Vers vs Envers

French prepositions

Envers vs vers
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The prepositions vers and envers both mean "toward," which of course leads toward confusion. Learning the difference between vers and envers will help you move toward total comprehension.

Vers

Vers is the more common, literal preposition. It means "toward" in the sense of physical movement.

Par exemple…

Il faut aller vers Nice. You have to go toward Nice.
J’ai tourné vers la gauche. I turned to(ward) the left.

It also indicates the facing direction.

Par exemple…

Ma cuisine regarde vers l’est. My kitchen faces east.
Entrez dans la porte vers la rue. Enter the door that faces the street.

Vers can be synonymous with près de.

Par exemple…

Je l’ai vu vers Toulouse. I saw it near/around Toulouse.
Il y a un bon resto vers là. There’s a good restaurant around/near there.

It can mean "at about that time."

Par exemple…

Nous mangerons vers 19h00. We’ll eat around 7pm.
Elle est partie vers 8h30. She left around 8:30am.

Vers also has the somewhat figurative meaning of a transformation toward (into) something.

Par exemple…

Elle peut le traduire vers l’italien. She can translate it into Italian.
C’est un grand pas vers la paix. It’s a big step toward peace.

 Also see verbs with vers

Envers

The preposition envers means "toward" figuratively, in the sense of one’s attitude, opinion, or action on or about someone …

Par exemple

Il est trop exigeant envers lui-même. He’s too hard on himself.
Elle est très gentille envers les SDF. She is very kind to homeless people.
Tu a mal agi envers les enfants. You treated the children poorly.

… or something.

Par exemple

Il a une mauvaise attitude envers le travail. He has a bad attitude about work.
Soyons respectueux envers l’environnement. Let us be respectful to the environment.
Étienne est bien disposé envers votre idée. Étienne likes your idea.

Synonyms

 Related lessons

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Vers vs envers

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