Ask Marie #1: French prepositions à, au, en

P : When talking about a country or a place, how can I make sure to use the right preposition between au, aux, à, en?

R : It depends on the place you’re referring to.

  • You’re talking about a city or an island? Use À (Ex. Je vais à Montréal, à New York, à Paris, à Madagascar)
  • You’re talking about a masculine* country? Use AU (Ex. au Mexique, au Canada, au Venezuela)
  • A plural country? Pick AUX (Ex. aux États-Unis)
  • A feminine* country? Then it’s EN (en Colombie, en Espagne, en France)

Tip: feminine countries usually end with the letter “E”, like Colombie, France, Suisse, Allemagne. Exceptions: Mexique and Mozambique, both masculine.

 

See also:

Using Y in French

Using EN in French

Qui or Que?

Je suis sorti or J’ai sorti?

Pour, pendant, depuis?

C’est ou Il est?

De or Du?

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