French Grammar Explained /

To come from - How to use "venir de"

"Where are you from?" is a common question and one of the first things you'll be asked when traveling abroad.
It is also one that I am most likely to ask everyone.
Well, to understand this question in French, and be able to reply, you'll need to know venir de.
What does it mean?
It means to come from.
So venir = to come.
Oui !
Tu viens d'où ? / Vous venez d'où ?
Where are you from?
Countries have gender, since they are nouns. The following forms are used for feminine, masculine, plural, and countries beginning with a vowel:
Je viens du Sénégal.
Je viens de Tunisie.
Je viens d'Afghanistan.
Je viens des Pays-Bas.
  • Togo/Sénégal (masculine, ends with any other letter than E)
  • France/Tunisie (feminine, ends with an E)
  • Iran/Afghanistan (starts with a vowel)
  • États-Unis/Pays-Bas (plural, ends with an S)
There are only 6 exceptions to this rule! Six countries ending with an E are actually masculine:
le Mexique
le Zimbabwe
le Cambodge
le Mozambique
le Suriname
le Belize
Et toi, tu viens d'où ?
Easy! Je viens du Berlin.
Close! All cities are considered without gender. Which means that you would always use de.
So... Je viens de Berlin ?
Très bien ! Et moi je viens de Paris.
⇒ Let's recap:
For masculine countries like le Sénégal, le Japon, le Canada...
→ you use the preposition .............
For feminine countries like la Belgique, la France...
→ you use the preposition .............
For countries that begin with a vowel like l'Iran, l'Italie... → you use the preposition .............
For plural countries like les États-Unis, les Philippines...
→ you use the preposition ............ For cities like Berlin, Paris, New-York... → you use the preposition .............
So, how did you do?
Not bad! I remembered everything. Now I want to practice!
*solution: du, de, des, d', de
That's a lot of information, and it might feel like a bit too much right now. But don't worry about it now, when you have your Live Lessons, your tutor will help you learn to say what city and country you're from. You can just memorize it.