Prepositions with Nouns

French prepositions followed by a noun

Generally speaking, articles are much more common in French than in English, but there are exceptions, such as when certain prepositions are followed by nouns. Sometimes the English translations have an article, and other times the English equivalents are adjectives or adverbs.

1) Avec, en, par, and sans are usually followed directly by a noun, with no article.

Avec

   
J’ai acheté une voiture avec clim.   I bought a car with air conditioning.
Elle répond toujours avec grâce.   She always responds gracefully.

En

   
Mon responsable est en réunion.   My manager is in a meeting.
Nous habitons en banlieue.   We live in the suburbs.

Par

   
Ils communiquent par internet.   They communicate via the internet.
Je l’ai découvert par hasard.   I discovered it by chance.

Sans

   
Ne sors pas sans parapluie.   Don’t go out without an umbrella.
Elle est sans préjugés.   She is unbiased.

 The main exception is when talking about a specific noun.

Par exemple…

Elle répond toujours avec la grâce d’une princesse.   She always responds with the grace of a princess.
Ne sors pas sans le parapluie que Michel t’a donné.   Don’t go out without the umbrella Michel gave you.

2) De, pour, and sous are sometimes followed directly by a noun, with no article.

De

   
Il est impensable de mourir de faim.   It’s unthinkable to die of hunger.
Aimez-vous les films de guerre ?   Do you like war movies?

Pour

   
Il a été condamné pour vol.   He was convicted for theft.
Le restaurant est fermé pour congé annuel.   The restaurant is closed for the annual holiday.

Sous

   
Les taupes vivent sous terre.   Moles live underground.
Il l’a fait sous prétexte de me protéger.   He did it under the pretext of protecting me.

 Other than for de,* I don’t know of a set of rules that explain when you need an article and when you don’t – you just have to memorize the patterns and individual phrases.

*De vs du, de la, des

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French prepositions with nouns

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