au, à la, à l' et aux - Explanation

# A. C. Balaam #

Lis l'explication et complète les exemples avec les mots dans la liste!Read the explanation and complete the examples with the words in the list.
Some verbs in French work with the preposition à, which can mean "at", "to" or "in", or sometimes not translate into English at all (like with jouer, for example - je joue au tennis = I play tennis).

Aller (to go) is one verb that works with à, when it translates as "to" - Je vais à la - I go / am going to the post office.
Être is another example - in this case à would translate as "at" or "in" - Je suis à la poste - I am at / in the post office.

Parler + à = to talk to - je parle au - I am talking to the headteacher.
Donner + à = to give to - Il donne ses devoirs au - he gives his homework to the teacher.
s'intéresser + à = to be interested in - Elle s'intéresse aux - she is interested in films.

As you can see in some of the examples above, we need to be aware of how à works with the different definite articles (le, la, l' and les):

1. Feminine - very simply - à laJe vais à la poste. Je parle à la fille.
2. Vowel or silent "h" - very simply - à l'Il va à l'hôtel. Elle donne un cadeau à l'enfant.
3. Masculine - à and le combine and become "au"Tu vas au cinéma? Elles s'intéressent au football.
4. Plural: Similar to the masculine, à + les combine and become "aux"Il va aux États-Unis. Le professeur parle aux élèves.

So, to summarise:
à with le =
à with la
à with l'
à with les

The following pages give you practice in using these structures.