Lesson 1.2 Why does de appear in '' D'ou venez vous? '' when there is no '' of '' in the meaning '' Where do you come from '' Does the '' de ''in that sentence mean '' from ''?


Salut Andrew, Thank you for your post! That's a very good question, and you've got it right! 'De' in that question does translate as 'from.' A more literal translation of the question would be 'Of/From where come you?' It doesn't make much sense to say that in English so we translate it as 'Where do you come from?' I hope this helps! All the best with your French learning. :) Marie-Claire


Salut Marie-Claire Je me trouve que le mega-verbs très bénéficial. Merci Sandie


Bonjour Marie-Claire! I have an important question about French. I have a French phrasebook by the product of Lonely Planet. And on Rocket Languages it say that, where are you from, is , D'ou venez vous , and in my phrasebook it says Vous venez d'ou. Does this mean the same thing and is good for saying to a French? Or is my book is wrong and if it is or is not please tell me why so i can know next time. Merci!


Bonjour! Je suis contente que vous le trouvez bien Sandie! Keyatta, both sentences have the same meaning and both are used in everyday language in France. J'éspère que cela vous aide! - I hope this helps! - Marie-Claire


Cette instructione. Je ne suis pas d'accord.  Puisse on dit avant l'infinitive?

Before a verb:
Note that when the verb is at the infinitive, « de » should be added in front of « avant ».

Nous vous laisserons les clés avant de partir.

We will leave you the keys before we leave.

Faites vos devoir avant d’arriver en classe.

ites vos devoir avant d’arriver en classe.



Hello Edith,

I don't understand your question. The last phrase seems to be cut off at the beginning. About what forum post or lesson are you speaking?




I answered, but didn't see here.  The question does not depend on the last phrase.  The question is: the instruction in the lesson said,"Before a verb:
Note that when the verb is at the infinitive, « de » should be added in front of « avant ».

Is that not correct?  All examples are after.





My question was, "What lesson are you talking about?". Try just copying the URL for the lesson and I will see if I can make sense of what you are asking. 

Ok, I found the lesson you are talking about:


I think I understand your confusion, but I better leave this for later (or for somebody else) to explain. The usage of de in this forum post is different from the usage in that lesson.

  • D'ou venez vous
  • Vous venez d'ou
  • Positioning of avant before a verb in the infinitive requires de to be used.




I think you are right. the instruction is not written correctly in the lesson.

I also have a question about this lesson quiz.

The first question is:

Which word would you pick to specify a location?
 Avant - Qui est situé dans la partie antérieure de quelque chose. La portière avant d’une voiture.
 Derrière  - Les soldats valides ont laissé les blessés derrière. 
 Devant  <== RF says this is the right answer
x All are correct

Devant is a great answer for specifying a location, but only if Avant and Derrière are not there.
What do you guys think? Am I the only one that got the question wrong by selecting "All are correct?"

Back to your question.
The usage of avant is really complicated, so I understand how they failed miserably in that lesson to describe it completely or even properly. Not sure I could do it on my first try either.
You point out that they propose a rule where avant should have de before it if the verb is in the infinitive (they say "at" but they mean "in"). Well, that would make it de + avant = d'avant.
I see why you posted your question over there that torusan answered:


They wrote avant when used...  Before a verb: Note that when the verb is at the infinitive, « de » should be added in front of « avant ».   Nous vous laisserons les clés avant de partir. We will leave you the keys before we leave.   Faites vos devoir avant d’arriver en classe. Do your homework before coming to class.
  1. The two examples they give do not really match the instruction.
  2. The de is added after avant in the first example (not in front of like they explain).
  3. In the second, de is also after avant. Devoir should be plural if it means homework and it must match in number with vos I think arriver translates as arriving rather than coming in English, but that's not important since we get the idea.
avant que - conjonction
avant de - préposition  <=  this is the rule for the two examples given.
avant - prèfixe
avant - préposition <= this is the focus of the lesson
avant - nom  (sports, war, vehicles, buildings) It's the thing that is in the front of the game or battle, etc.
avant - adverbe <= Le mois d'avant. Le paragraphe avant. Il faut faire ceci avant.
avant - adjectif <= plongeon avant, pont avant, essieu avant

If you don't have antidote, this site is close: 

Tiring language, isn't it? Every book I pick up and most web sites have so many errors that it becomes depressing to participate. Doesn't matter if the books are written by authoritative natives or PhD's at Harvard and Yale. They all need serious help to review, rewrite and rewrite again. Anyhow, this lesson can use some work when somebody has some time to organize the topic and put in an effort. Anybody can dash off a few phrases, but to give a real explanation of the parts of speech, diagram the sentences, and provide real English translations that work takes some effort.


p.s. I didn't like this question either. Let me see if anybody has an opinion. What is the best way to ask the question so that the answer is "devant":

Which would you use to translate “It’s right before your eyes”
"It's right before your eyes", uses which French word :
Fill in the missing word, « Il est ____ tes yeux. »
Translate "before":
  •  Avant
  •  Devant
  •  Derrière
  •  None of the above
Feel free to roll you own...


Bonjour là!

Yes, I am sorry Edith you are right to point this out. The de should indeed come after avant and before the infinitive.
I have sent the corrections to the technical team and the explanation should be changed to:
Note that when the verb is in the infinitive, « de » should be placed after « avant », creating the structure avant + de + (infinitive).

Keep up the good work!

   -   Marie-Claire

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