Basic French Prepositions

Prepositions are words that indicate the relationship between different elements in a sentence. In French, prepositions are essential components of the language, and understanding them is essential for mastering French.

  1. Basic French Prepositions:

Here are some of the most common prepositions in French:

  • À: Used to indicate direction or destination. E.g., Je vais à l’école (I am going to school).
  • De: Used to indicate possession, origin, or material. E.g., Le livre de Marie (Marie’s book).
  • En: Used to indicate time, manner, or means of transportation. E.g., En voiture (by car).
  • Dans: Used to indicate a location within a defined space. E.g., Dans la maison (in the house).
  • Sur: Used to indicate a location on a surface. E.g., Sur la table (on the table).
  • Sous: Used to indicate a location under a surface. E.g., Sous le lit (under the bed).
  • Avec: Used to indicate an accompaniment. E.g., Avec des amis (with friends).
  • Pour: Used to indicate a purpose or objective. E.g., Pour l’amour (for love).
  • Chez: Used to indicate a person’s home or place of business. E.g., Chez le médecin (at the doctor’s).
  • Devant: Used to indicate a location in front of something. E.g., Devant la maison (in front of the house).
  • Derrière: Used to indicate a location behind something. E.g., Derrière le mur (behind the wall).
  1. Prepositions of Time:

In French, prepositions are also used to indicate time.

  • À: Used to indicate a specific time. E.g., À 5 heures (at 5 o’clock).
  • Depuis: Used to indicate a starting point in time. E.g., Depuis hier (since yesterday).
  • Pendant: Used to indicate a duration of time. E.g., Pendant une heure (for an hour).
  • Pour: Used to indicate a duration of time. E.g., Pour deux jours (for two days).
  • Avant: Used to indicate a time before something. E.g., Avant la soirée (before the party).
  • Après: Used to indicate a time after something. E.g., Après le déjeuner (after lunch).
  • Jusqu’à: Used to indicate a time up to a certain point. E.g., Jusqu’à minuit (until midnight).
  • Vers: Used to indicate an approximate time. E.g., Vers 8 heures (around 8 o’clock).
  1. Prepositions with Verbs:

Certain French verbs are followed by specific prepositions. Here are some examples:

  • Attendre quelqu’un: To wait for someone
  • Parler à quelqu’un: To talk to someone
  • Penser à quelque chose: To think about something
  • S’excuser de quelque chose: To apologize for something
  • Se souvenir de quelque chose: To remember something
  • S’occuper de quelque chose: To take care of something

 

Exercise 1:

Complete the following sentences with the appropriate French preposition:

  1. Je vais ____ la piscine tous les samedis. (I go to the pool every Saturday.)
  2. Les clés sont ____ la table. (The keys are on the table.)
  3. Le chat est ____ la boîte. (The cat is in the box.)
  4. J’ai acheté des cadeaux ____ (I bought gifts for…)

Exercise 2:

Complete the following sentences with the appropriate French preposition of time:

  1. Je suis là ____ deux heures. (I am here for two hours.)
  2. Nous partons ____ la matinée. (We are leaving in the morning.)
  3. Je travaille ____ lundi à vendredi. (I work from Monday to Friday.)
  4. Les enfants jouent ____ la récréation. (The children play during recess.)

Exercise 3:

Complete the following sentences with the appropriate French preposition with verbs:

  1. J’attends ____ mon ami. (I am waiting for my friend.)
  2. Je parle ____ ma mère. (I am talking to my mother.)
  3. Il s’excuse ____ son retard. (He apologizes for his delay.)
  4. Je me souviens ____ cette chanson. (I remember this song.)