Lesson 13: Basic Prepositions

In this lesson you will learn some basic prepositions in French, mainly using the verb “être” (to be) and verbs from the first group. Prepositions help describe the location of people or objects. Let’s begin!

Préposition (Preposition) Prononciation (Pronunciation) Traduction (Translation)
à [ah] To/At
de [duh] Of/From
en [ah(n)] In/On/At
sur [soor] On
sous [soo] Under
devant [duh-vah(n)] In Front Of
derrière [deh-ryehr] Behind
entre [ah(n)-truh] Between
avec [ah-vehk] With
sans [sah(n)] Without

Examples:

  • Je suis à l’école.” (I am at school.)
  • C’est le livre de Marie.” (It’s Marie’s book.)
  • Je suis en France.” (I am in France.)
  • Le chat est sur la table.” (The cat is on the table.)
  • Les clés sont sous le tapis.” (The keys are under the rug.)
  • La voiture est devant la maison.” (The car is in front of the house.)
  • Le chien est derrière le chat.” (The dog is behind the cat.)
  • Elle est assise entre Pierre et Marie.” (She is sitting between Pierre and Marie.)
  • Je suis avec des amis au cinéma.” (I am with friends at the cinema.)
  • Elle mange la salade sans vinaigrette. (She eats the salad without dressing.)

Practice using these basic prepositions with the verb “être” and first-group verbs to describe locations and relationships. You can also create your own sentences using these prepositions to reinforce your understanding.

Exercise 1 :  Complete the following sentences with the appropriate preposition.

  1. Je vais _____ plage. – I am going to the beach.
  2. Mon livre _____ la table. – My book is on the table.
  3. Elle habite _____Paris. – She lives in Paris.
  4. Nathan est _____ Mathilde. – Nathan is with Mathilde.
  5. Le chat est _____ le canapé. – The cat is on the couch.
  6. Ils sont _____ France. – They are in France.
  7. Les clés sont _____ la voiture. – The keys are in the car.
  8. Le restaurant est _____ la rue. – The restaurant is on the street.
  9. Je suis assis _____ la chaise. – I am sitting on the chair.
  10. Le gâteau est _____ le réfrigérateur. – The cake is in the refrigerator.
answers
  1. Je vais à la plage. – I am going to the beach.
  2. Mon livre est sur la table. – My book is on the table.
  3. Elle habite à Paris. – She lives in Paris.
  4. Nathan est avec Mathilde. – Nathan is with Mathilde.
  5. Le chat est sur le canapé. – The cat is on the couch.
  6. Ils sont en France. – They are in France.
  7. Les clés sont dans la voiture. – The keys are in the car.
  8. Le restaurant est dans la rue. – The restaurant is on the street.
  9. Je suis assis sur la chaise. – I am sitting on the chair.
  10. Le gâteau est dans le réfrigérateur. – The cake is in the refrigerator.

Exercise 2 : Translate the following sentences into French using the appropriate preposition:

  1. I am in Paris now.
  2. She places(1) the pen on the table.
  3. The cat and the dog are in front of the house.
  4. The boy is in France.
  5. The jam is in the refrigerator.

(1) Use the verb “poser.” ( to place )

answers
  1. Je suis à Paris maintenant. – I am in Paris now.
  2. Elle pose le stylo sur la table. – She places the pen on the table.
  3. Le chat et le chien sont devant la maison. – The cat and the dog are in front of the house.
  4. Le garçon est en France. – The boy is in France.
  5. La confiture est dans le réfrigérateur. – The jam is in the refrigerator.

I hope this simplified lesson with the table helps you grasp the basics of prepositions in French. If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask!

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