Why sometimes we use only 'à' and sometimes we use 'au' :

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Diogenes

Kwiziq community member

24 February 2019

2 replies

Why sometimes we use only 'à' and sometimes we use 'au' :

This question relates to:
French lesson "Using 'à' (to/in) and 'de' (from/of) with cities (prepositions)"

Diogenes

Kwiziq community member

24 February 2019

24/02/19

For example:      Je vais au Brésil

                              Je vais à Paris

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

24 February 2019

24/02/19

Hi Diagenes, 

Because most towns and cities don't have an article (le, la , les) in front of them, you will just use : 'à '

Je vais à Paris, à Rome, à Madrid, à Londres, à Calcutta, etc...

N.B. With some towns, cities and villages which have an article in front of them as Le Havre , Le Caire (Cairo) it will follow the rule - 

à + le = au 

Je vais au Havre, au Caire, etc...

Countries have an article in front of them so it will depend whether they are feminine ( La France) or masculine ( Le Brésil) , or plural (Les États-Unis).

e.g. Je vais en France, au Brésil, aux États-Unis...

Take a look at the following lesson which will give you more examples - 

https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/grammar/use-en-with-feminine-countries-and-aux-with-masculine-countries-to-say-in-or-to-prepositions

Hope this helps!

 

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