Apprendre la langue Française (Part Onze) – french prepositions (1)


Source: French Language Guide

In French, prepositions are words which link two related parts of a sentence. They are placed in front of nouns in order to indicate a relationship between that noun and the verb, adjective, or noun that precedes it.

Je parle à Jean.
I’m talking to Jean.
Il est de Paris.
He is from Paris.
Le livre est pour toi.
The book is for you.

Here are some common French prepositions.

1. (à) – (to, at, in)

location or destination
J’habite à Paris
I live in Paris
Je vais à Rome
I’m going to Rome
Je suis à la banque
I’m at the bank

distance in time or space
J’habite à 10 mètres de lui
I live 10 meters from him
Il est à 5 minutes de moi
He is 5 minutes from me

point in time
Nous arrivons à 7h00
We arrive at 7:00
Il est mort à 100 ans
He died at the age of 100

Manner, style, or characteristic
Il habite à la française
He lives in the French style
un enfant aux yeux bleus
blue-eyed child / child with blue eyes
fait à la main
made by hand
aller à pied
to go on / by foot

Possession
un ami à moi
a friend of mine
Ce livre est à Jean
This is Jean’s book

Measurement
acheter au kilo
to buy by the kilogram
payer à la semaine
to pay by the week

Purpose or use
une tasse à thé
teacup / cup for tea
un sac à dos
backpack / pack for the back

In the passive infinitive
À louer
for rent
Je n’ai rien à lire
I have nothing to read

2. (après & derrière)(after)

Après expresses something to do with time and means after. It can be used in front of a temporal expression, noun, pronoun, verb, or clause.

après 3h00
after 3:00
après le cours
after the class
après avoir mangé
after eating
après qu’il le fera
after he does it

Derrière expresses position or location (figurative or literal) and means behind. It can be used only in front of a noun or pronoun.

derrière la maison
behind the house
chercher derrière les apparences
look behind (beyond) appearances

There is often confusion between the prepositions après and derrière and their opposites avant and devant.

3. (avant & devant)(before)

Avant expresses something to do with time. It can be used in front of a temporal expression, noun, pronoun, verb, or clause.

avant midi
before noon
avant l’examen
before the test
avant de partir
before leaving
avant que nous ne partions
before we leave

Devant expresses position or location (figurative or literal) and means before or in front of. It can be used only in front of a noun or pronoun.

devant la voiture
in front of the car
devant les juges
before the judges
devant le danger
faced with / in the face of danger.
Il est devant toi.
He’s in front of you.

4. (avec)(with)

Avec is the French equivalent of with. It can express:

Accompaniment
J’irai avec toi.
I’ll go with you
Il est d’accord avec nous.
He agrees with us

Cause
On oublie tout avec le temps
One forgets everything in time
Tu m’énerves avec ce bruit
You’re bothering me with this noise

Something in addition: in the form of avec ça
et avec ça ?
anything else?
j’ai froid et avec ça j’ai faim
I’m cold, and besides that I’m hungry

The equivalent of an adverb: in the form of avec + noun
avec joie
joyfully
avec colère
angrily

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One Response to Apprendre la langue Française (Part Onze) – french prepositions (1)

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