1

According to the dictionary of the French Academy the verb apparaître does not require a preposition, like in the example:

Les difficultés apparaissent déjà.

Yet, in both online and printed sources I have come across sentences like these:

De nouvelles possibilities apparaissent.
De délicats souliers en verre apparaissent à ses pieds menus, elle ressemble à une princesse.

Is it acceptable to use apparaître with a prepositional phrase with DE? Does the verb acquire a new meaning in this case?

Many thanks for providing an answer.

8
  • 2
    The de here is not a preposition but the partitive article; some delicate glass shoes appear on her small feet. (Not that you would ever use some here in English, but you need it in French.) Commented Jun 10, 2023 at 20:52
  • Shouldn't there be DES before a plural noun?
    – Val
    Commented Jun 10, 2023 at 20:54
  • 1
    In formal writing, if there is a plural adjective before the noun, the partitive article is simply de. See the answer to this question. (Apparently, this rule is often ignored in speech.) Commented Jun 10, 2023 at 20:54
  • Thanks for such a clear explanation, Peter.
    – Val
    Commented Jun 10, 2023 at 20:58
  • De/des is tricky. I would say: de nouvelles possibilités apparaissent, but most probably des possibilités nouvelles sont apparues, for example.
    – Frank
    Commented Jun 10, 2023 at 21:13

1 Answer 1

3

The de here is not a preposition but the partitive article1:

some delicate glass shoes appear on her small feet.

Not that you would ever use some here in English, but you need it in French.

1 In formal writing, if there is a plural adjective before the noun, the partitive article is simply de. See Partitive before adjective?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.