Translations of "with"
Most of the time I see "avec" used to mean "with". For example "avec mon ami", "avec les garcons". But sometimes I see "de" used instead, for example: "J'ai essayé d'ouvrir la porte de toutes mes forces."
Are there are any specific rules or patterns that I can learn to better understand when each is appropriate?
The following is from this Duo thread : https://www.duolingo.com/comment/773467
One of the best things you can do to accelerate your French is to let go of the notion that French prepositions mean one and only one thing and can be simply translated (e.g. avec = with, de = of, sur = on etc.). No such perfect mapping exists and trying to act like it must will only lead to frustration. It's much better to clean the slate and learn that each French preposition has a set of contexts in which it must be used. In this case, it's "de (+ determiner) + (modified) noun indicates the manner in or the means with which something is done."
Actually the whole thread makes interesting reading with people squabbling over the use of plurals etc. It's quite amusing.
Bonne chance !