French Verbs With Their Correct Prepositions

Some Verbs Require Prepositions for a Complete Meaning

Many French verbs require a certain preposition in order for their meaning to be complete. Some of the verbs are followed by prepositions "à" or "de" and others by no preposition at all. There is no apparent grammar rule to which verbs require a preposition and which do not, so it is a good idea to memorize the ones that do have a preposition attached. 

The list below is organized alphabetically and includes verbs with prepositions. The prepositions are in italics to make them easy to spot.

Abbreviation Key: In the Frenchquelque chose is listed as qqch and quelqu'un is written qqun, and in the English, someone is s-o and something is s-t .

French Verbs With Prepositions, A to C (s’arbriter – croire)

s'abriter contre (le vent) - to take shelter against (the wind)
accepter de - to accept, agree to
accuser (qqun) de - to accuse (s-o) of
acheter à - to buy from
acheter (qqch) sur le marché - to buy (s-t) at the market
achever de - to finish
agir en - to act like/as
s'agir de - to be a question of
aider à - to help to
aller - to go, to be going to
aller vers (midi) - to go at around (noon)
aller vers (Nice) - to go toward (Nice)
s'amuser à + infinitive - to amuse oneself ___-ing
apercevoir - to perceive, catch sight of
s'apercevoir de - to notice
apprendre à - to learn how to
s'apprêter à - to get ready to
s'approcher de - to approach
approuver - to approve of
appuyer sur (le bouton) - to press (the button)
appuyer sur (le mur) - to lean on (the wall)
s'appuyer contre (un arbre) - to lean against (a tree)
arracher à - to grab, tear away from
(s')arrêter de - to stop ___-ing
arriver à - to manage/succeed in ___-ing
arriver de (Paris, Canada) - to arrive from (Paris, Canada)
arriver par - to succeed through/by
arriver sur (midi) - to arrive at around (noon)
s'asseoir contre (son ami) - to sit next to (one's friend)
assister à (la réunion) - to attend (the meeting)
s'assurer contre (l'incendie) - to insure against (fire)
attendre - to wait for
s'attendre à - to expect to
s'autoriser à - to authorize / allow to
avertir de - to warn about
avoir à - to have to / be obliged to
avoir beau (j'ai beau essayer) - despite doing (despite trying)
avoir besoin de - to need
avoir confiance en - to trust
avoir envie de - to want
avoir peur de - to be afraid of ___-ing

se battre contre - to fight against
blâmer de - to blame
se blottir contre (sa mère, son chien) - to cuddle up next to (one's mother, dog)
boire qqchose dans (une tasse) - to drink something out of (a cup)

casser en (morceaux, trois) - to break in(to) (pieces, three)
cesser de - to stop, cease ___-ing
changer de (train) - to change (trains)
se changer en - to change into
chercher - to look for
chercher à - to attempt to
chercher dans (la boîte) - to look in (the box)
choisir de - to choose to
commander (à qqun) de faire - to order (someone) to do
commencer à - to begin to, to begin ___-ing
commencer par - to begin by ___-ing
compter - to expect, intend
compter pour - to be worth
compter sur - to count on
concentrer sur - to concentrate on
condamner pour (meurtre) - to sentence for (murder)
conseiller à - to advise
conseiller à qqun de faire qqch - to advise someone to do something
conseiller de - to advise to
consentir à - to consent to
se contenter de - to be happy ___-ing
continuer à/de - to continue to, to continue ___-ing
convenir à - to please, to be suitable for
convenir de - to agree to
convertir qqch en - to convert s-t into
copier sur qqun - to copy from s-o
couper en (deux) - to cut in (two)
courir - to run (to do something)
courir dans (l'herbe) - to run through (the grass)
coûter dans (les cent euros) - to cost about (100 euros)
craindre de - to fear ___-ing
craindre pour (sa vie) - to fear for (one's life)
creuser pour - to dig for
croire - to think, believe
croire à - to believe something
croire en - to believe in
croire qqun sur parole - to take someone's word

French Verbs With Prepositions, D to I (daigner –  inviter)

daigner - to deign to
décider (qqun) à - to persuade (s-o) to
décider de - to decide to
se décider à - to make up one's mind to
défendre à (qqun) - to forbid (s-o)
défendre à qqun de faire qqch - to forbid s-o to do s-t
défendre de (qqch) - to forbid (s-t)
se déguiser en - to disguise oneself as
demander - to ask for
demander à (qqun) - to ask (someone)
demander à (faire qqch) - to ask (for permission to do something)
demander à qqun de faire qqch - to ask s-o to do s-t
se dépêcher de - to hurry to
dépendre de - to depend on
déplaire à - to displease / be displeasing to
déranger qqun de - to bother s-o to
descendre - to go down(stairs)
désirer - to want
désobéir à - to disobey
détester - to hate
devoir - to have to, be obliged to
dire à (qqun) - to say to, to tell (s-o)
dire à qqun de faire qqch - to tell someone to do something
diriger son attention sur - to direction one's attention to
se diriger vers - to move toward/make/head for
donner qqch - to give something
donner qqch contre - to give something in exchange for
donner qqch à qqun - to give s-o s-t, to give s-t to s-o
donner sur - to overlook, open onto
dormir (la nuit) - to sleep (at night)
douter de - to doubt

échanger qqch contre qqch - to exchange something for s-t else
écouter (la radio) - to listen to (the radio)
écrire en (encre, français) - to write in (ink, French)
écrire sur - to write about
s'efforcer de - to endeavor to
emmener - to take
s'emparer de - to grab
empêcher de - to prevent, keep from ___-ing
s'empresser de - to hurry to
emprunter un livre à qqun - to borrow a book from s-o
encourager qqun à faire - to encourage s-o to do
s'endormir sur (un livre, son travail) - to fall asleep (over a book, at work)
s'engager à - to get around to
ennuyer qqun de - to bother/upset s-o to
enseigner à - to teach to
entendre - to hear
entrer - to enter (in order to do something)
entrer dans - to enter
envoyer (qqch) à (qqun) - to send (s-t) to (s-o)
envoyer chercher - to send for
essayer - to try on
essayer de - to try to
s'étendre sur - to spread out over
s'étonner de - to be astonished by
être à - to belong to
être censé - to be supposed to
être en colère contre - to be angry at
être pour - to be in favor of
être vers (Paris, 3h00) - to be around/near (Paris, 3:00)
s'excuser de - to apologize for ___-ing

se fâcher contre - to get mad at
faillir - to almost do something
faire + infinitive (causative) - to cause to
faire attention à - to pay attention to
falloir (il faut) - to be necessary to
féliciter qqun de - to congratulate s-o for/on
fermer la porte sur soi - to close the door behind oneself
se fier à (qqun) - to trust (s-o)
se figurer - to imagine, picture
finir de - to finish ___-ing
finir par - to end up ___-ing / to finally do s-t
fouiller dans (qqch) - to look through (s-t)

goûter à qqch - to taste something
grignoter qqch - to nibble on, eat away at something
gronder de - to scold for ___-ing

habiter (à) - optional preposition - to live in
habiter par (ici) - to live around (here)
s'habituer à - to get used to
se hâter de - to hurry to
hériter de (qqch / qqun) - to inherit (s-t / from s-o)
hésiter à - to hesitate to

ignorer - to be unaware of
s'imaginer - to imagine
interdire à - to forbid
interdire à qqun de faire qqch - to forbid s-o to do s-t
s'intéresser à - to be interested in
interroger qqun sur qqch - to question s-o about s-t
inviter (qqun) à - to invite (s-o) to

French Verbs With Prepositions, J to P (jeter –  punir de)

jeter (qqch) à - to throw (s-t) to
se jeter sur qqun - to throw oneself upon someone
jouer à - to play (a game or a sport)
jouer de - to play (an instrument)
jouir de - to enjoy
jurer par - to swear by

laisser - to allow
laisser pour (mort) - to leave for (dead)
lire dans (le journal) - to read in (the paper)
loucher sur - to ogle

manger dans la main à qqun - to eat out of someone's hand
manger dans l'assiette - to eat off of a plate
manquer à - to miss someone
manquer de - to neglect, fail to (do s-t), to lack
se méfier de - to distrust, beware of
mêler à - to mingle with / to join in
mériter de - to deserve to
mésurer en (mètres) - to measure in (meters)
mettre - to put on
mettre son espoir dans - to pin one's hopes on
se mettre à - to start, set about ___-ing
se mettre contre le mur - to stand against the wall
se mettre en colère - to get mad
se mettre en route - to set out
monter - to go up, climb
se moquer de - to make fun of

nier - to deny
nuire à - to harm

obéir à - to obey
obliger à - to oblige to
obtenir qqch par - to obtain something by
s'occuper de - to be busy with
offrir de - to offer to
ordonner à qqun de faire qqch - to order s-o to do s-t
oser - to dare
oublier de - to forget to

paraître - to appear, seem
pardonner à - to pardon, forgive
parler à - to talk to
parler de - to talk about
parler pour - to speak on behalf of
partir dans (10 minutes) - to leave in (10 minutes)
partir dans (les montagnes) - to leave for (the mountains)
partir de - to leave
partir pour - to leave for/be off to
parvenir à - to succeed in ___-ing
se passer de - to do without
passer du temps à - to spend time ___-ing
payer (le repas) - to pay for (the meal)
payer pour (qqun) - to pay for (someone)
se pencher pour - to bend down in order to
penser faire - to plan on, intend to
penser à - to think about (imagine)
penser de - to think about (opinion)
perdre du temps à - to waste time ___-ing
permettre à - to permit
(se) permettre de - to allow (oneself) to
permettre à qqun de faire qqch - to allow s-o to do s-t
persister à - to persist in ___-ing
persuader de - to persuade to
se plaindre de - to complain about
plaire à - to please / be pleasing to
se plaire à - to take pleasure in ___-ing
pleurer - to cry about
pleuvoir dans (la France) - to rain in (France)
pousser (qqun) à - to push/urge (s-o) to
pouvoir - to be able to
préférer - to prefer
préférer ___ à ___ - to prefer ___ to/over ___, to like ___ more than ___
prendre garde de - to be careful not to
prendre le parti de - to decide to
prendre modèle sur qqun - to model oneself on someone
prendre qqch dans (une boîte) - to take s-t from (a box)
prendre qqun par (la main) - to take s-o by (the hand)
se préparer à - to prepare oneself to
se presser de - to hurry to
prétendre - to claim
prier - to pray to
prier de - to beg to
profiter à - to benefit / be profitable to
profiter de - to make the most of
promettre à qqun de faire qqch - to promise s-o to do s-t
promettre de - to promise to
proposer de - to suggest ___-ing
puer - to stink of
punir de - to punish for

French Verbs With Prepositions, Q to V (questionner –  voyager)

questionner qqun sur qqch - to question s-o about s-t
quêter pour (les orphelins) - to collect for (orphans)

recommencer à - to begin ___-ing again
recompenser de - to reward for
réfléchir à - to consider ___-ing
réfléchir sur - to think about, reflect upon
refuser de - to refuse to
regarder - to watch, look at
regarder dans (la boîte) - to look in (the box)
regarder vers (le sud) - to face/look (south)
régner sur - to reign over
regretter de - to regret ___-ing
rejeter une faute sur qqun - to place the blame on someone
remercier de - to thank for ___-ing
remercier pour - to thank for
se rendre compte de - to realize
renoncer à - to give up ___-ing
rentrer - to go home
répondre à - to answer
résister à - to resist
ressembler à - to resemble
ressembler par - to resemble due to
rester sur la défensive - to stay on the defensive
rester sur ses gardes - to keep one's guard up
retourner - to return, go back
réussir - to make a success of, to pull off
réussir à - to succeed in ___-ing
réussir à l'examen - to pass the test
revenir - to come back
revenir sur (un sujet) - to go back over (a topic)
rêver à - to dream of ___-ing
rêver de - to dream of ___-ing
rire de - to laugh at
risquer - to risk (something)
risquer de - to risk ___-ing

sauter sur une occasion - to jump at an opportunity
savoir - to know how
sembler - to seem
sentir - to feel, to smell (of)
serrer la main à (qqun) - to shake hands with (s-o)
serrer qqun contre sa poitrine/son coeur - to hug someone
servir - to serve
servir à - to be used as/for
servir de - to put to use as
se servir de - to make use of
signer pour (quelqu'un) - to sign on behalf of (someone)
soigner - to take care of
songer à - to dream / think of
s'opposer à - to oppose
sortir - to go out (in order to do something)
sortir par (la fenêtre) - to leave by (the window)
se soucier de - to care about
souhaiter - to wish
se souvenir de - to remember
subir - to be subjected to
succéder à - to succeed, follow
supplier de - to be / beseech
survivre à - to survive

tâcher de - to try to
tarder à - to delay / be late in ___-ing
téléphoner à qqun - to call
téléphoner à qqun de faire qqch - to call s-o to do s-t
téléphoner pour (le problème) - to phone about (the problem)
tenir à - to hold (s-o) to, to insist on ___-ing
tenir de - to take after, resemble
tirer sur - to shoot at
tourner sur (l'église, la droite) - to turn (toward the church, right)
tourner vers (la droite) - to turn to (the right)
traduire en (français) - to translate into (French)
traduire vers (le français) - to translate into (French)
transformer qqch (en qqch) - to change s-t (into s-t)
travailler pour - to work for
se tromper de - to mistake
troquer qqch contre qqch - to swap something for s-t else

valoir mieux - to be preferable
se vendre en (bouteilles) - to be sold in (bottles)
venir (dîner, aider) - to come (for dinner, to help)
venir à - to happen to
venir de - to have just (done s-t)
venir par (la côte) - to come along/by (the coast)
vivre dans (la misère, la peur) - to live in (poverty, fear)
vivre de (ses rentes) - to live on (one's income)
voir - to see
voter contre - to vote against
voter pour - to vote for
vouloir - to want
voyager en (train, taxi) - to travel by (train, taxi)

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Team, ThoughtCo. "French Verbs With Their Correct Prepositions." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). French Verbs With Their Correct Prepositions. Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "French Verbs With Their Correct Prepositions." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 26, 2023).