1. Education

French Prepositions

Prepositions are words which link two related parts of a sentence. There are many French prepositions and it is important to recognize and know when and when not to use them. These lessons include specific information about meaning, usage, and more.

Introduction to Prepositions
For beginners: prepositions defined, plus a short list of essential French prepositions.

Prepositions
Detailed information about the most common French prepositions, including meanings, usage, comparisons between prepositions, and related expressions and verbs.

Geographical Prepositions
Learn which prepositions to use with geographical names (cities, states, provinces, countries...)

Passive Infinitive
Even though the French infinitive translates as "to + verb," the French sometimes needs to be preceded by a preposition. This is the case with the passive infinitive, which is commonly used with indefinite and negative words.

Temporal Prepositions
Je vais dans or en une heure? Je vais pendant or pour deux semaines? Many French students are confused by the French prepositions for time. The problem is that there are so many different French temporal prepositions with different uses. Study this lesson to learn the difference between pendant, depuis, à, en, dans, and pour.

Verbs with prepositions
Many French verbs require a certain preposition in order for their meaning to be complete. Here is an alphabetical list of French verbs and the prepositions they need (if any).

À
Despite its tiny size, à is a very important French preposition, with many different meanings and uses in French.

À vs De
These little words cause big problems! Learn all about these common prepositions.

Après vs Derrière
Do you know the difference between the prepositions après and derrière? Their meanings can seem similar, but they are not interchangeable.

Avant vs Devant
Because they can both mean "before," there is often confusion between the prepositions avant and devant. But there's a big difference in the way these words are used.

Avec
The French preposition avec means "with" and is used much like its English equivalent, though there are some differences.

Chez
Pretty much anyone who has eaten at a French restaurant is familiar with the French preposition chez since it's often used with the name of the chef, as in Chez Laura. But there are many other ways to use chez, most of which require several words in English. Learn about the different meanings and translations of the essential French word chez.

Contre - French Preposition
The French preposition contre usually means against, but has a few other meanings depending on what it's used with.

Dans - French Preposition
The French preposition dans usually means in, but also has some other English equivalents, depending on the context.

Dans vs En
The prepositions en and dans can both be used to express time and location in French, but their uses are completely different.

De - French Preposition
De is a very important and versatile preposition with many different meanings and uses in French.

De vs Du, De la, Des
The preposition de tends to be very difficult for French students. This lesson explains when to use de by itself vs when to use du, de la, or des.

Depuis vs Il y a
The French temporal expressions depuis and il y a have distinctly different meanings and uses, yet they commonly present difficulties for French students. Here is a detailed explanation and comparison of depuis and il y a to help you clearly understand the difference once and for all.

Depuis, Pendant, Pour
The French prepositions depuis, pendant, and—far less commonly—pour each express the duration of an event in French a little differently, with the result that many English speakers mix up depuis and pendant and overuse pour. This lesson explains the different meanings and uses for each preposition.

Depuis vs pendant, en vs dans
Je vais dans or en une heure? Je vais pendant or pour deux semaines? Many French students are confused by the French prepositions for time. The problem is that there are so many different French temporal prepositions with different uses. Study this lesson to learn the difference between pendant, depuis, à, en, dans, and pour.

En - French Preposition
The French preposition en is nearly always used directly in front of a noun, with no article.

Entre
The French preposition entrer means "between" or "among," both literally and figuratively.

Merci pour or Merci de?
When saying thank you for something, you must choose between two prepositions, depending on what the thing actually is.

Par - French Preposition
The French preposition par usually means on, but has a few other meanings depending on what it's used with.

Penser à vs Penser de
They both translate as "to think about," but if you think about it, that English phrase has two different meanings. Find out which is which with this lesson.

Pour - French Preposition
The French preposition pour usually means for but has a few other possible meanings as well. It can be followed by a noun, pronoun, or infinitive.

Sans
The French preposition sans means "without" and can be used to indicate a lack, say what didn't happen, and more.

Sur - French Preposition
The French preposition sur usually means on, but has a few other meanings depending on what it's used with.

Verbs with Prepositions - listed by preposition
Many French verbs require a certain preposition in order for the meaning of the verb to be complete. In addition, some verbs that do require a preposition in English don't take one in French, and vice versa. Learn all about French verbs with prepositions and then take the test.

Vers vs Envers
Do you know the difference between the prepositions vers and envers? They both mean "toward," but in different circumstances.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.