All About the Essential French Preposition Chez

Be at home ('chez-soi') or among the ancient Greeks ('chez les Grecs')

Chez Frenand French restaurant
John Elk III/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

Anyone who has eaten at a French restaurant is familiar with the French preposition chez since it's often used with the name of the chef, as in Chez Laura. Its use is also widespread in English, so much that it has joined other French terms that have been adopted by the English language, where it is used largely as the French would: "at or in the home or business place of." In French, it is used in that and many other ways, making it a little workhorse whose one, meaning-filled word is the soul of brevity.

Physical Location or Destination (Principal Meaning of 'Chez')

At or to the home/residence of

  •    chez mon oncle > at / to my uncle's house
  •    chez moi > at home, at / to my house
  •    Carole est chez elle. > Carole is at home.

At / to the office of

  •    chez le médecin > at / to the doctor's (office)
  •    chez l'avocat > at / to the lawyer's office

At / to the business of

  •    chez le boucher > at / to the butcher shop
  •    chez le coiffeur > at / to the barbershop, hairdresser
  •    une robe de chez Dior >  a Dior dress, a dress designed by Dior

State of Mind or Personal Style of a Person or Group (Figuratively)

Among

  •    (une coutume) chez les Français >(a custom) among the French
  •    C'est typique chez les politiciens.> It's typical of politicans.
  •    Ça se trouve souvent chez les vaches.> You often find that among cows.
  •    chez les Grecs > in ancient Greece / among the ancient Greeks
  •    chez la femme > in women / among women

    For / With

    •    Chez lui, c'est une habitude > It's a habit with him.
    •    C'est bizarre chez un enfant. > That's strange for a child.

    In the work of

    •    chez Molière > in Molière's work / writing
    •    chez Van Gogh > in Van Gogh's art

    Idiomatic Expressions with 'Chez"

    •     chacun chez soi  > everyone should look to his own affairs
    •     c'est une coutume / un accent bien de chez nous > it's a typical local custom/accent 
    •     chez-soi​ > at home
    •     fais comme chez toi > make yourself at home
    •     In an address: chez M. Durand > care of Mr. Durand   
    •     elle l'a raccompagné chez lui à pied > she walked him home
    •    ​ elle l'a raccompagné chez lui en voiture > she gave him a lift / a ride home    
    •     rentrer chez soi / rester chez soi > to go home / to stay at home
    Format
    mla apa chicago
    Your Citation
    Lawless, Laura K. "All About the Essential French Preposition Chez." ThoughtCo, Jul. 6, 2017, thoughtco.com/chez-french-preposition-1368912. Lawless, Laura K. (2017, July 6). All About the Essential French Preposition Chez. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/chez-french-preposition-1368912 Lawless, Laura K. "All About the Essential French Preposition Chez." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/chez-french-preposition-1368912 (accessed December 11, 2017).