1. Prepositions of Place
  2. Prepositions of Place vs. Geographic Places
  3. Prepositions of Time
  4. Other Important Prepositions
  5. Fusion of À with Articles
  6. Chez vs. À
  7. Verbs with Prepositions

In French, there are many rules regarding the use of the prepositions. Let's take a closer look at them.



Nous sommes allés à l'école.

We went to school.

Prepositions of Place

Rule 1: To express indication of places in French, the prepositions of place are used. You can combine them with nouns or pronouns.

dans in
sous under
sur over
devant in front of
derrière behind
à gauche de left of
à droite de right of
au milieu de in the middle of
à côté de next to
en face de opposite
chez at/to (someone’s place)
contre against

Here's an example:



Le livre est sur la table.

The book is on the table.

Prepositions of Place vs. Geographic Places

Most French prepositions of place and time can be translated directly from English. They are also pretty easy to use. However, that is not the thing with the geographic indicators.

Rule 2: There are four prepositions of place you can use with geographical places: en, au, aux and à. Here's how they are used:

En, au, and aux are all used with country names.

- en is used with feminine nouns ending in -e and all nouns starting with a vowel or a mute h.



Je suis en France.

I am in France.

Je vais en Iran.

I'm going to Iran.

- au is used masculine nouns and nouns ending in a consonant.



Je vais au Canada.

I'm going to Canada.

Je suis au Japon.

I am in Japan.

- aux is used with plural nouns.



Je vais aux États-Unis.

I am going to the United States.

- à is used with city names.



Je suis à Paris.

I am in Paris.

Prepositions of Time

Rule 3: To express indication of time in French, the prepositions of time are used. You can combine

them with nouns or pronouns.

à at/in
avant before
après after
depuis since/for
jusqu'à until
de ... à from ... to
dans in
pendant during/for

Here's an example:



Nous avons mangé pendant la pause.

We ate lunch during the break.

Other Important Prepositions

à by, [is also used for describing a purpose or material]
avec with
de of, by, from
en made of, by
pour for
sans without

Here are a few examples:



J'y suis allé en train.

I went there by train.

Une page du livre.

A page of the book.

Une tasse de café sans lait.

A cup of coffee without milk.

Fusion of À with Articles

Rule 4: The preposition à is combined with the articles le and les to make one word:

  • à + le = au
  • à + les = aux

Note: Be careful, the articles la and l‘ do not merge.



Je vais au cinéma / tu vas à la boulangerie / il va aux États-Unis.

I go to the movies / you go to the bakery / he goes to the United States.

Chez vs. À

Rule 5: Chez (at) refers to the place where someone lives or does a particular job. It's also commonly used with the name of the company.



Chez moi, chez Lola, chez le boucher, chez Amazon.

At my house, at Lola's, at the butcher's, at Amazon.

In all other cases, à is used.



Au travail, à la bibliothèque.

At work, at the library.

Verbs with Prepositions

Rule 6: For certain verbs, the infinitive follows without a preposition, e.g. for movement verbs and verbs that express opinions or wishes.



Il part marcher dans la foret.

He's going for a walk in the forest.

- For some other verbs, the preposition de + infinitive follows:



Il refuse de travailler.

He's refusing to work.

- For some other verbs, the preposition à + infinitive follows:



Je l'encourage à travailler.

I encourage him to work.



The book is behind the vase.


correct answers.