How to Use the French Preposition "Chez"

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. It is loosely translated as "at or in the home or business place of" and can be used in a number of circumstances, including location or state of mind, as well as in common idiomatic expressions. This phrase has even crept into English, where it's frequently used in restaurant names such as the iconic Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif.

Uses and Examples

Chez is most commonly used to refer to a home or business, but it can also be employed to characterize someone or something or as part of an expression. For example:

  •    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.
  •    chez le médecin > at / to the doctor's (office)
  •    chez l'avocat > at / to the lawyer's office
  •    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
  •    (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
  •    Chez lui, c'est une habitude > It's a habit with him.
  •    C'est bizarre chez un enfant. > That's strange for a child.
  •    chez Molière > in Molière's work / writing
  •    chez Van Gogh > in Van Gogh's art
  •     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
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ThoughtCo. "How to Use the French Preposition "Chez"." ThoughtCo, Apr. 25, 2018, thoughtco.com/chez-french-preposition-1368912. ThoughtCo. (2018, April 25). How to Use the French Preposition "Chez". Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/chez-french-preposition-1368912 ThoughtCo. "How to Use the French Preposition "Chez"." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/chez-french-preposition-1368912 (accessed April 26, 2018).