why isn't it "Premiere erreur de ne pas faire" but is "Premieur erreur a ne pas faire"?

LeahC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

why isn't it "Premiere erreur de ne pas faire" but is "Premieur erreur a ne pas faire"?

Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Leah !

This is an excellent question.
The difference here relates to impersonal expressions.

Here's the rule:
- When you have a real subject, like "première erreur" - i.e. to do. - and that the infinitive is used intransitively (without a object), then the structure is:
[subject/adjective] + à + [infinitive]

La première chose  à faire... 
The first thing to do... 
C'est bon  à savoir. 
That's good to know. 

- When you have a *dummy* subject - i.e. it is to do - the structure is:
il est/c'est + [adjective] + de + [infinitive]

Il est difficile de parler. / C'est difficile de parler. 
It's hard to talk. 
Il est important de faire confiance à ses amis. 
It's important to trust one's friends.

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Helen !

Here it's not a case of impersonal expressions, but a case of reported (or indirect) speech, hence the use of de  : 

Je lui demande de venir.   -> I ask him to come.

Bonne journée !
LeahC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Merci beaucoup! Cela m'aide. Hope I can remember it. Best, Leah
HelenA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Je t'ai demandé de ne pas lui dire".  If this is a "real subject"and no direct object"wouldn't this be "à"? >> Je t'ai demandé à ne pas lui dire". Are we using de because there's an indirect object?
LeahC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Bonsoir Aurelie,

Merci beaucoup!

why isn't it "Premiere erreur de ne pas faire" but is "Premieur erreur a ne pas faire"?

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