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Beginner French - Level A1

Overview

There are four grammatical constructions used to express possession in French: adjectives, pronouns, and two different prepositions. In English, we use ‘s (apostrophe s) to indicate that one noun possesses another. The French equivalent is the preposition de or à with the order of the nouns reversed. We will cover possessive adjectives and possessive pronouns in future units.

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French A1

 

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French Possession

Previously, we discussed how to talk about possession using possessive adjectives (my, your, his, etc..) In English, we also show possession by using an apostrophe.

Annette’s car.

John’s backpack.

In French, to show possession in the same way that we use an apostrophe, one should use the “possessive de.” Take a look at the same two examples to see their relationship:

Le sac-à-dos de John = The backpack of John = John’s backpack

La voiture d’Annette = The car of Annette = Annette’s car

Just as we learned with partitive articles, de must connect with any definite article that follows it.

The lion’s roar is loud. → Le rugissement du lion est fort.

The cow’s favorite food is grass → La nourriture favorite de la vache est l’herbe.

The bird’s color is yellow. → Le couleur de l’oiseau est jaune.

Dogs’ best friends are men. → Les amis des chiens sont les hommes.

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French prepositions can be difficult. Today we make French preposition DE easy to understand, remember, and use with bullet points and examples.
-credit: French Truly TV

Directions: Translate the following possessive phrases into French:

  1. Caroline’s house
  2. The goat’s color
  3. The man’s office
  4. The tiger’s roar
  5. Adam’s shoes

Answers:

  1. La maison de Caroline
  2. Le couleur de la chèvre
  3. Le bureau de lhomme
  4. Le rugissement du tigre
  5. Les chaussures d’Adam

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