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French Prepositions with Countries and Continents

Which preposition should you use with a country or continent?

Introduction | Countries and Continents
States and Provinces | Cities and Islands | Test

When trying to determine which preposition to use with a country or continent, the only difficulty is in knowing its gender.

Nearly all countries that end in e are feminine and the rest are masculine. There are just a few exceptions:

  • le Belize
  • le Cambodge
  • le Mexique
  • le Mozambique
  • le Zaïre
  • le Zimbabwe

All continents end in e and all are feminine.

Once you know the gender, it is a simple matter to decide which preposition to use.*

  1. Masculine and plural countries take à or de plus the appropriate definite article.
     > Except for masculine countries that begin with a vowel, which take en to mean to/in and d' to mean from.
     
  2. Feminine countries and continents take en or de with no article.
Country is: To or In From
masculine and starts with consonant au du
masculine and starts with vowel en d'
feminine en de / d'
plural aux des

Examples:

Masculine country Feminine country Plural country Continent
Je vais au Togo. Elle va en Chine. Il va aux Fidji. Tu vas en Asie.
Je suis au Togo. Elle est en Chine. Il est aux Fidji. Tu es en Asie.
Je suis du Togo. Elle est de Chine. Il est des Fidji.  Tu es d'Asie.

*Islands follow their own rules.

Prepositions with

Test on geographical prepositions

Countries   US states   Canadian provinces

More French Prepositions     French Dictionaries

  

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