The French preposition à is generally summarized as "to, at, or in," but it has quite a few more meanings and uses than that.
As if the myriad possible translations of à and de aren't enough, these two French prepositions also have complementary and contrasting uses.
When describing someone as capable of doing or determined to do something, a preposition is required between the adjective and verb. In French, the choice of preposition depends on the adjective that precedes it, not the verb that follows.
The prepositions après and derrière have somewhat similar meanings, which of course means that students sometimes get them confused. Learn the difference between après and derrière to put all of this confusion behind you.
The prepositions avant and devant have somewhat similar meanings, which of course means that students sometimes get them confused. Learn the difference between avant and devant to get in front of any potential confusion.
The preposition avec is used similarly to its English equivalent "with," but with a few differences.
The preposition chez is unlike anything in English - it carries more meaning than a simple preposition and has a number of different uses.
The preposition contre usually means "against," but it has other meanings in certain contexts.
Croire literally means "to believe" but has somewhat varying meanings depending on the preposition used. Learn the difference between croire à and croire en, plus other uses of croire.
The preposition dans usually means "in," but as always there are exceptions. Dans can't be followed directly by a noun - it's always followed by some kind of determiner, such as an article or possessive adjective.
The preposition de is generally summarized as "of, from, or about," but it has quite a few more meanings and uses than that.
The preposition de can be very difficult for French students, even at advanced levels. Knowing whether to use du, de la, or des rather than just de can be a real challenge! This lesson is a detailed explanation of when to use the preposition de all by itself and when to use the indefinite article, partitive article, or de + definite article (which looks like the partitive - but isn't. Ugh!)
When talking about something that happened in the past, the correct verb tense isn't always enough - sometimes you need a temporal expression to state just when it happened. The most common French temporal expressions are depuis and il y a, and they are not interchangeable.
Sometimes the choice between de and du, de la, des is simply a question of whether you're describing a noun or indicating a possessor.
Direct objects and indirect objects can be tricky to understand and use, but it's essential to know the difference in order to speak and write French correctly. Here are some tips to help you figure out which type of object you're dealing with.