French Word of the Day

French Fanatic

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

décider de, décider (quelqu’un) à

to decide to, to persuade (someone) to

J’ai décidé d’essayer de décider Paul à venir.
I decided to try to persuade Paul to come.

Today’s example is a bit of wordplay — or jeu de mots. If you can say it 10 fois rapidement (10 times quickly), you might be a French Fanatic indeed!

In French, a verb’s meaning can change depending upon the preposition that follows it. Today, we’re looking at an example of how verbs and prepositions interact to change a verb’s meaning, sometimes significantly. This is also a good time to remind ourselves that French verbs do not always take the same prepositions as their English counterparts.