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FRENCH INDEX FRENCH - grammar - VERBS 06 GRAMMAR: INDEX


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The second table on VERBS 03 included some verbs that take 'à' before a 'direct object' (ie not another verb). One of these, 'jouer' - 'to play' - takes 'à' before a *sport* - and 'de' before a *musical instrument*, as shown below.

jouer - to play He plays football. Il joue au [à+le] football.
jouer - to play He plays the piano. Il joue du [de+le] piano.

Other verbs, like these, take 'de':

s'approcher de - to approach He approaches the cars. Il s'approche des (de+les) voitures.
remercier (de) - to thank (for) He thanks his mother for the present. Il remercie sa mère du (de+le) cadeau.

Where it gets complicated though, is where 'à' and 'de' are both possible - and have *different* meanings.

I snatched the cake from my friend. J'ai arraché le gateau à mon amie.
I snatched my friend's cake.
(lit. I snatched the cake
of my friend.)
J'ai arraché le gateau de mon amie.

Other verbs that work similarly with 'à' and 'de' include 'prendre' ('to take'), 'emprunter' ('to borrow'), 'voler' ('to steal') and 'cacher' ('to hide').

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