Venir de, d', du, des + country / state / region = To come/be from

We know that countries, regions, states or counties have genders in French. See Continents, countries, regions & states are masculine, feminine or plural (gender).

Now look at these examples:

Je viens de France.
I come from France.

D'où venez-vous ?
- Nous venons du Texas.

Where do you come from?
- We come from Texas.

Elles viennent d'Andalousie.
They come from Andalusia.

Martin vient du Pays de Galles.
Martin comes from Wales.

Elle vient d'où?  
Elle vient des États-Unis.

Where does she come from?
She comes from the United States.

 

Note that when saying the country, region or state someone comes from in French, you use the verb venir followed by:

- de (or d' in front of a vowel or mute h) when the country/region/state is feminine 

- du (or d' in front of a vowel or mute h) when the country/region/state is masculine

- des when the country/region/state is plural


ATTENTION: note the cases of English provinces ending in -shire which are masculine

Elle vient du Lancashire.
She comes from Lancashire.

Je viens du Yorkshire.
I come from Yorkshire.

 

Note that Le Québec behaves like a country, even though it's a province:

Mon petit-ami vient du Québec.
My boyfriend comes from Quebec.

 

See also the related lessons: Je viens de + [city] = I'm from + [city] and En, dans = In, to with regions, states, counties (prepositions)

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Martin vient du Pays de Galles.
Martin comes from Wales.


Je viens de France.
I come from France.


Mon petit-ami vient du Québec.
My boyfriend comes from Quebec.


Elles viennent d'Andalousie.
They come from Andalusia.


Je viens du Yorkshire.
I come from Yorkshire.


D'où venez-vous ?
- Nous venons du Texas.

Where do you come from?
- We come from Texas.


Elle vient du Lancashire.
She comes from Lancashire.


Elle vient d'où?  
Elle vient des États-Unis.

Where does she come from?
She comes from the United States.


Je viens d'Angleterre.
I come from England.


de


Je viens de France.
I come from France.


Q&A Forum 13 questions, 42 answers

NandiniA0Kwiziq community member

Rule of Venir

hi 

Is this appropriate to say.

"Je viens au marche." 

which can say " I am coming to the market." 


Asked 17 hours ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Nandini,

I think you would say -

Je vais au marché = I am going to the market 

Je viens au marché avec toi/vous = I’m coming to the market with you 

 

 

 

 

 

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Yes, sounds correct to me.

Je viens au marché. -- I am coming to the market.
Je viens du marché. -- I am coming from the market.

Rule of Venir

hi 

Is this appropriate to say.

"Je viens au marche." 

which can say " I am coming to the market." 


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Tom RuneC1Kwiziq community member

Contraction of "du" in front of vowel

Is it correct that "du" in this very specific case is contracted to " d' " in front of a vowel, rather than the regular "d l' "?

Asked 1 week ago

Contraction of "du" in front of vowel

Is it correct that "du" in this very specific case is contracted to " d' " in front of a vowel, rather than the regular "d l' "?

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ShivaniA0Kwiziq community member

Préposition

Shivani A1 

We use de, du and des with venir verb and country, region or state. What preposition will we use with verb aller and country? e.g I go to Canada.

Asked 1 month ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Shivani,

To say you go to a country you will use -

aller en/au/aux  + pays 

1.For feminine countries, you will use:

en

Je vais en France, en Italie, en Belgique...

2. For masculine countries you will use:

au

Je vais au Canada, au Brésil, au Maroc, au Portugal ...

3. For plural countries you will use:

aux

Je vais aux États-Unis, aux Pays-Bas, aux Caraïbes, ...

Take a look at the following Kwiziq lesson which will give you more examples -

https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/grammar/use-en-with-feminine-countries-and-aux-with-masculine-countries-to-say-in-or-to-prepositions

Hope this helps!

 

 

LisaA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Hi Cécile,

I’ve just been going over (and over) prepositions used with geographical places as outlined in your answer. But I’m a little confused by the first two sentences.

You answered “To say you go somewhere you will use: aller à + pays.” The only time I know of when it’s just “aller à” is with a city, otherwise it’s en, au, aux, dans le/la, etc. Please help me understand. 

Thank you! 

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Lisa,

Having re-read my answer I agree that it was misleading and have re-phrased my explanation , I hope it is more understandable ...

You would in fact use 'à' with cities mainly unless the towns, villages have a 'le'  or 'la' or 'les' in front of hem and it would then be :

au , à la, aux

e.g.

Je vais au Havre

Je vais à la Baule

Je vais aux Baux de Provence

 

 

Hope this helps!

DavidA1Kwiziq community member

Hi,

I thought venir de meant <> Je viens de manger mon diner.

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi David,

This is just two ways of using the verb 'venir de'( to come from) in different ways and with different meanings -

If you want to say that you come from a particular place you will use -

'venir de ' + place

e.g.

Je viens du Maroc I come from Morocco

Nous venons de chez mes parents = We are coming from my parents' house

The other use is -

Venir de + faire quelque chose = To have just done something

so it will be:

venir de + verbe

e.g.

Je viens de faire une bêtise I have just done something stupid

Je viens d'aller en courses I have just been shopping

Nous venons de vous dire ça! We have just told you that!

Hope this helps!

Préposition

Shivani A1 

We use de, du and des with venir verb and country, region or state. What preposition will we use with verb aller and country? e.g I go to Canada.

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JoanA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

How about the difference between 'être de' and 'venir de'?

Are these sentences correct?

Je suis de France/ Je suis de la France/ Je suis du Japon

Can  'être de' be followed by state/city/region/direction (le Nord, L'Est)? 

Asked 8 months ago
ÅbA2Kwiziq community member

No, the proper way to express that you come from / are from somewhere is to use venir, not être.

How about the difference between 'être de' and 'venir de'?

Are these sentences correct?

Je suis de France/ Je suis de la France/ Je suis du Japon

Can  'être de' be followed by state/city/region/direction (le Nord, L'Est)? 

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MichaelC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Can someone please define the difference between these two examples...du Pays de Galles and des Pays-Bas.

Is the first considered singular and the second plural?
Wales is sigular whereas The Netherlands is plural, in French?
Asked 11 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer
Yes. Actually, the Netherlands is plural in English as well.
FahadC1Kwiziq community member

keep in mind ‘pays’ is both singular and plural, depending on context. 

“ce pays” - this country; “ces pays” - these countries. The singular has an ‘s’ already, so it doesn’t change when you pluralise.

Can someone please define the difference between these two examples...du Pays de Galles and des Pays-Bas.

Is the first considered singular and the second plural?
Wales is sigular whereas The Netherlands is plural, in French?

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Claudia A2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Bonjour. In the audio "Dóu venez-vous? Nous venons du Texas" Nous venons sounds kind of strange in the beginning

Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour Claudia !

Thanks for letting us know ! Indeed, the audio here was reading the "-" (tiret) :(

Thanks to you, it's now been fixed.

Merci et bonne journée !

Bonjour. In the audio "Dóu venez-vous? Nous venons du Texas" Nous venons sounds kind of strange in the beginning

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JamieA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Small typo near the top of the page: "Now look at theses examples:" has "theses" for "these"

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team member
Thank you Jamie, have contacted Aurélie ...
AurélieKwiziq team member

Merci beaucoup Jamie !

The typo has now been fixed :)

Bonne journée !

Jamie asked:View original

Small typo near the top of the page: "Now look at theses examples:" has "theses" for "these"

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Tom RuneC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Definite articles with "de"

This is probably a hopeless question, but why do masculine countries require an article with "de" whereas feminine ones do not? Why not "Je viens de la France"?
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Hi Tom, I believe there is no explanation to your question except that that's just the way it is. Learn it and use it. Don't think about it too much.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Tom !

Yes, unfortunately, I have to go with Chris on this one : I cannot think of an explanation other than the very frustrating "That's just the way it is".

Désolée :)

RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonsoir Tom, To start, I do not believe this is a hopeless question. In French there are certain verbs that require a certain structure depending on usage, i.e. venir de, venir à, etc. We might, in English, call these a fixed phrase. However, depending on what follows the verb, the sense changes. So «Je viens de France» means I come from France, so in this case venir de is followed by a complement indicating the origin of the movement. With «Je viens à lui» means I come to him/her. In this case, venir à is followed by a complement indicating the terminus of the movement. Personally speaking, I have not heard the phrase «venir à» in use so I would suspect this to be somewhat colloquial. J'espère que ma réponse vous aiderait. Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière et qui a été utilisée par le monde français depuis l’époque d’Hugues Capet Ron (un locuteur non natif )
Tom RuneC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Thank you, but I was thinking more about the difference between “je viens de France » and « je viens du pays de Galles ». The latter is considered singular and masculine, as far as I understand. Why is the article “le” used with the masculine country (contained in the contraction “du”), while the feminine country doesn’t use an article?
Tom RuneC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Thanks. Yeah, I had a feeling, thus the "hopeless question" comment. Would it be fair to say that "en" never takes an article? That's my impression up until now, at least.

Definite articles with "de"

This is probably a hopeless question, but why do masculine countries require an article with "de" whereas feminine ones do not? Why not "Je viens de la France"?

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IanC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

So! with regard to English counties, Where does Mersyside come into it. Male or female?

Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Ian !

Mmmmmhhh, I checked to make sure that my first instinct was correct, and indeed, Merseyside is masculine in French:

J'habite dans le Merseyside.

See https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merseyside

This got me wondering whether all English counties are actually considered as masculine in French (regardless of their ending), so I went around to check.

It turns out that Merseyside seems to be the only -e county (except for the -shire ones), and all are masculine, with two notable exceptions:

- Cornwall, which in French is translated as la or les Cornouailles.
- Isle of Wight, which is a special case due to the term "île" : l'île de Wight.

J'habite en Cornouailles.
J'habite (sur) l'île de Wight.

Thanks to you, I learned something today :)

I hope that's helpful to you too!
Bonne journée !

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
I would treat it as a feminine region (the "-shires" being exceptions to the rule): Je viens de la Mersyside. Je vais en Mersyside. -- Chris (not a native speaker).
IanC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Thank you, Claus/Chris. On your advice, from now on I will treat it as feminine. :)
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonjour Ian, Chris, je m'excuse, mais voyez ces deux leçons-ci: Venir de, d', du, des + country / state / region = To come/be from Continents, countries, regions & states are masculine, feminine or plural (gender) English provinces ending in "-shire" are masculine Ron
IanC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Hi Ron, Thanks for your help, but I'm still confused. Are we saying then that all English counties are masculine?
IanC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Hi Ron, Thanks for your help, but I'm still confused. Are we saying then that all English counties are masculine?
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
The take-away from the lesson that I referenced would be that all of the «-shires» are masculine; if there are other counties that have endings other than -shire then they may be feminine or masculine. Aurélie clearly notes this in both of the lessons that I referenced. You might wish to consider addressing this to Aurélie specifically. I understand that she lives in the UK so would have first-hand knowledge. My response to your question is based solely on the lesson. Bonne journée,
IanC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Hi Ron, Thanks for taking the time to help me.I will take your advice and ask Aurélie. Merci encore et passez une bonne journée. Ian.
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Yes, of course the -shires are masculine. If you reread my original post that's what I said: they are the exception to the rule that all regions ending on e are feminine. I apologize if I haven't been clear on that. -- Chris.

So! with regard to English counties, Where does Mersyside come into it. Male or female?

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StewartC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Why is the 'i' in Lancashire and Yorkshire pronounced with an 'ur' sound and not an 'ee' sound?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Stewart,  

A French person living in Britain would try to pronounce the words Lancashire and Yorkshire like a native ( but with a French accent ) . A French person never having heard of these would pronounce the "i" as an "ee" " sound.

In the word "impossible " the sound "im " is a nasal sound and pronounced the same as "un" , "in", "ain" .

Hopes this helps! 

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Because it is a French speaker saying it. -- Chris (not a native speaker).
StewartC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
'i' is normally pronounced 'ee' by french speakers (as is the case with 'viens' in the Lancashire sentence) but this is not the case with the 'i' in Yorkshire and Lancashire.
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Well, there are several ways "i" could be pronounced. Take, e.g., "impossible". It's just the way it is. Take English: the "gh" in "rough" is different from the "gh" in "ghost" and the ine in "through". -- Chris.
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonjour Stewart, It seems to me that there are two things in the word that causes a bit different pronunciation: 1) the «i» is followed by an «r», which is not the case for viens 2) the second is that -shire ends in a silent «e», this does change the pronunciation some, i.e. consider the pronunciation difference between «lire» and «lis» or «lit».
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Hi Ron, I must confess that I can't discern any difference in pronounciation of the "i" among "lire", "lis" and "lit". But I do between "lire" and "imparfait". -- Chris (not a native speaker).
GruffKwiziq team member
Hi Stewart - as Cécile has explained, a French native with a good grasp of English would pronounce an English place name as close to the correct English pronunciation as possible. We use state-of-the-art synthethic voices which are trained to speak using very large databases of experienced French natives narrating texts, and since "-shire" is not a sequence of letters that appears in any French words the synthetic voice learns to pronounce English place names in the same manner as the experienced narrator.
It's quite likely though that in France you might hear other pronunciation attempts from people who had less familiarity with how we pronounce our place names.
Hope that helps!
StewartC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Thanks, that makes sense to me.
StewartC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Hi Gruff ... Yes that looks to be the answer.

Thanks

Why is the 'i' in Lancashire and Yorkshire pronounced with an 'ur' sound and not an 'ee' sound?

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DebbiA1Kwiziq community member

So you use des if the country is plural like Etas-unis, but Pays du Gaules is du?

Asked 2 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Debbi,

it is, Les Etats-Unis and Le Pays de Galles.

Used with Venir de :

Je viens des Etats-Unis.I come from the USA.

Nous venons du Pays de Galles. We come from Wales.

Hope this helps!

 

RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonjour Debbi, I think that you may be looking at this with an English perspective. The word «Pays» is a masculine, singular or plural noun meaning: 1) country 2) region 3) village all in the singular. The only time it becomes plural is when «des», a partitive article or «les» a definite article, precedes it, i.e. les pays, des pays. Le Pays du Gaules or du Pays du Gaules is the correct form. As for the U.S. we have: Les Etats-Unis, des Etats-Unis and aux Etats-Unis. I will admit that I have never seen «des Etats-Unis» used, perhaps I haven't read the correct articles but I don't see how that could be partitive. J'espère que ma réponse vous aiderait. Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière et qui a été utilisé par le monde français depuis l’époque d’Hugues Capet Ron (un locuteur non natif )
DebbiA1Kwiziq community member
Merci Ron!
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
C'était avec plaisir. Bonne journée.

So you use des if the country is plural like Etas-unis, but Pays du Gaules is du?

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LeoA1Kwiziq community member

Can one use this in the passe compose; Je suis venu; I came from?

Or the imperfect Je venais; I used to or was coming from?

Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour Leo, If you're talking about where you're from in the sense of where you grew up, no. Using a past tense would be suggesting that you you came from (passé composé) or used to come from (imperfect), say, New York, but now you come from somewhere else, which doesn't make any sense unless you're reincarnated. :-)

Can one use this in the passe compose; Je suis venu; I came from?

Or the imperfect Je venais; I used to or was coming from?

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AndyC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

American states

Do American states and regions for other countries, follow the same gender rules as countries themselves do?
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour Andy !

Regions, states and counties mostly follow the same rule as countries regarding gender, but for more details, please consult our newly added lesson: 
https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/grammar/prepositions-with-regions-states-counties 

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

American states

Do American states and regions for other countries, follow the same gender rules as countries themselves do?

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Clever stuff underway!