Prepositions

French prepositions
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Prépositions

One of the eight parts of speech, prepositions are short but essential words which are placed after a verb, noun, or adjective in order to indicate a relationship between that word and the noun or pronoun that follows.

Par exemple…

Je vais à Paris.   I’m going to Paris.
C’est un livre de français.   It’s a French book. (literally, "book of French")
Cette question est difficile pour moi.   This question is difficult for me.

  Prepositions are tricky because, while they exist in both French and English, there is no nice one-to-one correlation between them. Many French prepositions have more than one English equivalent, depending on how they are used – and vice versa. In addition, a preposition is often needed in French where none is used in English – and vice versa again. This is one of those areas of grammar that you will likely continue to struggle with for a long time. But with time and practice, you’ll get the hang of it.

Here are the most common French prepositions and their typical English translations.

à   to, at, in
après   after
avant   before
avec   with
chez   at the home/office of, among
contre   against, versus
dans   in
de   from, of, about
depuis   since, for
derrière   in back of, behind
devant   in front of
durant   during, while
en   in, to
entre
  between
envers   toward
environ   approximately, around
jusque   until, up to
malgré   despite
par
  by, through
parmi   among
pendant   during
pour   for
sans   without
selon   according to
sous   under
suivant   according to
sur   on
vers   toward, near

A group of words that, together, function as a preposition is called a prepositional phrase.

  Conseil concis

The noun following a preposition can sometimes be replaced by an object pronoun.

 Related lessons

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French prepositions


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