I understand that, as a general rule, in French, we add definite articles before a country’s name. E.g.: J’aime la France. However, I also understand that if the country’s name comes after “de”, and the country is feminine, then, we omit the definite article. E.g.: Je viens de France. However, I am terribly confused by the phrase “Au service de la France” - why is there a definite article after “de” in this phrase?
Indeed, the definite article is omitted when using the expression 'venir de' if the country is feminine. For masculine countries, this doesn't apply.
Je viens des États-Unis = I come from the United States
Je viens du Mexique = I come from Mexico
With verbs and expressions such as 'être au service de + [noun]' you use de + definite article when you are being very specific about whom you are offering your service to (being a country or a company)
Je suis au service du Roi = I am in the service of the King
Je suis au service de ton entreprise = I work for your business
Un fonctionnaire est au service de l'État = a civil servant serves the State
Take a look at one of our partners' site here: Verbs and Expressions with de / du, de la, des
I hope this is helpful.
Bonne journée !
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