Easy Learning French

Some other common prepositions - Easy Learning Grammar French

  • Note that some of these words are also adverbs, for example, avant, depuis.
  • For more information on the Adverbs, see Adverbs.
  • The following prepositions are also frequently used in French:
  • après after
après le déjeunerafter lunch
après son départafter he had left
la troisième maison après la mairiethe third house after the town hall
Après vous!After you!
  • Note that where English uses a verb in the perfect tense following after, French uses the infinitive avoir or être and a past participle.
Nous viendrons après avoir fait la vaisselle.We’ll come after we’ve done the dishes.
  • avant before
Il est arrivé avant toi.He arrived before you.
Tournez à gauche avant la poste.Turn left before the post office.
  • Note that where English uses a verb ending in -ing after before, French uses de followed by the infinitive.
Je préfère finir mes devoirs avant de manger.I prefer to finish my homework before eating.
  • avec with
avec mon pèrewith my father
une chambre avec salle de baina room with its own bathroom
Ouvre-la avec un couteau.Open it with a knife.
  • chez
Elle est chez Pierre.She’s at Pierre’s house.
Elle va chez Pierre.She’s going to Pierre’s house.
Je reste chez moi ce week-end.I’m staying at home this weekend.
Je vais rentrer chez moi.I’m going home.
Ils habitent près de chez moi.They live near my house.
Tipchez is also used with the name of jobs or professions to indicate a shop or place of business.
Je vais chez le médecin.I’m going to the doctor’s.
  • contre against
Ne mets pas ton vélo contre le mur.Don’t put your bike against the wall.
  • dans in, into
Il est dans sa chambre.He’s in his bedroom.
Nous passons une semaine dans les Alpes.We’re spending a week in the Alps.
dans deux moisin two months’ time
Il est entré dans mon bureau.He came into my office.
Grammar Extra!dans and en can both be used in French to talk about a length of time, but the meaning is very different.
Je le ferai dans trois jours.I’ll do it in three days.
Je le ferai en trois jours.I’ll do it in three days.
Though both can be translated in the same way, the first sentence means that you’ll do it in three days’ time; the second means that it will take three days for you to do it.
  • depuis since, for
Elle habite Paris depuis 1998.She’s been living in Paris since 1998.
Elle habite Paris depuis cinq ans.She’s been living in Paris for five years.
  • Note that French uses the present tense with depuis to talk about actions that started in the past and are still going on.
    Il est en France depuis le mois de septembre.He’s been in France since September. (and he is still there)
    If you are saying how long something has NOT happened for, you use the perfect tense with depuis.
    Nous ne l’avons pas vu depuis un mois.We haven’t seen him for a month.
  • derrière behind
derrière la portebehind the door
  • devant in front of
Il est assis devant moi.He’s sitting in front of me.
  • entre ... et between ... and
Il est assis entre son père et son oncle.He’s sitting between his father and his uncle.
Le bureau est fermé entre 13 et 14 heures.The office is closed between 1 and 2 p.m.
  • jusque as far as, until
Je te raccompagne jusque chez toi.I’ll go with you as far as your house.
Jusqu’où vas-tu?How far are you going?
Jusqu’ici nous n’avons pas eu de problèmes.Up to now we’ve had no problems.
Je reste jusqu’à la fin du mois.I’m staying until the end of the month.
Tipjusque changes to jusqu’ before a word beginning with a vowel, most words starting with h, and the French word y.
  • par by, with, per
deux par deuxtwo by two
par le trainby train
par la posteby post
par e-mailby email
Son nom commence par un H.His name begins with H.
Prenez trois cachets par jour.Take three tablets per day.
Le voyage coûte quatre cents euros par personne.The trip costs four hundred euros per person.
Nous nous voyons une fois par mois.We see each other once a month.
Il est tombé par terre.He fell down.
Il y a beaucoup de touristes par ici.There are a lot of tourists around here.
TipThe prepositions à and en are also used with means of transport.
  • pendant during, for
Ça s’est passé pendant l’été.It happened during the summer.
Il n’a pas pu travailler pendant plusieurs mois.He couldn’t work for several months.
TipFrench uses the perfect tense with pendant to talk about actions in the past that are completed.
Nous avons habité pendant dix ans en Écosse.We lived in Scotland for ten years. (but don’t any more)
You can also miss out pendant.
Nous avons habité dix ans en Écosse.We lived in Scotland for ten years.
pendant is also used to talk about something that will happen in the future.
Je serai à New York pendant un mois.I’ll be in New York for a month.
  • pour for (who or what something is for, and where something or someone is going)
C’est un cadeau pour toi.It’s a present for you.
Nous voudrions une chambre pour deux nuits.We’d like a room for two nights.
le train pour Bordeauxthe train for Bordeaux
  • Note that pour can also be used with infinitives, when it has the meaning of in order to.
Elle téléphone pour savoir à quelle heure on arrivera.She’s ringing to find out what time we’ll get there.
Pour aller à Nice, s’il vous plaît?Which way is it to Nice, please?
  • sans without
Elle est venue sans son frère.She came without her brother.
un café sans sucrea coffee without sugar
un pull sans manchesa sleeveless sweater
  • Note that sans can also be used before infinitives in French. In English a verb form ending in -ing is used after without.
Elle est partie sans dire au revoir.She left without saying goodbye.
  • sauf except
Tout le monde vient sauf lui.Everyone’s coming except him.
  • sous under
sous la tableunder the table
sous terreunderground
  • sur on
Pose-le sur le bureau.Put it down on the desk.
Ton sac est sur la table.Your bag is on the table.
Vous verrez l’hôpital sur votre gauche.You’ll see the hospital on your left.
un livre sur la politiquea book on politics
  • Note that à and sur can both mean on in English. sur usually means on the top of something. sur la télé means on top of the TV set, but à la télé means broadcast on TV. Both can be translated as on the TV in English. sur le mur means on top of the wall, but au mur means hanging on the wall.
TipWith numbers and measurements sur can also mean in, out of and by.
une personne sur dixone person in ten
J’ai eu quatorze sur vingt en maths.I got 14 out of 20 in maths.
La pièce fait quatre mètres sur deux.The room measures four metres by two.
  • vers towards (a place), at about
Il allait vers la gare.He was going towards the station.
Je rentre chez moi vers cinq heures.I go home at about 5 o’clock.
  • voici (meaning this is, here is) and voilà (meaning there is, that is) are two very useful prepositions that French speakers often use to point things out.
Voici mon frère et voilà ma sœur.This is my brother and that’s my sister.
Voici ton sac.Here’s your bag.
Le voici!Here he/it is!
Tiens! Voilà Paul.Look! There’s Paul.
Tu as perdu ton stylo? En voilà un autre.Have you lost your pen? Here’s another one.
Les voilà!There they are!

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