Thursday, March 19, 2020

Differences Between Après vs. Derrière and Avant vs. Devant

Differences Between Aprà ¨s vs. Derrià ¨re and Avant vs. Devant Aprà ¨s and Avant convey a notion of time or space. Aprà ¨s refers to doing something after while Avant refers to doing something before. Je le retrouve aprà ¨s/avant le dà ©jeunerIll meet up with him after/before lunch Aprà ¨s/avant le bois, il y a un cheminAfter/before the wood, there is a path Derriere and Devant convey a notion of precise space. Derrier refers to being behind something, or someone and Devant refers to being in front of something or someone. La petite fille est cachà ©e derrià ¨re larbreThe young girl is hidden behind the tree Pour la photo, comme tu es plus petite, va devant Camille.For the picture, since you are smaller, go in front of Camille.   Derrià ¨re le bois, il y a un cheminBehind the wood, there is a path Aprà ¨s and Derrià ¨re Are Not Interchangeable So, what is the difference between the two sentences aprà ¨s le bois, il y a un chemin and derrià ¨re le bois, il y a un chemin? They both give a piece of space-related information, but one is more precise, just like in English. Same exact logic applies to avant versus devant. Aprà ¨s Que Indicative / Avant Que Subjunctive A common mistake is Aprà ¨s que plus a subjunctive. Its a very common mistake, even among French people, because honestly, the indicative sounds terrible there. Avant que is followed by the subjunctive  because we dont yet know if the action is going to become a reality. With Aprà ¨s que, the action has taken place already: there is no doubt left, hence no need for the subjunctive. Aprà ¨s que subjunctive sounds so bad to a French ear that we will do our best to use a noun instead of a verb after. You can use the same trick with avant que et avoid using a subjunctive. Je dois commencer aprà ¨s quil part. (or aprà ¨s son dà ©part)I must start after he leaves (or after his departure). Je dois commencer avant quil parte (or avant son dà ©part).I must start before he leaves (or before his departure) By the way, even if we use le derrià ¨re in French (although this is extremely polite, just like saying the behind in English), French people use the preposition derrià ¨re without thinking about it at all. Just like in English you use behind without thinking about that part of the anatomy.

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