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De - French Preposition

Learn how to use the French preposition de


De is a very important and versatile preposition with many different meanings and uses in French. As a preposition, it can express or indicate all of the following:

I. Possession or belonging (learn more)

le livre de Paul - Paul's book

la bibliothèque de l'université - the university library

II. Starting point or origin (learn more)

partir de Nice - to leave from (out of) Nice

Je suis de Bruxelles - I'm from Brussels

III. Contents / description of something

une tasse de thé - cup of tea

un roman d'amour - love story (story of/about love)

IV. Defining feature

le marché de gros - wholesale market

une salle de classe - classroom

le jus d'orange - orange juice

V. Cause

mourir de faim - to die of / from hunger

fatigué du voyage - tired from the trip

VI. Means / manner of doing something

écrire de la main gauche - to write with one's left hand

répéter de mémoire - to recite from memory

Note: When followed by the definite articles le and les, de contracts with them into a single word:
For example
de + le=dudu salon   
de + les=desdes villes
But de does not contract with la or l'
de + la=de lade la femme
de + l'=de l'de l'homme
In addition, de does not contract with le and les when they are direct objects.
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