French Prepositions That You Should Know

Friends sharing a book in library
"Le livre est pour toi." (The book is for you.). Erik Dreyer / Getty Images

Prepositions are words which link two related parts of a sentence. They are placed in front of nouns in order to indicate a relationship between that noun and the verb, adjective, or noun that precedes it.

  • I'm talking to Jean. | Je parle à Jean.
  • She is from Paris. | Elle est de Paris.
  • The book is for you. | Le livre est pour toi.

What follows is a comprehensive list of the most common French prepositions and their English equivalents, with links to detailed explanations and examples.


à     to, at, in
à côté de next to, beside
après after
au sujet de about, on the subject of
avant before
avec with
chez at the home/office of, among
contre against
dans in
d'après according to
de from, of, about
depuis since, for
derrière in back of, behind
devant in front of
durant during, while
en in, on, to
en dehors de outside of
en face de facing, across from
entre between
envers toward
environ approximately
hors de outside of
jusque until, up to, even
loin de far from
malgré despite
par by, through
parmi among
pendant during
pour for
près de near
quant à as for, regarding
sans without
selon according to
sous under
suivant according to
sur on
vers toward

    Grammatical note: the noun that follows the preposition can sometimes be replaced by an object pronoun.