Use of "de" in French

Reply Tue 15 Aug, 2017 07:59 am
I don't think I understand when to use "de" in french like in those cases, at first I though I had to use it when I had an infinitive clause after, but it seems it isn't always the case:

Mon unique désir est *de* (pouvoir la sauver)
Je veux (te tuer)
Tu aimes (manger)
dis-lui *de* (venir)
Je lui permets *de* (nager)

Could someone explain me in which cases should "de" be used and in which not? Thank you
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Reply Tue 15 Aug, 2017 11:01 am
Rule of thumb:

Soit pas de préposition, soit à, soit de, soit pour:

a. pas de préposition: verbes qui marquent du mouvement, du désir et de l'espérance, du gré et de l'aversion - Il espère acheter cette voiture; verbes auxiliaires comme vouloir, pouvoir, devoir, aller.

b. à: verbes qui marquent un commencement, un but, une direction, une tendance d'une action - J'aide mon ami à faire ses devoirs.

c. de: verbes qui marquent une fin ou une cessation d'une action - Il a choisi d'aller en Europe.

d. pour: emploie pour quand "to" en anglais peut signifier aussi "in order to"
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Reply Sat 24 Nov, 2018 08:00 pm
There are certain verbs that will always take de when followed by another verb. Some examples are essayer, rêver, and refuser.
So some sample sentences:
Elle essaye de venir. She is trying to come.
Elle rêve d’aller. She dreams of going.
Elle refuse d’écouter. She refuses to listen.
There’s really no rhyme or reason for what verbs take de, you just have to memorize them. Also remember that de is the article used with negation (il n’y a pas DE devoirs, etc.)
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Reply Mon 26 Nov, 2018 05:48 pm
In any case, it is mainly through practice, rather than by rules that are difficult to apply, that one can know whether there is a preposition and, if so, find the right preposition. In case of hesitation, including for the French themselves, there is the dictionary. One remark, we can say "j'aime manger", it is the current form but also "j'aime à manger", it is a literary form.
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