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This article is about little words which are prepositions : dans, sur, sous, devant, derrière. If you do not want to study French regularly, if you studied it at the university but you forgot a lot, this article is for you. Times to times you want to focus on an element of the language you do not master very good, and today you want to master it better, because you are watching a movie and you do not understand everything, because you found these prepositions in a novel you are reading, because you are bored about speaking without using the prepositions or making mistakes everytime,… Prepositions are a nightmare for a lot of people, if you master it you will have more fluency, you will use the French expressions easily, you will feel more comfortable in participating in conversations in different situations with a variety of topics, talking with everyone : chidren and adults, you will be able to make translation easier, you will experience a better immersion in France or in a French speaking country. Take your chance to improve, use all the resources you can : an app,…to reach your goals.  

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Students : visual way to learn french with learning books for vocabulary, lessons
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DANS = inside (a closed space)

Les fleurs sont dans le vase → The flowers are in the vase
La lettre est dans l’enveloppe → The letter is in the envelope

SUR = outside (an open space)

Le vase est sur la table → The vase is on the table
Le timbre est sur l’enveloppe → The stamp is on the envelope
We say Je suis dans le bus (I am in the bus), we do not say Je suis sur le bus 

SOUS

Sous is the opposite of sur.
Le bateau passe sous le pont → The boat goes under the bridge
Les gens marchent sur le pont → People walk on the bridge

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Beginners : best book to learn french at home for vocabulary, lessons
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DEVANT is the opposite of DERRIERE

Le jardin est devant la maison → The garden is in front of the house
La cour est derrière la maison → The courtyard is behind the house

Exercise to practice

Write your answer in the comments and I will tell you if it is ok or not, and I will give you the correction.

Instruction : fill in the blank with the words dans or sur
Dans une voiture → in a car
…………….un cheval → on a horse  
…………….un vélo → on a bike
…………….un vélo → on a bike
…………….une moto → on a motorbike
…………….un autobus → in an bus

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Students, learners, beginners : learn french with pictures and videos
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Instruction : fill in the blank with sur ou sous
On est bien, sur le sable → We are fine on the sand
…………….une serviette → We are fine on the towel
…………….une chaise longue → We are fine on a deck chair
…………….un parasol → We are fine under a beach umbrella
…………….les arbres → We are fine under the trees
…………….le ciel bleu → We are fine under the blue sky
…………….le soleil → We are fine under the sun

Instruction : Build sentences with dans, sur and sous
Les vêtements/la valise/la voiture → Les vêtements sont dans la valise. La valise est dans la voiture (The clothes are in the suitcase. The suitcase is in the car)
L’argent/le portefeuille/le sac → ………………………………………………………………………..
(The money is in the wallet. The wallet is in the bag)
Les bougies/le gâteau/la table → ………………………………………………………………………..
(The candles are on the cake. The cake is on the table)
Les bijoux/la boîte/l’étagère → …………………………………………………………………………..
(The jewelry are in the box. The box is on the shelf)
Les journaux/la poubelle/l’évier → ……………………………………………………………………
(The newspaper are in the bin. The bin is in the sink)
La robe/la chaise/la chambre → ………………………………………………………………………….
(The dress is on the chair. The chair is in the room)

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Speakers, teacher, learners : learn to speak french (speakers, teacher, learners)
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Instruction : fill in the blank with devant and derrière
Les clients sont devant le guichet → The clients are in front of the counter
La caissière est derrière le guichet → The cashier is behind the counter
Le cinéaste………………..la caméra →……………………………………………………………………
(The flimmaker is behind the camera video)
Les acteurs………………….la caméra →…………………………………………………………………..
(The actors are in front of the camera video)
La locomotive……………..les wagons →……………………………………………………………….
(The locomotive is in front of the wagons)
Les wagons…………..la locomotive →…………………………………………………………………….
(The wagons are behind the locomotive)
-Le jardin………….la maison →……………………………………………………………………………..
(The garden is in front of the house)
La cour…………….la maison →……………………………………………………………………………….
(The courtyard is behind the house)

Instruction : locate objects freely
Le tapis est sur le sol → The carpet si on the floor
La télévision est (the television is…)……………………………………………..
La lampe est (the light is…)………………………………………………………….
Les couverts sont (The cutlery are…)……………………………………………
Le lit est (The bed is…)…………………………………………………………………
Les vêtements sont (The clothes rare..)…………………………………………

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Speakers, teacher : how to learn french in 30 days for translation
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Instruction : answer freely

  Où sont (Where are) :    Regarde (have a look at) :
  Les clés (the keys) ?    Dans le sac (in the bag)
  La télécommande (the remote control) ?   
  Mes pantoufles (my slippers) ?   
  Mes lunettes (my glasses ) ?   
  Le programme-télé (theTV programm) ?   

Instruction : Hide your jewelry using dans, sur, sous, derrière, devant
………………………………………………………………………………………………..
………………………………………………………………………………………………..
………………………………………………………………………………………………..
………………………………………………………………………………………………..
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Wether your are a child, a teenager or adults, have a look at the others articles, to reach your goals, getting more fluency in a variety of situations, improving conversations, discovering new resources (ex : an app, app,…), different topics, having an immersion-like feeling, learning more French expressions, learning outisde the university. If you keep continue to learn and improve the French language, you will master it one day. Ir seems complicated when you begin it, this is the reality, while focusing on specifics elements you will step by step build your knowledge and feel confident, and having nice time watching a film, talking to someone,… 

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Thank you for reading this article !
Thomas 😀