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What is the capital of Tunisia?

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What is the capital of Tunisia?

How do I know whether to use “de” or “à” for the transitive verb “attendre”?

You do have both a direct object and an indirect object in this sentence.

  • Et maintenant qu’ (direct) attendez-vous de lui (indirect) ?

The only sense for “attendre qqc de qqn ou qqc” is IB1.c) in the TLFi. There is no other preposition used with the “coi” than “de” in this sense. The preposition “à” would introduce an adverbial and the sens would be changed (Il l‘attends à la sortie. — Ils nous attendent au tournant. (very colloquial), …)

c) Attendre qqc. (de bon) de qqn ou de qqc. Espérer un heureux résultat de l’action ou des capacités de quelqu’un, d’une action sur quelque chose.

  • Attendre beaucoup de qqn
  • n’attendre son salut que de soi-même
  • attendre qqc. de l’étude d’un document
  • ce qu’on attend d’une invention

You can see now that you might get this sort of information from a more comprehensive dictionary, such as for instance the TLFi. In the TLFi, when the object and indirect object are optional the words “qqc” and “qqn” used to represent them will be between parentheses; here there are none, which means than you can’t dispense with either a “cod ” or a “coi “.

  • Ils attendaient d’eux. Ils attentaient d’eux quelque chose que l’accusateur ne comprends pas.
  • Si vous attendez trop de lui vous serez déçue.

I believe, however, that the “coi ” can be omitted at least when
the sentence is negative (in some cases);

  • N’attendez pas trop. — (better) N’en attendez pas trop. (“en” shouldn’t’t be representing a person, although in the spoken language this ule is often disregarded.) — N’attendez pas trop [de lui/de sa part]. (user LPH)

  • Je vous avais prévenue Sarah. N’attendez pas trop de gratitude. (google)

  • Sinon, faites comme moi : lisez, rêvez, jouissez de la vie, elle en vaut la peine ; et n’attendez pas trop. » (google)

By looking at the entry, grammar tells without ambiguity—rare circumstance—that “que” must be a direct object as this word can’t be a conjunction (“que” being a conjunction entails the presence of two verbs.); “que” can only be the object interrogative pronoun, then. Of course, this is a particular case; for the general case (“Il attend des informations supplémentaires de l’organisation.”) it is difficult to tell if you haven’t developped some familiarity with the concept; particularly in this case, as you can invert the order of the objects (“Il attend de l’organisation des informations supplémentaires.”); you might even not be able to tell which is which without relying on a context.

Whether a complete information on the prepositions is available or whether you can do away with an object depends on the dictionary and sometimes even the best dictionaries do not tell you that. As concerns the prepositions, some dictionaries do give all the possibilities but others don’t.


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What is the capital of Tunisia?