De vs en

JoakimC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

De vs en

Are these competely interchangeable for specifying what something is made of or are there pronounciation rules that indicate which one is better for a particular word?
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Joakim ! I would say that "en" implies that this is the main (and often only) element the thing is made of, whereas "de" would imply that it's one of the elements composing the thing, but there must be more. Colloquially, "en" is used more often than "de". I hope that's helpful! Bonnes Fêtes et à bientôt !
DavidB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Could you add some clarification re: wedding bells, baseball cap, tennis racquet, door knob, golf club, soccer ball, soccer field, sunglasses, Christmas tree, water tank, bus stop, fire truck, etc.

By your lesson, these should all be “à” (what something is designed for), but in fact this whole genre is “de”.

Specifically, why is it “boîte à bijoux” and not “boîte de bijoux” ? Other than convention.

Clearly, these are not just a few exceptions, but an entire class of compound nouns (open form, noun+noun) that is not covered in the lesson.

Thank you.

DavidB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Put in wrong place

De vs en

Are these competely interchangeable for specifying what something is made of or are there pronounciation rules that indicate which one is better for a particular word?

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