How to Use the French Adverb 'd'Abord' ('First, to Begin With')

'D'abord' is a versatile French adverb meaning 'first, to begin with,' and more

The adverb d'abord, pronounced "da bor," means first, at first, to begin with, in the first place, at the outset, anyway. It is a versatile, frequently used adverb that can fill many a role. Keep in mind that, as an adverb, the job of d'abord is to modify the action, in other words, the verb.

The Many Meanings of 'd'Abord'

Here are some examples of each meaning:

First: Nous irons d'abord à Rome. > We'll go to Rome first.

At first, initially, to begin with: J'ai cru (tout) d'abord qu'il s'agissait d'une blague. > At first, I thought it was a joke.

To begin with: D'abord, tu n'es même pas prêt ! > To begin with, you're not even ready !

Anyway: Et puis d'abord, Il a fallu le terminer. > And anyway, he had to finish it.

Expressions and Usage

  • Tout d'abord > first of all, first and foremost, first off, to begin with
  • Au premier abord > at first sight, initially
  • Dès l'abord > from the outset
  • Voie d'abord > surgical approach
  • Manière d'aborder > method of approach
  • Toi d'abord. > You first.
  • Pensez d'abord a soi. > Think of yourself first. / Look out for, look after number one.
  • La sécurité d'abord ! > Safety first!
  • Je vais rentrer d'abord chez moi. > I'll go home first.
  • être d'un abord facile > to be approachable, accessible, easy to reach
  • être d'un abord difficile > hard to approach, difficult to come to grips with, hard to reach, difficult to get to
  • Les raisons en sont diverses: d'abord... > There are various reasons: first...
  • D'abord, je dois trouver mon livre, et puis nous pourrons commencer. > First I need to find my book, and then we can start.
  • Il semblait d'abord sympathique, puis il a commencé à crier. > He seemed nice at first, then he started shouting.
  • Tout d'abord, le Conseil européen de décembre se prononcera sur son approbation. > First of all, the December European Council will need to approve it.
  • Il y a d'abord la référence à la perspective financière après 2006. > Firstly, there is the reference to the financial prospects after 2006.
  • Je tiens tout d'abord à présenter les autres invités d'honneur. > To begin with, I would like to acknowledge my fellow honorees.
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ThoughtCo. "How to Use the French Adverb 'd'Abord' ('First, to Begin With')." ThoughtCo, Feb. 26, 2018, ThoughtCo. (2018, February 26). How to Use the French Adverb 'd'Abord' ('First, to Begin With'). Retrieved from ThoughtCo. "How to Use the French Adverb 'd'Abord' ('First, to Begin With')." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 23, 2018).