrouk'.


I personally think of 'sur' as 'in the direction of' -


i.e. "Demain je vais sur Paris."


Just another way of expressing where you are going.


Hope this helps!

Stewart

Kwiziq community member

3 July 2018

3/07/18

Thanks Cécile.


Presumably you can also say 'Un vol à Paris.'

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

4 July 2018

4/07/18

Not really, in this case, you would have to say 'Un vol de Londres à Paris" which is often abbreviated to 'Londres-Paris'.


The à in your example (and in the lesson) stands for 'in' .


Hope this helps!

Stewart

Kwiziq community member

4 July 2018

4/07/18

Hi Cécile


From reading the lesson I had thought that because you could say: Je vais à Paris (I'm going to Paris), you could also say Un vol à Paris (a flight to Paris ... which in a complete sentence might read "the next day I took a flight to Paris) which I can now see would not be correct.


Thanks


Stewart

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

5 July 2018

5/07/18

...It would be  "Le jour suivant j'ai pris un vol pour Paris"


"J'ai acheté mon vol à Paris" would be "I bought my flight in Paris."


Bonne continuation!

Emily

Kwiziq community member

25 December 2017

2 replies

How do you know whether to use à or de in front of the place name?

Ron

Kwiziq community member

26 December 2017

26/12/17

Bonsoir Emily,


«à» is used to denote GOING TO a place,
i.e. je vais à Paris or je vais au cinéma.


«de» is used to express COMING FROM a place,
i.e je viens de Paris or je viens du cinéma.


Je vais de Londres à Paris.
I'm going from London to Paris.

Sharmila

Kwiziq community member

14 January 2018

14/01/18

Following the verbs venir or aller

Rene

Kwiziq community member

23 December 2017

3 replies

Micro quiz -

There doesn't seem to be a micro quiz in this lesson.

Ron

Kwiziq community member

25 December 2017

25/12/17

Is there a green bar where the quiz usually is? The quiz shows on my PC for the lesson

Rene

Kwiziq community member

25 December 2017

25/12/17

Ron, merci pour votre réponse. It doesn't show on my Smartphone, but I just tried it on my laptop and I can see the micro-quiz. I'll keep this in mind next time a micro-quiz "disappears". :-)

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

16 February 2018

16/02/18

You'll be pleased to know micro kwizzes have been restored. You can read more here:


https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/blog/micro-kwizzes-back/

Johnny

Kwiziq community member

27 July 2016

1 reply

City name that has an article?

Is there a way to know which city has an article in its name? Is there a list? Are Los Angeles and Las Vegas considered cities with an article?

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

27 July 2016

27/07/16

No, they're not, because those aren't French articles (they're Spanish), so they're just considered part of the name.

I looked, but couldn't find a definitive list.

Janice

Kwiziq community member

6 June 2016

2 replies

Hello, I'm struggling with these preopositions! So you say

Janice

Kwiziq community member

6 June 2016

6/06/16

Sorry - pressed enter and posted too soon :-)

So, you say...
Il est en Angleterre maintenant = He's in England now.

Yet
Elle est à New York = She is in New York

I can't see the difference! They are both IN somewhere.
Thanks

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

6 June 2016

6/06/16

Bonjour Janice,

This is just a particularity of French: you need à with cities, but au or en with countries, depending on their gender.
Thinking...