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.
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. 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

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French prepositions

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