Bonjour tout le monde,

J'aimerais savoir s'il existe un règle qui peut expliquer pourquoi, dans les exemples que vous trouverez dessous-ci, par exemple, parfois on doit utiliser à et d'autres fois pour ou de. Pour référence, je suis une anglophone; j'apprécie des réponses soit en anglais soit en français.

  1. J'étais la première personne dans notre groupe à tomber du vélo.

  2. Je cherche une machine capable de faire les cappuccinos en moins qu'une minute!

  3. Elle est trop fatiguée pour sortir ce soir.

  4. Je connais pas lequel utiliser pour cet exemple: J'ai déjà visité Paris la semaine dernière, mais je n'y ai passé que 2 jours, donc il y a encore beaucoup ___ découvrir.

Et aussi, si vous remarquez des erreurs dans l'orthographe ou la grammaire, s'il vous plaît, dites-moi pour que je puisse le dire correctement à l'avenir.

P.S. Je sais qu'il existe une autre question très semblable à la mienne, mais elle n'adresse que la distinction entre pour et de, et ça fait du bien de (?) pouvoir lire d'autres explications quand même !

Merci d'avance !

  • 1
    As far as I know, there is no rule of thumb for most of these, you simply have to learn them, for instance here, or here. That said, 2. -> "en moins d'une minute", 4. -> "la semaine"; "à découvrir". "des erreurs d'orthographe ou de grammaire", "dites-le-moi" "mieux m'exprimer à l'avenir".
    – MorganFR
    Oct 20, 2016 at 13:01
  • Thanks for the corrections. From what I gathered, the 2 links you shared are about verb + preposition (à/de/pour) + infinitive, but my confusion lies in the noun/adj + preposition + infinitive construction, so the mystery behind which preposition to use in these cases lives on, unfortunately.
    – Hannah
    Oct 20, 2016 at 13:18
  • What you want to know is basically how to translate "to" in those sentences. While the links I gave you do not refer to adjectives per say, you should note that before the adjective, there is a verb (here, mostly "être" and "avoir"), followed by an infinitive, so while this list is not exactly what you want, it is a pretty good start. Unfortunately, there is no comprehensive rule for your exact predicament either. And a list would be hard to find, because the combinations of verb+adjective+infinitive are endless.
    – MorganFR
    Oct 20, 2016 at 13:27
  • 1
    It's "lequel utiliser" with nothing in between. And you should also say "je ne sais pas" instead of "je ne connais pas" in that case ^^ It's a little off topic but you should learn the different between "Savoir" and "Connaître". To keep it short, "savoir" for facts, rules, general knowledge, etc. and "connaître" is mostly for people, movies, songs, ... If you can say "If heard of X" you should use "connaître", almost anyting else is "savoir". Oct 20, 2016 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


You can learn every case but it's way too much work and not reliable. What you have to realize is that every preposition express different single specific thing, such as goal, cause, mean, ... Does this ring a bell ?

In french you'll have this preposition used for a,c and another one for b and d while in English you'll have one for a and d and another for b and c.

For example, to in english in used to express many different things, and being able to differentiate them helps a lot to find the preposition in French. If you can replace to with in order to for example, it expresses goal (You should then use "pour" most of the times). In "*I'm the first one to do that" obviously it's not at all the same thing that's expressed, so it will likely be a different preposition in French (in this case, it's à). Do you get the idea ?

You should try looking into that. You'll surely find things if you search "cause, moyen, but" (cause, mean, goal), there are others but I can't remember ^^ Learn to identify what case it is, then learn what preposition is used in each case, there are rules for that.

I hope that answers your question.

  • 1
    You're right, I didn't want to include too much but this is definitely a small thing that adds greatly. I'll edit my post. Oct 21, 2016 at 7:59

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