List of French prepositions with examples and test




Using prepositions will greatly increase your ability to speak French.

In this article, we will go through a bunch of them together. We will also use relevant context to make it more tangible.

However, I need to tell you that there are many rules regarding French prepositions.

But do not worry, the contexts in this article will help you to understand .

Let us begin with 5 easy prepositions that usually translate very well into English.

Easier prepositions

1. Pendant – during

  • Elle est réstée calme pendant l’examen – She stayed calm during the exam.
  • Qu’est-ce que tu vais faire pendant son absence? What are you going to do during his/her absence?

2. Avec – With

  • Je vais manger avec mon ami – I will eat with my friend.
  • Voulez-vous aller avec elle? – Do you want to go with her?

3. Sans – Without

  • Je suis arrivé sans mon frère – I arrived without my brother.
  • Je ne peux pas vivre sans sucre – I can’t live without sugar.

4. Avant – Before

  • Vous êtes arrivé avant moi – You arrived before me.
  • Arrêtez votre voiture juste avant l’épicerie – Stop your car just before the grocery store.

5. Après – After

  • J’ai fini mes devoirs après une soirée – I finished my homework after a night out.
  • Le restaurant est situé juste après l’école – The restaurant is located just after the school.

Let us continue with other examples that require more explanation. I highly suggest that you do the exercises after these examples. They will help you to understand the difference.

Prepositions that require explanation

Chez – At (home or at someone’s place), Among

“Chez” can be difficult to translate with one or even two words. There is no equivalent word in English (to my knowledge).

However, the areas of application for “chez” are quite easy to understand.

You can say: Chez moi – at my place.

You can also say:

  • Je vais aller chez toi – I am going to your place.

In this case, we are referring to the home of someone. However, we can also refer to other places, for instance:

  • Tu vas aller chez le docteur? Are you going to the doctor?

There is one more important area of application. In this case, we translate “Chez” with “Among.”

  • Il y a tant de problèmes chez les étudiants – There are many problems among the students.

En – In, To

“En” has specific areas of application. Some translate very well into English. However, sometimes you need to use other prepositions that have the same translation.

You can use “en” when you have finished an action. For instance:

  • J’ai fini mes devoirs en 10 minutes – I finished my homework in 10 minutes.
  • Elle a fait le dîner en 20 minutes – She finished making dinner in 10 minutes.

We can also use “en” when we refer to countries that take the feminine form.

  • Ils ont beaucoup d’espace en Suède – They have a lot of space in Sweden.
  • En France, ils boivent souvent du vin – In France, they often drink wine.

“In” is not the only relevant translation when we refer to countries. We can also use “to” + country in the feminine form.

  • Je vais aller en France – I am going to France.
  • Elle est venue en Angleterre – She came to England.

There are more areas of application. I’ve created 2 articles on prepositions related to countries with maps:

Dans – In

We use “dans” when referring to actions that will take place in the future. For instance:

  • Elle va arriver dans 5 mois – She will arrive in 5 months.
  • Le train part dans 6 minutes – The train will leave in 6 minutes.

Now we can conclude that “Dans” can be related to the “future”, while “en” can be related to actions in the past.

Let’s look at more areas of application for “dans”. In many ways, it is used in the same way in English. For instance:

  • Je l’ai trouvé dans la garde-robe – I found it in the wardrobe.
  • il ya une araignée dans le seau – There is a spider in the bucket.

à – to/at

à can also mean “in”. It can also take the forms,

  • au
  • à la
  • à l’
  • aux.

It sounds complicated, doesn’t it?

I will give a more in-depth explanation later in this article.

But for now, we need to focus on the relevant translations for the exercises/test.

“À” should be used when referring to a city. I have mentioned earlier that we can use “en” for countries that take the feminine form.

Let us look at two examples:

  • Je vais aller à Paris – I am going to Paris.
  • Elle est venue seule à New York– She came alone to New York.

de – From, about

“De” can also mean “of”.

It can take the following forms,

  • du
  • de la
  • de l’
  • des 

Quite similar to “à”, isn’t it?

Let us focus more on the explanations of the different forms later in this article.

At this point, we want to look at the easiest translations of “de”.

We can use “de” in relation to cities and countries in the feminine form.

For instance:

  • Je viens de France – I come from France.
  • Il vient de New York – He comes from New York.
  • Je pris l’avion de New York – I took the plane from New York.

We can also use “de” to emphasize possession. For instance:

  • Le telephone de John – John’s telephone.
  • La couverture de Lily – Lily’s blanket.

Let’s go through 2 more prepositions before the test. These prepositions can often be used in the same way as in English. They also have an equally important role in both languages.

Pour – For

Pour usually means “for”. Let us look at a couple of sentences:

  • J’ai fait un gateau pour toi – I made a cake for you.
  • Dites-moi vos arguments pour un salaire plus élevé – Tell me your arguments for a higher salary.

“Pour” can also be used to indicate that you are going somewhere in the same way as in English.

  • Je pars pour New York – I am leaving for New York.

In this case, you can also use “à,” just like we talked about before. The translation changes a bit, but I think you understand the difference.

Sur – On

“Sur” can also be used in expressions where its translation is not “on”. We will talk more about this later. However, for the moment, we will focus on easier translations.

  • C’est sur ma chaîne Youtube – It is on my Youtube channel.
  • La clé est sur la table – The key is on the table.

“Sur” can also mean “about”. For instance:

  • Un documentaire sur le bonheur – A documentary about happiness.
  • C’est une loi sur le droit des travailleurs – it’s a law on workers right.


I’ve also created a PDF with 23 exercises. 

More on à

Now it is time to explain the meaning of “à” and its different forms. It is crucial to know the full meaning of “à” and “dè”. Why?

They are used all the time in daily conversations, and you will find it difficult to express yourself without them.

Let us, therefore, focus on how they work and their areas of application.

Before we start, I need to mention that some of the examples will come across as confusing. For example, it can be difficult to explain why we use “à” instead of “en”. However, you will get the hang of it eventually if you immerse yourself in the French language.

1. “à” can take the form “au” in front of a noun that is in the masculine form.

  • Je vais au restaurant – I am going to the restaurant.
  • Elle va au cinéma – She is going to the cinema.

2. “à” can take the form “à la” in front of a noun that is in the feminine form.

  • On va à la piscine – We are going to the pool.
  • Elle est allé à la banque – She went to the bank.

3. “à” can take the form “à l'” when the noun begins with a vowel.

We use this contraction when the following noun starts with a vowel. The reason for this is simple – it sounds better.

  • Je vais à l’école – I am going to school.
  • Ils vont à l’épicerie – They are going to the grocery store.

You can try to say “Je vais à la école” instead of “Je vais à l’ecole”. It definitely sounds better with the contraction.

4. “à” can take the form “aux” when the noun/name is in the plural form.

“aux” is applicable when the noun is in the plural form. For instance:

  • Elle a assisté aux conferences – She attended the conferences.
  • Il est déjà arrivé aux États-Unis – He has already arrived in the United States.

And yes, there is a third form that we use for countries in addition to “en” and “au”. Some countries take the plural form.  However, these countries really represent a minority. For instance:

  • Les Pays-Bas
  • Les États-Unis

Referring to countries can be quite tricky. First, we need to learn the name of the country and its form. This is not something that we will do in one day .


“de” has a lot of similarities with “à” when it comes to the areas of application. We have, however, already focused on its most basic form. Now we will focus on:

  • du
  • de la
  • de l’
  • des

Let us go through them one by one.

1. “de” can take the form “du” in front of a masculine noun.

  • Elle vient du Liban – She comes from Lebanon.
  • J’aimerais du sucre – I would like some sugar.

2. “de” can also take the form “de la” in front of a feminine noun.

  • Elle sort de la maison – She goes out from the house.
  • J’aimerais écouter de la musique – I would like to listen to some music.

3. “de la” can become “de l” in front of a vowel.

We have already talked about the reason for this. It should also be mentioned that contractions around vowels are common in French.

  •   Elle gagne de l’argent – She is making some money.
  •   Le tissu vient de l’usine – The fabric comes from the factory.

4. “de” becomes “des” in plural.

  • J’aime des fraises – I love strawberries.
  • Il vient des États-unis – He comes from the United States.

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