Apprendre la langue Française (Part Douze) – french prepositions (2)

Source: French Language Guide

Let’s continue with our leçons in les prépositions.

5. (chez)(among)

at/to the house of
chez mon oncle
at/to my uncle’s house
chez moi
at/to my house, (at) home

at/to the office/store of
chez le médecin
at/to the doctor’s office
chez le boucher
at/to the butcher’s

(une coutume) chez les Français
(a custom) among the French

in the work/writings of
chez Molière
in Molière’s work/writing

chez lui, c’est une habitude
it’s a habit with him
c’est bizarre chez un enfant
it’s strange for a child

6. (dans)(in)

The French preposition dans must be followed by an article or some other determiner; it cannot be followed directly by a noun. It usually means in.

Physical location
dans la boîte
in the box
dans la rue
in the street
boire dans une tasse
to drink from a cup
prendre qqchose dans une boîte
to take s.t. from a box
copier qqchose dans un livre
to copy s.t. from a book
dans l’avion
on the plane
mettre qqchose dans le tiroir
put s.t. in the drawer
monter dans le train
to get on the train
voir qqun dans l’escalier
to see someone on the stairs

Figurative location
dans la situation actuelle
in the current situation
dans ces conditions
in/under these conditions

Time (en vs dans)
dans la semaine
during the week
dans la journée
during the day
dans une semaine
in one week

7. (de) – (from, of, about)

Possession or belonging
le livre de Carlos
Carlos’s book
la bibliothèque de l’université
the university library

Starting point or origin
partir de Nice
to leave from (out of) Nice
Je suis de Bruxelles
I’m from Brussels

Contents / description of something
une tasse de
thé cup of tea
un roman d‘amour
love story (story of/about love)

Defining feature
le marché de gros
wholesale market
une salle de classe

mourir de faim
to die of / from hunger
fatigué du voyage
tired from the trip

Means / manner of doing something
écrire de la main gauche
to write with one’s left hand
répéter de mémoire
to recite from memory

8. (depuis)(since, for)

To express the duration of an event in French, depuis and pendant are used. Many English speakers tend to translate for as pour, but this is rarely correct when talking about time.

Depuis means since or for. It is used with a verb in the present tense to talk about an action that began in the past and continues in the present.

Depuis quand étudiez-vous le français?
How long have you studied French?

J’étudie le français depuis 6 ans.
I’ve studied French for 6 years.

J’étudie le français depuis 2000.
I’ve studied French since 2000.

Depuis can also be used to indicate an action that was occuring (in the imparfait) when it was interrupted by another action (in the passé composé).

Depuis quand dormais-tu quand je suis arrivé ?
How long had you been sleeping when I arrived?

Pendant means for, but it refers to an action in its entirety that has no relation to the present. It can be used for both the past and the future.

Pendant combien de temps avez-vous étudié le français ?
How long did you study French?

J’ai étudié le français pendant 3 ans.
I studied French for 3 years.

Je vais habiter en France pendant 2 mois.
I’m going to live in France for 2 months.

Pendant also means during.

J’ai vu un film pendant mon séjour.
I saw a film during my stay.

Pendant ce temps, il m’attendait.
During this time, he waited for me.


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