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Se met à sonner. Options
Joe Kim
Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2019 4:06:50 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/16/2016
Posts: 697
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Tout à coup, le téléphone se met à sonner.

---starts to ring

Why "à" is necessary before "sonner"? Isn't it a proposition? Why a proposition is required where English doesn't use?
Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019 4:08:54 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/2009
Posts: 424
Neurons: 1,894
Hi Joe,
"À" is indeed a preposition and it fills the same purpose as "to" (also a preposition) in the English phrase "starts to ring".
Posted: Tuesday, October 8, 2019 3:10:43 PM
Rank: Member

Joined: 9/30/2017
Posts: 45
Neurons: 70,341
Location: Stavanger, Rogaland, Norway
Joe's question is however pertinent, as "to ring" is the infinitive equivalent to sonner

to ring : sonner
it rings : ça sonne
it has rung : ça a sonné

The thing is "begin" or "start" is translated as commence and it is followed by the infinitive if a verb
start to speak : commence à parler
start a lecture : commence une dissertation

So you see that English and French are not that different

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