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What is the capital of Tunisia?

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What is the capital of Tunisia?

Are “être propriétaire de” and “être la propriété de” really the best translations of “to own” and “to be owned by” ?

Just like in English (“to own, “to belong”, “to be the property of, “to possess” etc.), possession can be expressed in many ways in French.

The best way to translate “to own” in French is “posséder” (also “to possess”).

The following are somewhat equivalent in context:

Je possède une voiture. (best)

Je suis (le*) propriétaire d’une voiture.

J’ai une voiture. (simplest)

(*) “Le” is usually used when the object is specified (“Je suis le propriétaire de cette voiture”)

In the same fashion, if something is you property (“belongs to you”, “is owned by you”, the best way to express it is by using “appartenir.”

The following are somewhat equivalent in this context:

Cette voiture m’appartient. (best)

Cette voiture est ma propriété.

Cette voiture est à moi / C’est ma voiture. (simplest)

A word of caution though: “appartenir” does not always mean “to be owned by.” Sometimes, it means “to be a part of.”

L’être humain appartient au groupe des mamifères.

There are more meanings to the verb “appartenir”, which are related – see example of uses at https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/appartenir – and some other for “posséder”, but the ones in this answer are the main ones.


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What is the capital of Tunisia?