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List of French Linking Words – Conjunctions, Locutions etc… (with Audio)

Camille Chevalier-Karfis By Camille Chevalier-Karfis on Jan 12, 2010
french linking words

French Linking words help you connect ideas and sentences, make smooth transitions. In French, they are called “connecteurs” and are often “conjonctions, prépostions, adverbes ou locutions”. It’s not really important that you know “what” they are grammatically, what matters is that you know how to use them!

Knowing these French linking words often make THE difference in your French speaking skills, and convey meanings that can nuance the whole sentence.

Here is a list of about 50 French linking words that my private French student Sandeep helped me put together.

Understanding these often subtle notions can be hard, that is why I wanted to give examples for all of them. I hope these will be helpful to you. Thanks Sandeep :-)

For each group of French conjunctions and expressions, click on the audio link to hear my recording.

À, chez, en, sur/sous, au dessus/en dessous, dessus/dessous, dans, dedans/dehors, devant/derrière.

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1 – à (to, at, in + city).

  • Je parle à Paul. (I am speaking toPaul).
  • Je travaille à trois heures. (I work at 3).
  • Je travaille à Paris. (in + city) (I work in Paris).

À contracts with the French definite article to make au and aux.

2 – de (from, of, about).

  • Je rentre de Paris. (I am coming back from Paris).
  • Un kilo de bananes. (One kilo of banana).
  • Je parle de Paul. (I am talking about Paul).

De contracts with the French definite article to make du and des – read also about the partitive French article.

De also takes élision and becomes d’ in front of a vowel or an h.

3 – chez (at/to someone’s place).

  • Je suis chez Anne. (I am at Ann’s place).
    Note : Je vais chez moi =I’m going home.

4 – en (in, by).

  • Elle travaille en France (in+feminine country) (she works in France).
  • Nous sommes en juin.(en + month) (it’s June).
  • Nous sommes en 2007 (en + year) (it’s 2007).
  • Elle voyage en voiture (en + transportation inside which you are) (She is travelling by car).

En can also be a French pronoun.

Learn more about how to say the date in French.

5 – sur ≠ sous (on ≠ under).

  • Le livre est sur la table. (the book is on the table).
  • Non, il est sous la table. (no, it’s under the table).

6 – au dessus de ≠ en dessous de (above ≠ under – without touching the object)

  • Au dessus du sofa, il y a un tableau. (above the sofa, there is a painting).
  • En dessous du sofa, il y a une balle. (under the sofa, there is a ball).

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7 – dessus ≠ dessous (above/over/on top ≠ underneath – at the end of a sentence).

  • Le coussin va dessus, et la balle dessous. (the cushion goes on top, and the ball underneath).

8 – dans (inside, in, within).

  • Le livre est dans la table. (the book is inside the table – LOL, upon reading this sentence again, this is not really correct… the book is inside the table’s drawer would have been better… But you get the idea I hope!!)
  • le film est dans trois heures (the movie is in 3 hours).
  • j’arrive dans deux minutes (I’ll be here within 2 minutes).

9 – dedans ≠ dehors (in,inside ≠ out, outside at the end of a sentence).

  • Le chien est dans l’appartement ? (Is the dog in the apartment ?).
  • Oui, il est dedans. (yes, he’s inside).
  • Non, il est dehors. (No, he’s outside).

10 – devant ≠ derrière. (in front of ≠ behind).

  • Devant la maison, il y a un jardin. (in front of the house, there’s a garden).
  • Derrière la maison, il y a une piscine. (behind the house, there is a swimming-pool).

French Subjunctive

À côté de/près de, loin de, entre, parmi, au milieu de, autour de, en dehors de/hors de, par.

11 – En face de (facing, across from).

  • Le magasin est en face du musée. (the shop is across from the museum).

12 – à côté de/ près de (beside, near, next to).

  • Le magasin est à côté du musée. (the shop is next/near/beside the museum).
  • Il habite près de chez moi. (he lives near my house).

13 – loin de (far from).

  • Il habite loin de chez moi. (he lives far from me).

14 – entre (between).

  • Il habite entre la rue de Passy et la rue d’Ys. (he lives between Passy and Ys streets).

15 – parmi (among).

  • Il y a un traitre parmi nous. (there is a traitor among us).

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16 – au milieu de (in the middle of).

  • Ce village est au milieu de nulle part. (this village is in the middle of nowhere).

17 – autour de (around)

  • je mets mon écharpe autour de mon cou. (I put my scarf around my neck).

18 – en dehors de / hors de (outside from)

  • en dehors de lui, personne ne sait. (Oustide from him, nobody knows).

19 – par (through).

  • Je passe par Paris (I go through Paris).
    Note ; par ici ! (this way !)
    Il habite par ici. (he lives around here).

There are many French conjunctions or linking words, which will help you make a transition from one idea to the next. I had to cover these French connecting words in several posts: please follow the links :-)

  1. Next list of French Connecting Words – vers, depuis, pendant/durant, après avant, jusqu’à, d’abord – et puis, quand, lorsque, Il y a, environ, avec, sans, pour, mais, contre, au contraire, en fait, en plus, quant à, en effet, au sujet de, d’après/suivant / selon, presque, parce que, car, puisque, alors, donc, si/sinon, enfin.

  2. More advanced French linking words: ainsi, c’est ainsi que, alors, alors que, aussitôt que, d’autant plus que, bien que, si bien que, cependant, dès que, en tant que, lorsque, malgé, même si, à moins que, néanmoins, pendant que, pour que, pourtant, puisque, quand même, quant à, quoique, quoi que, sinon, tandis que.

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The best way to understand and memorize these little French connecting words is to learn them in the context of a story.

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