I want a good brief about prepositions in french if possible ?

1 Answer


vanshi 220
1.  The preposition "de"

"De" is by far the most common preposition in French, and a word with multiple meanings.
Its most common usages are:
a) To signify possession or attribution - the equivalent of the English preposition "of" or " 's "
       Jeanne's house: la maison de Jeanne ,  
       The chairman of the company : le président de l'entreprise
       The dog's owner was Monsieur Brun  Le propriétaire du chien était Monsieur Brun.
b) A preposition of direction, equivalent to the English preposition "from"
       He's coming from Paris   Il vient de Paris,  
       It's a gift from Pierre.   C'est un cadeau de Pierre.
c)  A preposition of relation, equivalent to English " by" or "of"
       It's a play by Shakespeare - C'est une pièce de Shakespeare
        At the side of the road: au bord de la route
        At the top of the mountain : au sommet de la montagne
c) As a coordinator between two verbs, equivalent to the coordinators in English (of, to, etc)
    He's talking about coming next week.  Il parle de venir la semaine prochaine.  
       I'm trying to do it.  J'essaie de le faire.

2. Prepositions of position and direction

The table below lists the most common prepositions of position and direction, and corresponding adverbs.  Most of the prepositions in this table can signify either direction or position; meaning will be distinguished by logic and context.  In this table, rare and unusual forms are omitted or listed in brackets. This table is by no means an exhaustive guide to French prepositions; in idiomatic usage, other prepositions may be used for a given meaning.
Prepositions      Adverbs       Common meanings / English equivalents
à         At, in, (position)  to (direction)
jusqu'à         Upto, as far as, until
vers         Towards
en     dedans     In, within, into
au dessus de     dessus, au dessus     On, on top (of), Over, above
en dessous de     dessous,
en dessous     Under, below
à côté de     A côté     Beside
devant     devant     In front of
derrière     derrière,
à l'arrière     Behind
auprès de         Next to
près de     (tout) près     Near
de, depuis         From, out of  (and other meanings; see above)
entre         Between

Note also one preposition for which English has no specific prepositional equivalent: chez.
Chez can be a preposition of direction or a preposition of situation, and corresponds to "to/at (my) place".

Some examples:
Prepositions of position:
    I live in a flat.   J'habite dans un appartement.
    I live in town:  J'habite en ville
    The money is on the table:  L'argent est sur la table
    I live at Pierre's place:  J'habite chez Pierre
Adverbs of position:
    He's inside:il est dedans  (il est à l'intérieur)  

Prepositions of direction:
   Put all those bits into the box.  Mettez toutes ces pièces dans la boite
   We're going into town.  Nous allons en ville.
   They're coming to our house this evening.  Ils viennent chez nous ce soir.
Adverbs of movement:
  I can't put the money in.  Je ne peux pas mettre l'argent dedans.


     You will see from the table above that there are fewer preposition in French than English; in fact, there are only nine simple prepositions of position and direction -  à, sur, sous, dans, en, vers,  entre  derrière and devant, as against fourteen in English. There are reasons for this.
     Unlike English and German, which are "analytic" Germanic languages, French is a "synthetic" Romance language (a language that has evolved from Latin).  Prepositions are far less used in synthetic languages than in analytic languages. This can be seen clearly by looking at some English phrasal / prepositional verbs, and how they can be translated into French: here are some examples. French does not have phrasal or prepositional verbs, so the defining prepositions (postpositions) or particles in the English expressions do not exist in the French versions (or are an integral element of the verb).

Come in !  Entrez !
Get out!  Sortez !
Shut up !  Taisez vous !
I came down carefully.  Je suis descendu soigneusement.
Put on your shoes!  Mettez vos chaussures
He's going away.  Il part.
Take off your boots ! Enlevez vos bottes !
Look up a word.  Chercher un mot.
We'll go over that question again.  Nous allons revoir cette question
I give up !  Je renonce !

3.  Prepositions of time and relation

The most important are:

Prepositions of time:  
       pour (for) , dans (in) , avant (before), après (after), pendant (during), jusqu'à (until), depuis (since or for)  See problems below
        and note also:  –  (on) (i.e. French has no time preposition corresponding to "on"). See  examples 3 and 4 below.

Relational Prepositions :
     par (by) , pour (for),  contre (against) avec (with), sans (without),

Some examples:
1. Je vais à Paris pour trois semaines.  I'm going to Paris for three weeks -
2. Je vais à Paris dans trois semaines.  I'm going to Paris in three weeks -  
3. Nous venons mercredi.  We're coming on Wednesday -
4. Nous allons à la pêche le dimanche.  We go fishing on Sundays -
5. ls se marient le 3 mars.  They're getting married on March 3rd -
6. J'étais impressionné par son style.  I was impressed by his style.
7. Je suis ici depuis le 14 juillet. *  I've been here since July 14th -
8. Je suis ici depuis trois jours. *  I've been here for three days -
9. Je vais être à Paris pour / pendant trois jours. *  
        I'm going to be in Paris for three days -
10. Je vais en France pendant l'été, et avant vous.  
        I'm going to France during the summer, and before you.
11. Je vais à Lyon après Noël  I'm going to Lyon after Christmas.
12. Je suis allé à Bordeaux par avion avec mon frère mais sans ma soeur.  
        I went to Bordeaux by plane with my brother but without my sister.
13. Je reste ici jusqu'au 14 juillet.  I'm staying here until July 14th -
14. Je vais compter jusqu'à trois, et vous allez courir jusqu'à papa.
        I'm going to count up to three, and you're going to run as far as Daddy

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