Prepositions

French prepositions
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Prépositions

One of the eight French 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.
une vie de crime a life of crime
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.

French Prepositions

Here are the most common French prepositions and their typical English translations. Click the links for detailed lessons.

    Notes
à to, at, in contraction with le and les may be required
après after  
avant before  
avec with  
chez at the home/office of, among  
contre against, versus  
dans in  
de from, of, about contraction with le and les may be required
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  
sauf except  
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 French preposition can sometimes be replaced by an object pronoun.

 Related lessons

French prepositions: lesson plans French preposition lesson plans

Learn Spanish En español

Learn Italian In italiano

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French prepositions

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