1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. A question about "de"


A question about "de"

Here are two sentences which contain "de". Is it wrong or does it mean different if "de" is not used?

  1. Il y a quelque chose "de" plus important.

  2. Il y avait cette chanson à la radio le jour "de" notre rencontre.


May 15, 2020


[deactivated user]

    In both cases the "de" is necessary for the French to be correct. Without the "de", in both cases, you do not so much change the meaning as remove it - it would be incorrect.

    You cannot translate verbatim between French and English - we may say "there is something more important" (without any other word) rather than "there is something of more important" - but in French that isn't how it would be read. The de is required.

    Ditto the second sentence - you have to just learn French phrasing and accept it is different.


    The de is required.

    The English do that as well, if Downton Abbey is to be believed:

    "But there always seems to be something of Johnny Foreigner about the Catholics." --Robert Crawley, season 3, episode 4


    They are both wrong if "de" is omitted.

    1. In French when you want to say "something + adjective", the construction is "quelque chose de + adjective". For example:

    Something funny - quelque chose de drôle

    Something sad - quelque chose de triste

    Something more important - quelque chose de plus important

    1. Think about what "le jour de notre rencontre" means - (literally) the day of our meeting/encounter. It would make no sense if "of" was removed, right?

    Edit: not sure why my formatting is messing up: e.g. I definitely have "2" as the second numbering in the comment box, but in the comment it displays "1". Weird.

    Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.