List of all prepositions in french

  • list of all prepositions in french PLEIN / list of prepositions PLEINNN

Prepositions with Modes of Transportation
The prepositions a` and en and sometimes par are used with means of travel when you wish to
describe by what means someone is traveling.
a` en par
a` bicyclette* en auto par le train
a` cheval en autobus
a` motocyclette en avion
a` pied en me´tro
a` ve´lo* en bateau
en taxi
en voiture


Note that a` and en are used without the definite article and par is used with the definite article.
To describe how someone enters or leaves a vehicle, use monter dans or descendre de, or embarquer
dans or de´barquer de.
monter dans un autobus descendre d’un autobus
to get on a bus to get off a bus
monter dans une voiture descendre d’une voiture
to get into a car to get out of a car
monter dans un train descendre d’un train
to get on a train to get off a train
embarquer dans un bateau de´barquer d’un bateau
to get on a boat to get off a boat
When referring to mailing a letter or a package, you use the preposition par with the means of
envoyer le paquet par avion ou par bateau

Prepositions with Expressions of Time
a`, at
Il reviendra a` cinq heures pre´ cises.
He’ll return at exactly five o’clock

dans, en, in
Dans (in) can indicate the time after which a certain thing can be done. It can mean apre` s (after) or
a` la fin de (at the end of ).
Je le ferai dans une heure.
I’ll do it in one hour. (after an hour has passed).
(It is now two o’clock. I’ll do it at three o’clock.)
L’avion arrive dans trois heures.
The plane arrives in three hours.
(It is now eight o’clock. The plane arrives at eleven o’clock.)
Il reviendra dans quatre heures.
He’ll return in four hours.
Elle aura fini dans un mois.
She will have finished in a month.
En (in) indicates the time necessary for the accomplishment of an action, the time in which
something will be completed or accomplished (duration of an action).
Je le ferai en deux heures.
I will do it in two hours’ time.
(It will take me two hours to do it.)
Le bateau traverse l’Atlantique en cinq jours.
The boat crosses the Atlantic in five days.
avant, before and apre`s, after
Avant is used to mean before (in time) and apre`s is used to mean after (in time).
Elle est arrive´e avant les autres.
She arrived before the others.
Il est arrive´ apre` s Pierre.
He arrived after Peter.
Remember that the prepositions devant (before or in front of ) and derrie`re (after or behind) are
used with places.
Il est devant la maison.
He is in front of the house.
La table est derrie`re le divan.
The table is behind the couch.

Prepositions Used to Join Two Nouns
To Indicate Function or to Join a Noun that Modifies Another Noun
The prepositions a` and de can introduce a noun that modifies or qualifies another noun and
indicates the function of the preceding noun. In French a noun with a complement is often the
same as an English expression composed of two nouns written either as two words or as a single
compound word. The first noun in English is the complement in French. Study the following:
a` de
un verre a` eau un verre d’eau
a water glass (a glass for water) a glass of water
une tasse a` cafe´ une tasse de cafe´
a coffee cup (a cup for coffee) a cup of coffee
une lime a` ongles mon professeur de maths
a nail file my math teacher
une brosse a` dents une agence de voyages
a toothbrush a travel agency
une cuiller a` soupe une robe de chambre
a soupspoon a bathrobe
une cuiller a` the´ une salle de bains
a teaspoon a bathroom
To Mean with
Used with the article, a` can mean with. A ` replaces avec when you wish to indicate that the
second noun is a distinct part of the first one.
de la soupe aux le´gumes
vegetable soup (soup with vegetables)
du cafe´ au lait
coffee with milk
la fille aux yeux bleus
the girl with blue eyes
la maison au toit rouge
the house with the red roof
la glace a` la vanille
vanilla ice cream (ice cream made with vanilla)
l’homme a` la barbe blanche
the man with the white beard

une tarte aux pommes
an apple pie (a pie made with apples)
une peinture a` l’huile
an oil painting (a painting made with oil)
To Introduce the Material from Which an Object is Made
De and en are used to introduce the material from which an object is made.
une robe de soie
des bas de nylon
un portefeuille en cuir
un bracelet en or
Usage determines whether you should use de or en. Often, either preposition is possible. De is
usually used to indicate the type of object one is talking about and en emphasizes the material from
which the object is made.
un sac de cuir
a leather bag
un sac en cuir
a bag made of leather
Prepositions of Cause
De can also indicate a relationship of cause between the verb and the noun complement. It is
translated by with, of, for or from.
Il danse de joie.
He dances for joy.
Je meurs de faim.
I’m dying of hunger.
Elle e´ crit de la main gauche.
She writes with her left hand.
La rue est couverte de neige.
The street is covered with snow.
Prepositions After Indefinite Pronouns
When quelque chose, rien, quelqu’un and personne are modified by an adjective, the adjective is
introduced by de.
Il mange quelque chose de bon.
He eats something good.
C’est quelqu’un de tre` s adroit.
He’s someone very skillful.
Il n’y a eu personne de blesse´ dans la tempeˆ te.
No one was hurt in the storm.
Il ne dit rien d’intelligent.
He says nothing intelligent.

Prepositions in Adverbial Clauses of Manner
In many adverbial phrases where in, by or on are used in English, a` is used in French.
Il parle a` voix basse.
He speaks in a low voice.
Il parle a` haute voix.
He speaks aloud (with a loud voice, loudly).
Mettez les veˆtements au soleil pour les faire se´cher.
Put the clothes in the sun to make them dry.
Ce chandail est fait a` la main.
This sweater is made by hand.
Il a les papiers a` la main.
He has the papers in hand.
Le train est arrive´ a` l’heure.
The train arrived on time.
Ce baˆ timent a e´te´ construit au temps de Louis XIV.
This building was constructed in the time of Louis XIV.
Les soldats marchent a` grands pas.
The soldiers march in giant steps.
In an adverbial clause of manner, de introduces the noun modified by the indefinite article.
Il parle d’une voix faible.
He speaks with a weak voice.
Il me regarde d’un air furieux.
He looks at me with a furious expression (furiously).
Elle le fait d’une manie`re adroite.
She does it skillfully.
When the noun is not modified by an indefinite article, avec is used.
Il me parle avec faiblesse.
He speaks to me weakly.
Il me regarde avec fureur.
He looks at me furiously.
Il le fait avec adresse.
He does it skillfully.

Prepositions to Introduce an Infinitive Depending on a Noun or Adjective
To Indicate Function, Result or Tendency
The preposition a` can introduce an infinitive that indicates the function of the preceding
noun or the use to which an object is destined. Often a` has the meaning of for. The infinitive complement
is often the equivalent of an expression with ‘‘-ing’’ in English.
du papier a` e´crire
writing paper (paper for writing)
une machine a` e´crire / a` laver / a` coudre
a typewriter (a machine for writing) / a washing machine (a machine for washing) / a sewing
machine (a machine for sewing)
une salle a` manger
a dining room (a room for dining)
une chambre a` coucher
a bedroom (a room for sleeping)
un fer a` repasser
an iron
de l’eau a` boire
drinking water (water for drinking)
une maison a` vendre / a` louer
a house for sale / for rent
A `
can introduce an infinitive phrase that describes a preceding noun in terms of a possible result.
C’est un bruit a` re´ veiller tout le monde.
It’s a noise that could wake everyone up.
C’est une taˆ che a` rendre fou.
This is a task that can drive you crazy.
Ce sont des cris a` rendre sourd.
These are shouts that can make you deaf.
Ce sont des larmes a` faire pitie´ .
These are tears that can make you feel pity.
C’est un exercice a` recopier.
This is an exercise to be recopied.
A `
can also introduce an infinitive phrase that intensifies the meaning of an adjective.
une histoire triste a` en pleurer
a story sad enough to make you cry
un animal laid a` faire peur
an animal ugly enough to make you afraid

After an adjective, a` introduces an infinitive that indicates the action to which the adjective
C’est facile a` faire.
It’s easy to do.
C’est difficile a` comprendre.
It’s difficult to understand.
C’est bon a` manger.
It’s good to eat.
After Expressions of Duration, Length of Time and Position of the Body
A `
introduces an infinitive after certain expressions indicating duration, length of time and position
of the body. A ` plus the infinitive is used to describe what the subject does during this time or in this
Il passe son temps a` travailler. (duration)
He spends his time working.
Elle reste assise a` lire. (position)
She remains seated while reading.
Il met longtemps a` apprendre cela. (time)
He takes a long time to learn that.
Elle est debout a` travailler.
She works standing up.
Generally, infinitives following an adjective or noun are followed by de.
Je suis heureux d’eˆtre ici. I am happy to be here.
Je suis e´tonne´ d’apprendre cette nouvelle. I am surprised to hear this news.
J’ai peur de sortir la nuit. I am afraid to go out at night.
J’ai envie de partir. I want to leave.
Il avait raison de faire cela. He was right to do that.
J’ai l’occasion de faire cela. I have the chance to do that.
After the impersonal il + eˆtre + adjective, de precedes the infinitive.
Il est bon de se reposer. It is good to rest.
Il est ne´cessaire d’e´tudier. It is necessary to study.
When an infinitive depends on another verb, it is often introduced by a` or de. For a detailed
analysis, see The Use of the Prepositions a` and de before an Infinitive, pp. 227–229.


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