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List of French prepositions

On the previous page, we gave a list of what we might see as the main prepositions in
French (accepting that the choice of which ones belong to the "main" list is a little
arbitrary). Now we look at two categories of prepositions that are a little less common
that that "main" list. You're more likely to come across them in formal writing than in
everyday speech, for example. On the other hand, they're not literary or archaic.

Prepositions outside our "main" list but which are still in "normal" use

The prepositions in the Table 2 might not be considered "basic" prepositions, but are
still readily used in writing under the right circumstances. One or two of them are a
little formal, but none are old-fashioned or archaic.

Table 2: Some French prepositions that are slightly less common,


but still readily used in everyday writing.
French Common English
Comments
preposition equivalent
d'aprs according to
beside; in
auprs de contact/communication
with
ever since, from ...
ds
onwards
hors ex(cluding)
The basic form jusque is
also combined with a few
other prepositions, e.g.
jusqu' as far as, up until jusqu'en 2001 = up until
2001 and one or two other
words, such as jusqu'ici =
this far, so far.
malgr despite
moins minus
Used especially in contracts
when indicating a price or
moyennant in exchange for means of payment, e.g.
moyennant le prix de... =
for the price of...
parmi among(st)
plus plus
Not nearly as common as in
English, but occasionally
versus versus used in French. Larousse
give a date of first attestation
as late as 1985 (whereas it
has been used in English for
several centuries).
Less common than English,
but this Latinate preposition
via via also exists in French (first
date of attestation 1876
according to Larousse).

Participles used as prepositons

You may have noted that various participles (words ending in -ing and -en) in English
can essentially function as though to all intents and purposes they were prepositions:
regarding his position, following his complaint etc. A similar phenomenon exists in
French. Table 3 below gives some common examples of French participles (present
participles ending in -ant or occasionally past participles) that are effectively used as
prepositions.

Table 3: French participles commonly used as prepositions.


Common
French
English Comments
preposition
equivalent
concerning,
concernant
regarding
Unlike English during, can also be
used with a time period, e.g. durant
trois heures = for three hours.
durant during
Durant can also be used
postpositionally in slightly literary
use: sa vie durant = during his life.
except,
except
excepting
Like incluant, perhaps an anglicism;
excluant excluding sauf and hor(mi)s are perhaps more
natural French.
Something of an anglicism that is
incluant including occasionally found; y compris is
probably more natural French.
pass past, beyond
according to,
suivant depending on,
pursuant to
given,
vu
considering

Note that these words are used as "genuine" prepositions in the sense that as such,
they are invariable in form. So for example, during his life would be sa vie durant,
not sa vie durante.