I have been trying to teach myself French for a year and I can read French books just fine, so I decide to work on reverse translation thinking it might help me with my poor sentence forming skills. I don't know any French speaking people, but I have a few questions that I couldn't find exact answers to in books or on google, maybe because they're silly questions, I'm not really sure. Anyhow, first question / example which I'm taking from one of my language books:

Permettez-moi de vous en prêter un peu (argent).

Is there a way in a sentence like this or similar ones that I might know how to choose between à and en? As when I was trying to translate that sentence from English to French I had thought it would be "à prêter", would that also be acceptable?

Second example:

De chez la modiste, sans doute?

The English sentence was, "From the modiste's no doubt?" So why chez there? I thought it would have been "de le" or "de le part" or "du".

Thanks in advance for any assistance.


There is no way to use the préposition à instead of the pronoun en. En refers to argent here.

Permettez-moi de vous prêter peu d'argent.


Permettez-moi de vous en prêter un peu.

In the second sentence, chez means home/place/shop/... :

De chez la modiste, sans doute ?

and matches the genitive used in the English sentence:

From the modiste's no doubt?


From the modiste's shop no doubt?

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  • First, thanks for the reply, I appreciate your time and effort in replying. With the second example, I understand the meaning of chez and how it is used in the sentence, I was hoping to understand more about making the proper choice of words, would any of my other examples to replace chez have been acceptable, or is there a specific reason why chez was used in that sentence? Thanks again. – C.De. Dec 6 '18 at 21:44
  • De la part de la modiste is correct, but has a different meaning. Here, the modiste herself is giving something while with chez, the object just comes from the modiste's shop. The modiste herself might not have been there and/or aware of this fact. De la modiste is a little ambiguous, might mean from the modiste or belonging to the modiste or even about the modiste. It needs more context to be clear. – jlliagre Dec 6 '18 at 21:53
  • Thanks again for following up. I think I understand, so the reason chez was used is because it came from a shop or place of business rather than simply from a person? – C.De. Dec 6 '18 at 22:00
  • Yes, that's exactly the point! – jlliagre Dec 6 '18 at 22:05

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