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Après vs Derrière

French prepositions


Do you know the difference between the prepositions après and derrière? Their meanings can seem similar, but they are not interchangeable. After you read this lesson, you can put all of your confusion behind you.

Après expresses something to do with time or a sequence of events and means "after." It can be used in front of expressions of time, nouns, and pronouns.

   après 3h00
   after 3:00

   après la semaine prochaine
   after next week

   après le cours
   after the class

   après toi
   after you

Après can also be used with the past infinitive

   après avoir mangé
   after eating

   après être parti
   after leaving

Après que can be followed by either the past tense or the future

   après qu'il est parti
   after he left

   après qu'il le fera
   after he does it

Derrière expresses position or location (both literal and figurative) and means "behind." It can be used only with a noun or pronoun.

   derrière la maison
   behind the house

   chercher derrière les apparences
   look behind (beyond) appearances

   derrière son dos
   behind one's back

   derrière toi
   behind you

Test: Après vs derrière

Also see: Avant vs devant
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