Expressing distance '(at) ... km from ...' = à ... de ... (prepositions)

In French, to say that a place or a person is (at) a certain distance  from somewhere, you use the expression:

 à [distance] de [lieu]
Look at these examples:

Je suis à 5 minutes de Paris.
I'm at 5 minutes from Paris.

Tu habites à 10km de Lille.
You live 10km from Lille.

Note that the distance can be expressed as a duration5 minutes from Paris - or as a physical distance - 5 km from Paris.

ATTENTION:

In French, you must always use à before the distance:

Je suis cinq minutes de Paris. -> Je suis à cinq minutes de Paris. 

Note also that when locations are introduced by the definite articles le and lesde contracts into du and des 

Je suis à 5 minutes du cinéma.
I'm 5 minutes from the cinema.

L'école est à 15 minutes des magasins.
The school is 15 minutes from the shops.

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

L'école est à 15 minutes des magasins.
The school is 15 minutes from the shops.


Je suis à 5 minutes de Paris.
I'm at 5 minutes from Paris.


Tu habites à 10km de Lille.
You live 10km from Lille.


Je suis à 5 minutes du cinéma.
I'm 5 minutes from the cinema.


Q&A Forum 6 questions, 15 answers

JackC1Kwiziq community member

Numbers v numerals

The test answers are inconsistent; sometimes dix is changed to 10 and minutes to min and heurs to h.   And sometimes not!  IMHO if it is written as a word in the question then it should be written as a word in the answer ie ten = dix  and hours = heurs.

Asked 1 month ago

Numbers v numerals

The test answers are inconsistent; sometimes dix is changed to 10 and minutes to min and heurs to h.   And sometimes not!  IMHO if it is written as a word in the question then it should be written as a word in the answer ie ten = dix  and hours = heurs.

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LizC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Very confused!

I wrote à dix minutes de Marseille and it was wrong; corrected to à 10 mins de ...  What is the difference since writing out numbers for time is OK elsewhere. 

Asked 2 months ago
CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Liz,

Could you try to report this with the Report it button in your correction board, failing this, we need more detail on the specific quiz as 'minutes' should have been accepted, I think...

Very confused!

I wrote à dix minutes de Marseille and it was wrong; corrected to à 10 mins de ...  What is the difference since writing out numbers for time is OK elsewhere. 

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ElizabethA2Kwiziq community member

Hello, Thank you for this lesson. Would we use 'de la' if the lieu is féminin? I only saw a mention of du/des. Thank you.

Asked 7 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Elizabeth, 

Yes, you could say for example -

"Nous sommes à 5 km de la maison "

Hope this helps!

ElizabethA2Kwiziq community member

Thank you!

Hello, Thank you for this lesson. Would we use 'de la' if the lieu is féminin? I only saw a mention of du/des. Thank you.

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MarnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I’m vs kilometres

I was marked “almost right” when I used ‘kilometres’ instead of ‘km’.  Do you always abbreviate distances?
Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Marnie !

I've had a look at your Correction Board, and Chris's intuition was right: you forgot the accent on "kilometres", hence the Nearly Correct mark :)

When reporting about specific scoring issues, please use the "Report it" button in your Correction Board, which sends us a link straight to the question you're referring to :)

Bonne journée !

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Are you sure you spelled it correctly (kilomètres)?
MarnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Yes

I’m vs kilometres

I was marked “almost right” when I used ‘kilometres’ instead of ‘km’.  Do you always abbreviate distances?

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LouiseC1Kwiziq community member

In the quiz it marked wrong when I spelled out dix minutes. in the answer it had 10 mins

Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonjour Louise, I think your response is correct and this does seem to be a programming miscue. I am not aware of any grammar rule that requires to use the number (10) in lieu of spelling it out. Bonne chance. Ron
ChuckC1Kwiziq community member
I was marked wrong when I spelled out dix minutes but it was because I misspelled Marseille. That was explained to me when I reported the issue.
BonnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
And I wrote dix minuts, forgetting the final e of minutes, It seems to me that mispellings like that and Marseille spelled wrong should be yellow errors, not red.
Louise asked:View original

In the quiz it marked wrong when I spelled out dix minutes. in the answer it had 10 mins

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MarkB1Kwiziq community member

This doesn't quite seem like a reasonable thing to count as a miss:

Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Mark ! Unfortunately, I cannot see which question you're referring to when you contact us through the Q&A section. If you have a specific question-related issue, please click the "Report it" button next to the relevant question in your Correction Board. À bientôt !
BonnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Mes parents habitent ________ .My parents live ten minutes from Marseille
BonnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Since it's written out in English, you'd expect to write it out in French.
BonnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Since it's written out in English, you'd expect that it should be written out in French.
AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour Bonnie !

I've had a look at your Correction Board, and the reason you were marked down is that you wrote "à dix minuts de Marseille" which was incorrect.
"à dix minutes de Marseille" as well as other alternatives are accepted as correct by the system :)

For similar questions, in the future please use the "Report it" button in your Correction Board, as it links directly to the specific quiz take you're referring to, and makes it easier for us to answer you :)

Bonne journée !

LindaB2Kwiziq community member

2 hours from chartes I wrote as à deux heures de chartes and it was marked wrong giving the correct response of à 2h de chartes??????

This doesn't quite seem like a reasonable thing to count as a miss:

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