French preposition

The preposition en can be summarized as "to or in," but it’s a bit more complicated than that.

1) Location or destination

 Il habite en Provence. He lives in Provence.
     Nous allons en France. We’re going to France.

2) Point in or period of time

 La réunion aura lieu en été. The meeting will take place in the summer.
 Je l’ai fait en cinq minutes. I did it in five minutes.

3) Description

 en cercle in a circle
 en bois made of wood

4) Transformation

 Il faut le couper en deux. You need to cut it in two.
 Elle sera transformée en parfum. It will be turned into perfume.

5) Means of transportation

 Je vais à la plage en taxi. I’m going to the beach in a taxi.
 Il préfère voyager en train. He prefers traveling by train.

6) Clothing

     J’ai vu un homme en chapeau noir. I saw a man in a black hat.
 Il faut être en cravate. You have to wear a tie.

7) Analogy

     Il a agi en tyran. He acted like a tyrant.
 Je te le donne en cadeau. I’m giving it to you as a gift.

8)  Gerund

     Il l’a dit en pleurant. He said it while crying.
 En partant, elle est tombée. While leaving, she fell.

9) After verbs

 Many verbs must be followed by en in front of a noun.

 En is usually followed directly by a noun, with no article in between. Learn more: Prepositions with nouns.


 Note: En is also an adverbial pronoun.

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French preposition en

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