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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