Venir de, d', du, des + country / state / region = To come/be from

We know that countries, regions, states or counties have genders in French. See Continents, countries, regions & states are masculine, feminine or plural (gender).

Now look at these examples:

Je viens de France.
I come from France.

D'où venez-vous ?
- Nous venons du Texas.

Where do you come from?
- We come from Texas.

Elles viennent d'Andalousie.
They come from Andalusia.

Martin vient du Pays de Galles.
Martin comes from Wales.

Elle vient d'où?  
Elle vient des États-Unis.

Where does she come from?
She comes from the United States.

 

Note that when saying the country, region or state someone comes from in French, you use the verb venir followed by:

- de (or d' in front of a vowel or mute h) when the country/region/state is feminine 

- du (or d' in front of a vowel or mute h) when the country/region/state is masculine

- des when the country/region/state is plural


ATTENTION: note the cases of English provinces ending in -shire which are masculine

Elle vient du Lancashire.
She comes from Lancashire.

Je viens du Yorkshire.
I come from Yorkshire.

 

Note that Le Québec behaves like a country, even though it's a province:

Mon petit-ami vient du Québec.
My boyfriend comes from Quebec.

 

See also the related lessons: Je viens de + [city] = I'm from + [city] and En, dans = In, to with regions, states, counties (prepositions)

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Je viens du Yorkshire.
I come from Yorkshire.


D'où venez-vous ?
- Nous venons du Texas.

Where do you come from?
- We come from Texas.


Elle vient du Lancashire.
She comes from Lancashire.


Elle vient d'où?  
Elle vient des États-Unis.

Where does she come from?
She comes from the United States.


Je viens d'Angleterre.
I come from England.


Martin vient du Pays de Galles.
Martin comes from Wales.


Je viens de France.
I come from France.


Mon petit-ami vient du Québec.
My boyfriend comes from Quebec.


Elles viennent d'Andalousie.
They come from Andalusia.


de


Je viens de France.
I come from France.


Q&A Forum 10 questions, 34 answers

How about the difference between 'être de' and 'venir de'?

Are these sentences correct?

Je suis de France/ Je suis de la France/ Je suis du Japon

Can  'être de' be followed by state/city/region/direction (le Nord, L'Est)? 

Asked 4 months ago

How about the difference between 'être de' and 'venir de'?

Are these sentences correct?

Je suis de France/ Je suis de la France/ Je suis du Japon

Can  'être de' be followed by state/city/region/direction (le Nord, L'Est)? 

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Can someone please define the difference between these two examples...du Pays de Galles and des Pays-Bas.

Is the first considered singular and the second plural?
Wales is sigular whereas The Netherlands is plural, in French?
Asked 7 months ago
ChrisC1Correct answer
Yes. Actually, the Netherlands is plural in English as well.

keep in mind ‘pays’ is both singular and plural, depending on context. 

“ce pays” - this country; “ces pays” - these countries. The singular has an ‘s’ already, so it doesn’t change when you pluralise.

Can someone please define the difference between these two examples...du Pays de Galles and des Pays-Bas.

Is the first considered singular and the second plural?
Wales is sigular whereas The Netherlands is plural, in French?

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Bonjour. In the audio "Dóu venez-vous? Nous venons du Texas" Nous venons sounds kind of strange in the beginning

Asked 8 months ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star

Bonjour Claudia !

Thanks for letting us know ! Indeed, the audio here was reading the "-" (tiret) :(

Thanks to you, it's now been fixed.

Merci et bonne journée !

Bonjour. In the audio "Dóu venez-vous? Nous venons du Texas" Nous venons sounds kind of strange in the beginning

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JamieA1

Small typo near the top of the page: "Now look at theses examples:" has "theses" for "these"

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq language super star
Thank you Jamie, have contacted Aurélie ...
AurélieKwiziq language super star

Merci beaucoup Jamie !

The typo has now been fixed :)

Bonne journée !

Jamie asked:View original

Small typo near the top of the page: "Now look at theses examples:" has "theses" for "these"

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Definite articles with "de"

This is probably a hopeless question, but why do masculine countries require an article with "de" whereas feminine ones do not? Why not "Je viens de la France"?
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1Correct answer

Hi Tom, I believe there is no explanation to your question except that that's just the way it is. Learn it and use it. Don't think about it too much.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

AurélieKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Bonjour Tom !

Yes, unfortunately, I have to go with Chris on this one : I cannot think of an explanation other than the very frustrating "That's just the way it is".

Désolée :)

RonC1
Bonsoir Tom, To start, I do not believe this is a hopeless question. In French there are certain verbs that require a certain structure depending on usage, i.e. venir de, venir à, etc. We might, in English, call these a fixed phrase. However, depending on what follows the verb, the sense changes. So «Je viens de France» means I come from France, so in this case venir de is followed by a complement indicating the origin of the movement. With «Je viens à lui» means I come to him/her. In this case, venir à is followed by a complement indicating the terminus of the movement. Personally speaking, I have not heard the phrase «venir à» in use so I would suspect this to be somewhat colloquial. J'espère que ma réponse vous aiderait. Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière et qui a été utilisée par le monde français depuis l’époque d’Hugues Capet Ron (un locuteur non natif )
Thank you, but I was thinking more about the difference between “je viens de France » and « je viens du pays de Galles ». The latter is considered singular and masculine, as far as I understand. Why is the article “le” used with the masculine country (contained in the contraction “du”), while the feminine country doesn’t use an article?
Thanks. Yeah, I had a feeling, thus the "hopeless question" comment. Would it be fair to say that "en" never takes an article? That's my impression up until now, at least.

Definite articles with "de"

This is probably a hopeless question, but why do masculine countries require an article with "de" whereas feminine ones do not? Why not "Je viens de la France"?

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IanC1

So! with regard to English counties, Where does Mersyside come into it. Male or female?

Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Bonjour Ian !

Mmmmmhhh, I checked to make sure that my first instinct was correct, and indeed, Merseyside is masculine in French:

J'habite dans le Merseyside.

See https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merseyside

This got me wondering whether all English counties are actually considered as masculine in French (regardless of their ending), so I went around to check.

It turns out that Merseyside seems to be the only -e county (except for the -shire ones), and all are masculine, with two notable exceptions:

- Cornwall, which in French is translated as la or les Cornouailles.
- Isle of Wight, which is a special case due to the term "île" : l'île de Wight.

J'habite en Cornouailles.
J'habite (sur) l'île de Wight.

Thanks to you, I learned something today :)

I hope that's helpful to you too!
Bonne journée !

I would treat it as a feminine region (the "-shires" being exceptions to the rule): Je viens de la Mersyside. Je vais en Mersyside. -- Chris (not a native speaker).
IanC1
Thank you, Claus/Chris. On your advice, from now on I will treat it as feminine. :)
RonC1
Bonjour Ian, Chris, je m'excuse, mais voyez ces deux leçons-ci: Venir de, d', du, des + country / state / region = To come/be from Continents, countries, regions & states are masculine, feminine or plural (gender) English provinces ending in "-shire" are masculine Ron
IanC1
Hi Ron, Thanks for your help, but I'm still confused. Are we saying then that all English counties are masculine?
IanC1
Hi Ron, Thanks for your help, but I'm still confused. Are we saying then that all English counties are masculine?
RonC1
The take-away from the lesson that I referenced would be that all of the «-shires» are masculine; if there are other counties that have endings other than -shire then they may be feminine or masculine. Aurélie clearly notes this in both of the lessons that I referenced. You might wish to consider addressing this to Aurélie specifically. I understand that she lives in the UK so would have first-hand knowledge. My response to your question is based solely on the lesson. Bonne journée,
IanC1
Hi Ron, Thanks for taking the time to help me.I will take your advice and ask Aurélie. Merci encore et passez une bonne journée. Ian.
Yes, of course the -shires are masculine. If you reread my original post that's what I said: they are the exception to the rule that all regions ending on e are feminine. I apologize if I haven't been clear on that. -- Chris.

So! with regard to English counties, Where does Mersyside come into it. Male or female?

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Why is the 'i' in Lancashire and Yorkshire pronounced with an 'ur' sound and not an 'ee' sound?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Stewart,  

A French person living in Britain would try to pronounce the words Lancashire and Yorkshire like a native ( but with a French accent ) . A French person never having heard of these would pronounce the "i" as an "ee" " sound.

In the word "impossible " the sound "im " is a nasal sound and pronounced the same as "un" , "in", "ain" .

Hopes this helps! 

Because it is a French speaker saying it. -- Chris (not a native speaker).
'i' is normally pronounced 'ee' by french speakers (as is the case with 'viens' in the Lancashire sentence) but this is not the case with the 'i' in Yorkshire and Lancashire.
Well, there are several ways "i" could be pronounced. Take, e.g., "impossible". It's just the way it is. Take English: the "gh" in "rough" is different from the "gh" in "ghost" and the ine in "through". -- Chris.
RonC1
Bonjour Stewart, It seems to me that there are two things in the word that causes a bit different pronunciation: 1) the «i» is followed by an «r», which is not the case for viens 2) the second is that -shire ends in a silent «e», this does change the pronunciation some, i.e. consider the pronunciation difference between «lire» and «lis» or «lit».
Hi Ron, I must confess that I can't discern any difference in pronounciation of the "i" among "lire", "lis" and "lit". But I do between "lire" and "imparfait". -- Chris (not a native speaker).
GruffKwiziq language super star
Hi Stewart - as Cécile has explained, a French native with a good grasp of English would pronounce an English place name as close to the correct English pronunciation as possible. We use state-of-the-art synthethic voices which are trained to speak using very large databases of experienced French natives narrating texts, and since "-shire" is not a sequence of letters that appears in any French words the synthetic voice learns to pronounce English place names in the same manner as the experienced narrator.
It's quite likely though that in France you might hear other pronunciation attempts from people who had less familiarity with how we pronounce our place names.
Hope that helps!
Thanks, that makes sense to me.

Hi Gruff ... Yes that looks to be the answer.

Thanks

Why is the 'i' in Lancashire and Yorkshire pronounced with an 'ur' sound and not an 'ee' sound?

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So you use des if the country is plural like Etas-unis, but Pays du Gaules is du?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Debbi,

it is, Les Etats-Unis and Le Pays de Galles.

Used with Venir de :

Je viens des Etats-Unis.I come from the USA.

Nous venons du Pays de Galles. We come from Wales.

Hope this helps!

 

RonC1
Bonjour Debbi, I think that you may be looking at this with an English perspective. The word «Pays» is a masculine, singular or plural noun meaning: 1) country 2) region 3) village all in the singular. The only time it becomes plural is when «des», a partitive article or «les» a definite article, precedes it, i.e. les pays, des pays. Le Pays du Gaules or du Pays du Gaules is the correct form. As for the U.S. we have: Les Etats-Unis, des Etats-Unis and aux Etats-Unis. I will admit that I have never seen «des Etats-Unis» used, perhaps I haven't read the correct articles but I don't see how that could be partitive. J'espère que ma réponse vous aiderait. Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière et qui a été utilisé par le monde français depuis l’époque d’Hugues Capet Ron (un locuteur non natif )
Merci Ron!
RonC1
C'était avec plaisir. Bonne journée.

So you use des if the country is plural like Etas-unis, but Pays du Gaules is du?

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LeoA1

Can one use this in the passe compose; Je suis venu; I came from?

Or the imperfect Je venais; I used to or was coming from?

Asked 2 years ago
LauraKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Leo, If you're talking about where you're from in the sense of where you grew up, no. Using a past tense would be suggesting that you you came from (passé composé) or used to come from (imperfect), say, New York, but now you come from somewhere else, which doesn't make any sense unless you're reincarnated. :-)

Can one use this in the passe compose; Je suis venu; I came from?

Or the imperfect Je venais; I used to or was coming from?

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American states

Do American states and regions for other countries, follow the same gender rules as countries themselves do?
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star

Bonjour Andy !

Regions, states and counties mostly follow the same rule as countries regarding gender, but for more details, please consult our newly added lesson: 
https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/grammar/prepositions-with-regions-states-counties 

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

American states

Do American states and regions for other countries, follow the same gender rules as countries themselves do?

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