French preposition

The preposition sur is often equivalent to "on," but has many other possible translations.

1a) Location – "on"

      Ton sac est sur le canapĂ©.   Your bag is on the couch.
  Je l’ai lu sur internet.   I read it on the internet.
  La poste est sur ma route.   The post office is on my way.

1b) Location – other translations

      C’est qui sur cette photo ?   Who is in this picture?
      Il y a beaucoup de pommes sur le marchĂ©.   There are a lot of apples at the market.
      Il pleut sur toute la France.   It’s raining all over France.

2) Direction / Heading

  un vol sur Paris   a flight to Paris
  revenir sur   to return to
  tourner sur la droite / gauche   to turn right / left

3) Topic

  une confĂ©rence sur le climat   a conference about the climate
  des renseignements sur Paris   information about Paris
  un film / livre sur Charles de Gaulle   a movie / book about Charles de Gaulle

4) Reason or Requirement

  sur commande   commissioned, to order
  sur invitation (uniquement)   by invitation (only)
  sur prĂ©sentation d’une pièce d’identitĂ©   upon presentation of proof of identity
  sur un signe (de quelqu’un)   at (someone’s) signal

5) Approximate Time / Age

  On mange sur les dix-huit heures.   We eat around 6pm.
  Il va sur la quarantaine.   He’s going on 40 (years old).

6) Period of time

  sur une annĂ©e   over (the course of) a year
  sur une pĂ©riode de deux semaines   over a period of two weeks

7) Measurements

  il s’Ă©tend sur cinq mètres   it’s five meters long
  il fait deux mètres sur trois   it’s two by three meters

8) Ratio

  une chance sur deux   fifty-fifty chance
  une chance sur cinq   one in five chance
  quatre fois sur cinq   four out of five times
  un samedi sur deux   every other Saturday

9) After Verbs

  Many verbs must be followed by sur in front of a noun.

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French preposition sur

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