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https://www.duolingo.com/Jonolef

À vs "de" before infinitive verbs. Are there any rules to know which to use?

There are some verbs like "organiser" which seem to use both and I always guess incorrectly when I'm unsure. I suppose I don't want to be guessing at all. I want to understand. Any help?

4 years ago

5 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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I don't think a preposition is linked to a verb in this way, more with an expression or a meaning of what you want to express. Can you give a sentence example?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jonolef

I guess the one that keeps flummoxing me is "organiser" I gather these two sentences are correct: "Je pense qu'il est temps pour moi d'organiser une fete" - I think it is time for me TO ORGANISE a party then... "Ca ne va pas facile a organiser" - That is not going to be easy TO ORGANISE. I cannot decipher a difference in the usage of TO ORGANISE and as a result cannot see why these two sentences should require a different word before the inifinitive.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jonolef

Here are two examples of what I am talking about. TO DO vs TO LOSE. Different verbs, different preceding words. I am trying to figure out how to guess in an educated fashion (as there will always be exceptions). Any more thoughts? C'est difficile à faire. It's hard to do. C'est triste de perdre un ami. It's sad to lose a friend.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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As I suspected, you made the wrong assumption here : in English, the to word is actually part of the verb, it's only translated as the infinitive form in French. The preposition isn't linked to the verb, but to the expression. Often, both prepositions are syntactically sound, but the meaning is different with each.

  • Difficile à (hard or difficult to) : difficile à faire, difficile à perdre, difficile à organiser
  • Triste de : triste de faire, triste de perdre, triste d'organiser
    • Notice the difference : c'est triste de pleurer (crying is sad); c'est triste à pleurer (it is so sad it makes you cry)

For further information on this issue, check these pages from French.about.com : 'à' preposition, 'de' preposition, 'à' vs 'de'.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johaquila
johaquila
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They correspond roughly to to and of, but as in English there are no easy rules from which you could deduce that it's "with regard to" but "in respect of".

4 years ago