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.

closed as too broad by Stéphane Gimenez Dec 7 '18 at 17:24

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Please post one question at a time, with a meaningful title. – Gilles Dec 7 '18 at 20:14

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?

  • 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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