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French grammar - Verbs with prepositions - parler à and parler de

Verbs with prepositions - parler à & parler de

Many French verbs can be followed by a preposition which changes its meaning.

One such verb is parler which means 'to speak' or 'to talk'.

-- parler conjugates like a standard -ER verb.

The propositions that follow parler modify its meaning. For instance:

parler à means 'to talk to'

parler avec means 'to speak with'

parler de means 'to speak about'

parler en means 'to speak in (a language)'

Note that all these permutations take a noun after the preposition.

In later topics we will see many other verbs that, like parler, modify with many different prepositions.

Je parle français.
I speak French *OR* I am speaking French.
Elle parle assez bien le français.
She speaks French quite well.
Il ne parle pas la langue russe.
He does not speak the Russian language.

langue (f) means 'tongue' or 'language'

russe (m.f) means 'Russia' or 'Russian'

Que parle-t-il exactement ?
What is he saying exactly?
À qui parlez-vous ?
Who are you (formal) talking to?
Il veut parler au patron.
He wants to talk to the boss.
De quoi parlez-vous ?
What are you (formal) talking about?

quoi means 'what' - should be used with a preposition

Nous parlons des projets de la famille pour les vacances d'été.
We talk about the family's plans for the summer vacation.
De quoi parles-tu avec ma sœur ?
What are you (familiar) talking about with my sister?
Nous parlons de la météo.
We are talking about the weather.

météo (f) means 'weather' or 'weather forecast'

De quel type de travail parlez-vous ?
What type of work are you (formal) talking about?
Le directeur parle aux lycéens.
The principal talks to the high school students.

lycéen (m) means 'high school student'

Ils parlent toujours de jeux informatiques.
They always talk about computer games.

jeux (m) means 'game' (plural is les jeux)

informatique (f) means 'computing'

jeux informatique (m) means 'computer game'

Parle-t-il en espagnol avec sa mère ?
Does he speak in Spanish with his mother?

espagnol (m) means 'Spanish'