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Prépositions avec lieux géographiques
French prepositions can be tricky, and never more so than when talking about geography. Talking about going to a country or coming from a city requires more than just translating the preposition; you also have to consider the gender, number, and even the type of place you’re talking about. Here’s everything you need to know.
Type of place
The first thing to consider is the type of place: is it a continent, country, region, state, province, county, island, or city? Depending on the answer, there are essentially three different sets of rules for prepositions:
- Prepositions with continents and countries
- Prepositions with regions, departments, provinces, states, and counties
- Prepositions with islands and cities
Gender and number
Geographical names have gender and number, and these have an effect on the choice of preposition within the above categories.
Location / Movement
Finally, you have to consider the purpose of the preposition: are you going to the place, currently in the place, or coming from the place? In French, these three options are combined into just two:
- To and in are equivalent to the same French preposition
Once you have all this information, you can finally figure out which preposition you need. Use the "type of place" links above for detailed explanations with all of this information put together.
Geographical Prepositions Quiz
Think you’ve got it? Test yourself on the French geographical prepositions with this fill-in-the-blank exercise: Un été international