Bien, puisque Marie est avec nous, peut-être devrions-nous parler beauté ?

I stumbled upon this strange phrase that doesn't have preposition "de" after verb "parler". What is the difference from "parler de beauté"? Or the right phrase may be "parler de la beauté".

2 Answers 2


Il s'agit d'une construction réduite (reduction) sans préposition (de) avec parler ou ses synonymes (principalement discuter et causer) touchant leur emploi transitif indirect/appelant un objet indirect (with parler and its synonyms typically calling for a preposition when introducing an indirect object ; note parler can also be used differently i.e. intransitive or transitive with a direct object) ; le résultat n'est pas un objet direct (shouldn't be equated with a direct object scenario). Il n'y a pas de différence de sens (same meaning) mais certains peuvent percevoir la tournure comme plus familière (may feel more colloquial) (LBU14 §296 a, pour l'ensemble des informations et les exemples suivants).

Parler : Parlons politique. (Hugo)
Causer : On causait art, philosophie, politique et littérature. (Gide)
Discuter : Il n'avait aucune envie de discuter métaphysique avec ce brave Paterson. (Martin du Gard)
Bavarder : [...] bavarder flirt, toilette et potins. (Lichtenberger)


The correct sentence is usually using the preposition : parler de beauté.

However in some contexts, you might decide to drop the preposition. In my opinion (it is just the way I interpret it when I read it or hear it, I have no other proof), the main interest of dropping the de is to emphasis the object of the verb, and draw more attention to the object than to the verb.

Parlons affaires : The objective here is to make business, not to talk.
Causons politique : More than just chatting, I want to communicate about politics.
Elles parlent chiffons (idiom) : They are talking about futile stuff. What I want to communicate is not that they are talking, but that what they are doing is not interesting according to me.

Please notice that you can only do that if the object complement is very general. You cannot say something like Parlons Jonathan or Causons ma voiture.

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