Learn French Prepositions with Countries and Continents

Young couple looking at map near the Eiffel Tower
Chris Tobin/DigitalVision/Getty Images

When trying to determine which preposition to use with a country or continent, the only difficulty is in knowing its gender.

Nearly all countries that end in e are feminine and the rest are masculine. There are just a few exceptions:

  • le Belize
  • le Cambodge
  • le Mexique
  • le Mozambique
  • le Zaïre
  • le Zimbabwe

All continents end in e and all are feminine.

Once you know the gender, it is a simple matter to decide which preposition to use.*

  1. Masculine and plural countries take à or de plus the appropriate definite article.
     > Except for masculine countries that begin with a vowel, which take en to mean to/in and d' to mean from.
  2. Feminine countries and continents take en or de with no article.
Country is:To or InFrom
masculine and starts with consonantaudu
masculine and starts with vowelend'
feminineende / d'
pluralauxdes

Examples:

Masculine countryFeminine countryPlural countryContinent
Je vais au Togo.Elle va en Chine.Il va aux Fidji.

Tuvas en Asie.

Je suis au Togo.Elle est en Chine.Il est aux Fidji.Tu es en Asie.
Je suis du Togo.Elle est de Chine.Il est des Fidji. Tu es d'Asie.

*Islands follow their own rules