Exceptional prepositions in French
Prepositions à, de and en
The prepositions à and de are combined with the articles le and les to make one compound word.
|Prepositions + Article||Examples|
à + le = au
|J'habite au Mexique. (I live in Mexico.)|
à + les = aux
|Elle est aux Etats-Unis. (She's in the States.)|
de + le = du
|Parler du livre. (Speak about the book.)|
de + les = des
|Parler des livres. (Speak about the books.)|
Prepositions avant and devant
In general avant and devant are translated into English as “before”. In French, however, these prepositions can have a different meaning – so we use avant when we refer to time and devant when we refer to space.
Quitter le cinéma avant la fin du film.
Sophie se brosse les dents avant d’aller se coucher.
Leaving the cinema before the end of the film.
Sophie brushes her teeth before she goes to bed.
Attendre son ami devant le cinéma.
Il attend tous les jours devant la boulangerie.
To wait for your friend in front of the cinema.
He waits every day in front of the bakery.
Prepositions afin/avant + Infinitive
If afin and avant are used in front of an infinitive, you have to regard that de is placed between the preposition and the infinitve:
- avant le repas → before the meal
- avant de manger → before the meal
Prepositions with verbs
Some French verbs can be followed by an infinitive and linked to it by either de or à, or no preposition at all:
|Verb + Preposition||Translation|
|apprendre à faire qc||learn to do something|
|arriver à faire qc||reach to do something|
|assister à qc||to attend something|
|chercher à faire qc||look to do something|
|choisir de faire qc||choose to do something|
|commander à qn de faire qc||order someone to do something|
|commencer à / de faire qc||beginning to do something|
|continuer à / de faire qc||continue to do something|
|décider de faire qc||decide to do something|
|défendre qc à qn||defend something from someone|
|demander à qn de faire qc||require something from someone|
|penser à qc / qn||think of someone/something|
|répondre à qc / qn||answer something/someone|
|téléphoner à qn||to call someone|
|voler qc à qn||steal something from someone|
Prepositions with adjectives
Just like verbs, some French adjectives can be linked to what follows by either à or de:
|Adjective + Preposition||Translation|
|être capable de faire||being able to do|
|être certain de faire||being certain to do|
|être content de faire qc||being satisfied to do something|
|être exclu de qc||being excluded from something|
|être heureux de faire qc||being happy to do|
|être impatient de faire||being impatient to do|
|être incapable de faire||being incapable to do|
|être nécessaire à qc||being necessary to do sth|
|être prêt à faire qc||being ready to do|
|être responsable de qc||being responsible to do|
|être satisfait de qc||being satisfied to do|
|être seul à faire qc||being alone with doing sth|
- Fill in the blank about French exceptional prepositions
- Quiz about the French exceptional prepositions
Fill in the blank about French exceptional prepositions
Quiz about the French exceptional prepositions
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Elena is an excellent teacher and a very nice person. I have been training in Spanish with Elena for quite some time now after her being recommended to me by a friend, and have consistently been very pleased with our lessons. While I do not consider myself to be very good at learning foreign languages, Elena is very patient and adapts the lessons to my ability, making me feel at ease. In fact, I find her to be extremely skilled at assessing exactly where I am at any given time with respect to my individual learning situation, and structuring the lessons accordingly. I think I probably would have given up trying to learn Spanish had I not began my study with Elena; and that would have been a shame considering where I am now with the language. Because of Elena's skilled help, I am extremely pleased to not only be conversant in basic Spanish, but also have confidence that I will one day reach full proficiency with the language. No other learning method I tried before meeting Elena compares to the one-on-one, personalized instruction I receive from her, which comprises reading; writing; developmental exercises; and most importantly, conversation. To be able to look at Spanish now and have it appear largely familiar is extremely satisfying. I even plan to study Italian with Elena after reaching my desired level in Spanish. These are not things I ever imagined would occur at the beginning stages of my studies. I am a native English speaker and find Elena's English to be excellent. She had no difficulty instructing me from the very beginning levels where it was necessary that a lot of English be spoken in our lessons, to where we are now with much less English being spoken. The friend who recommended Elena to me learned Dutch from her, and is equally pleased with their experience. I would not hesitate to learn from Elena any of the languages she teaches. I give Elena my highest recommendations and thank her for all the help she has provided me.
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Hands down one of the best teachers I've had the pleasure of working with. Very knowledgeable in all aspects of Bulgarian (grammar rules, expressions, ...) but also in both English and French, which helps whenever you have a more in-depth question on the how or why something is the way it is in Bulgarian. Furthermore he has his own material and always comes prepared, but he is equally open to changing the subject of a lesson to suit your needs. He is patient, positive and not too scholarly, which is what you need as an adult learning day- to- day Bulgarian.I have been working with him for 18 months now and still look forward to our lessons every week.
An's Bulgarian has tremendously improved since she gave it go a year and a half ago. Of course, It goes without saying that I am pleased to work with such an enthusiastic learner who is living proof that, through hard work and perseverance, everyone can succeed in their language goals. An, you are now an independant user of the language who is able to successfully lead real-live conversations. Pat yourself on the back.
Again a lesson full of fun anf full of learning opportunities. I really like Angels patience and ability to adapt to my learning process.
This student is one of the best ones I ever had in my long teaching career. She is always so diligent and willing to learn more and more. I am so happy to work with her and see the immense progress she has made since we first started working together. Thank you Silke!
I would highly recommend Tove. Her lessons are fantastic and I learn exactly what I'm interested in. Tove is very friendly, our chemistry goes well together and I really enjoy being tought by her.
Dear Anita, Thank you very much for your nice review! I enjoy our lessons very much too and I am so happy that our communication and chemistry fit well together. That's the best precondition for a good learning experience. See you soon!
We are an Italian family residing in France for 3 months, we have two 10 year old children who have just started attending CM1. We asked Natalia to give the children two lessons a week to speed up their learning. We are super happy with the choice. Nous sommes une famille italienne résidant en France depuis janvier, nous avons deux enfants de 10 ans qui viennent de commencer la CM1. Nous avons demandé à Natalia de leur donner deux leçons par semaine pour accélérer leur apprentissage. Nous sommes super contents de Natalia. We are an Italian family living in France since 3 months, we have two 10 year old children who have just started attending CM1. We asked Natalia to give the kids two lessons a week to speed up their learning. We are super happy with this choice.
Fabrizio's children are learning French very fast, I have the impression that these lessons online have been helpful for them and I am sure they will master the language easily. They are very interested in learning.
Daniela is a very pleasant and brisk teacher who has the talent to make you feel at ease immediately. Her lessons are a nice mix of conversation and theory. Again and again it is a nice hour to look forward to !! Thank you Daniela !!
Dear Hilde, thank you very much for your words. I'm glad you are satisfied with our time together. I will continue to do my best to make you practice your beautiful Italian in a cheerful and peaceful way :-)
It is always a pleasure to have English lessons with Corinne. The lessons are always a lot of fun and extremely interesting concerning on current affairs and unfortunately the time always ends too early. Very recommended.
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Fabia is a very nice student and learns very quickly. It is a pleasure to teach her as she really likes to learn a difficult language like Portuguese and improved a lot.
It was very nice to take a lesson from Theano (Anny). She is adaptable to the student's level and is prepared to help the student as necessary. She is a friendly and caring teacher!
Σ' ευχαριστώ πολύ Μέγκαν! I'm glad you had a good experience and that you enjoyed it. Your excitment about learning greek motivates me even more :)
Marissa is a very professional teacher who can put the student at ease. It is precise, effective and oriented towards achieving the objectives: highly recommended.
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Karin was attentive, transmiting her positivism and helping me with every doubt I had.
She really focus on teaching how to pronounce and talk a language, so this is really interesting for me, to practise it & be able to use it in my day by day.
I really recommend her to everyone willing to learn a new language :)
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A prepared and kind teacher, ready to teach with patience and good humor. He provided me with very useful materials to study and review even after the lesson. I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn a language with a smile. Thanks Silvia :)
Thank you so much for the Chiara review! It was a real pleasure to have this lesson with you. I wish you a nice trip with the German language!
The lesson with Celia was perfect! She was puntcual, kind and her teaching method is effective and funny.
She started the class with some "games" to get to know eachother and then we discussed about an article she provided. The time of the class passed really fast and I learned new vocabulary.
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Dear Silvia, thank you very much for your feedback! It's a real pleasure to have classes with you, and I hope you find them useful!