45 Days of French – Day 28, continued…

I read Hour 13 of Alpha Teach Yourself French in 24 Hours (ATYF) yesterday. And you may have noticed that I had to stop abruptly after pronouns of time. Well, a lot of the family has been sick today, so I’m only now getting back to ATYF. Let’s jump in, and hope for no more interruptions…

We finished up pronouns of time, and so will start off in this post with prepositions of place. We fill follow that with some other prepositions, and verbs that take prepositions governing infinitives. Maybe we’ll even get to some geographical place names!

Prepositions of Place

Preposition Notes
à English Equivalent: “to”, “at” or “in” with places or place names
  • au soleilin the sun”
à côté de English Equivalent:“next to” or “beside”
à la hauteur de English Equivalent: “abreast of”, “level with”
après English Equivalent: “after”
avec English Equivalent: “with”
chez English Equivalent: “at the home/office of” or “among”
  • Je vais chez moi. “I am going to my home.”
  • J’ai acheté…chez Target. “I bought…at Target.
  • chez Shakespearethe works of Shakespeare”
contre English Equivalent: “against”
  • échanger une chose contre une autre “to exchange one thing for another”
dans English Equivalent: “in” or “inside of”
  • dans l’enveloppein the envelope”
  • dans la luneon the moon”
  • dans l’avion “in/on the plane”

Also, with prendre, dans means “out of”. And when place names are modified by an adjective, dans is used to mean “in” or “within”

de English Equivalent: “from”
de côté English Equivalent: “sideways”
derrière English Equivalent: “in back of” or “behind”
devant English Equivalent: “in front of”
du côté de
English Equivalent: “from (a direction)”
en English Equivalent: “in”, “on” or “to” with countries, regions, etc.
en dehors de English Equivalent: “outside of”
en face de English Equivalent: “facing”, “across from”, or “opposite”
entre English Equivalent: “between”
  • plusiers d’entre nous “several of us”
hors de English Equivalent: “outside of (physically)”
loin de English Equivalent: “far from (physically)”
par English Equivalent: “by” or “through”
  • par exemplefor example”
  • par la portethrough the door”
parmi English Equivalent: “among”
près de English Equivalent: “near” or “close to”
sous English Equivalent: “under”
  • sous la pluiein the rain”
  • sous les tropiquesin the tropics”
  • sous terreunderground”
sur English Equivalent: “on (physically)”
  • sur la photoin the photgraph”
  • sur la portein the door”
  • page sur page “page after page”

What preposition to use to say “to” and “from” varies by the gender and type of place:

  • Cities are masculine, unless explicitly marked with a feminine article (will be uppercase and a fixed part of the city name)
  • Continents, countries, mountain ranges, rivers, regions…
    • …which end in -e are feminine.
    • …which do not end in -e are masculine.
      • except for le Mexique and l’Antarctique

Also, continents, regions, mountain ranges, etc. – unlike cities (typically) – take a definite article. Israël is a notable exception, never taking an article. Beginning with this we find:

  • Masculine countries use the preposition au or aux (à + article) + country for English “in” or “to”
  • Feminine countries (or masculine countries that begin with a vowel) use en + country for “in” or “to”
  • Masculine countries use the preposition du or des (de + article) + country for English “from”
  • Feminine countries (or masculine countries that begin with a vowel) use de + article + country for “from”
  • Cities (and islands, typically) use à and de for “to” and “from”, respectively. These usually do not have articles. On the off chance that they do, they contract as normal.

Quite a bit of time is spent listing country, continents, rivers, etc. I really don’t want to type all that. So I went searching for some online maps, such as here and here and here. Not quite as easy as I would have liked. There is quite a bit of stuff out there for sale, though.

Prepositions That Do Something Different Than Point to Time and Place

Preposition Notes
à English Equivalent: “to”
Used with certain verbs + an infinitive

  • aider à + infinitive “to help to”
  • commencer à + infinitive “to begin to”
  • enseigner à + infinitive “to teach to”
à travers English Equivalent: “across”
d’après English Equivalent: “according to”
  • d’après la Bible “according to the Bible”
de used with certain verbs + an infinitive
  • cesser de + infinitive “to stop, cease”
  • finir de + infinitive “to finish”
  • essayer de + infinitive “to try to”
envers English Equivalent: “toward”
environs English Equivalent: “approximately”
pour English Equivalent: “in order that”
Governs an infinitive.
quant à English Equivalent: “as for” or “regarding”
sans English Equivalent: “without”, often used with singular nouns and no article
selon English Equivalent: “according to”

There are also verbs that govern infinitives that do not require a preposition, such as adorer “to adore”, aimer “to love”, pouvoir “to be able” and aller “to go”.

Enough for now. Goodnight!


About George

I'm interested in theology, languages, translation and various sorts of fermentation.
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One Response to 45 Days of French – Day 28, continued…

  1. Pingback: 45 Days of French | σφόδρα – exceedingly

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