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  5. "Il habite à Paris."

"Il habite à Paris."

Translation:He lives in Paris.

March 21, 2013


  • 2829

When is it more appropriate to use "il habite" instead of "il vit" ?



TLDR; habiter is used most often when referring to where one lives, vivre is most often used to express how one lives.


In common French, very often you'll hear and see the verb "vivre" to mean "habiter". I think "Il vit à Paris" should be accepted.


Maybe it's a regional thing? Here in Québec, I never hear vivre used and was taught to use only habiter for where one resides. We were also taught demeurer in class, but that seems...stilted or something. I don't really hear anyone use it.


I still don't understand why you use "à" here instead of saying, "Il habite en Paris". Can you use both? or only "à" in this case? Does anyone know?


It's only because "en" is never used for cities.


(Except for Avignon and Arles ;-) )


Nah. This is just historical nonsense based on an old French regional dialect, correct common French is "à Avignon" and "à Arles". There's no grammar rule supporting an exception for Arles and Avignon.

No one will fight you for using "en" for Arles and Avignon, some French people use it as well, but be prepared to get corrected.


Absolutely no nonsense here - and it doesn't come from any dialect either ! "Aller en Avignon" used to mean you would go to the County of Avignon, not to the city itself. The use of "en" has lasted even if the county has disappeared. Maybe because in "à Avignon" the repetition of the "a" doesn't sound very well.


It's considered that it may come from provençal, which is an old French dialect. In provençal you used to add an "n" after the "à" with cities starting with a vowel.

And yes, there's also the theory based on the county of Avignon, but that wouldn't explain much regarding Arles and Alger, so this one I'm not really buying.

And regardless of where it's coming from, the fact is that there's not a single grammar rule in standard French supporting the use of "en" for any city. Especially not just for a few cities but not the others (no, the repetition of "a" doesn't work because if that was the rule we would say "en Annecy" or "en Angoulême" as well, and any other city starting with "a", which isn't the case).

That's why I consider all this historical nonsense.


when do we use à and when do we use en


How does à mean in, in the sentence "il habite à paris" i thought the meaning of à is "to"


In English, "to" means you are moving, "in" or "at" mean you're not.

In French, the distinction between moving or not is made through the verb. The preposition won't change :

à for a city : j'habite à Paris, je vais à Bruxelles. en for a country : je vis en France, je vais en vacances en Italie.


It's never a one-to-one mapping. That's just how it's said in French. Be fluid with translations. Don't ever get trapped in the mindset of every word having an exact translation in another language because that NEVER happens.


Hello everybody. When using <habiter> is it not correct to say J'habite Paris?


I don't really know if this is correct (I'm French but not a grammarian), but you can hear : j'habite Paris... It's quite current, actually


Ianswered "He resides in Paris" and was marked wrong. Is this wrong for Il habite à Paris ?


Sounds like he says, "Il habite a papa"


The audio would not play for me. The audio was fine for other listening exercises, but this one just would not play. Just an FYI.


I believe "resides' is more appropriate and I agree with my fellow Canadian Meg on this one

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