https://www.duolingo.com/SnowFell1

How to use "en bas de"?

"en bas de l'immeuble" is in front of the building. "en bas de la rue" is at the end of the road. "en bas de la page" is at the bottom of the page.

It's unlike devant, derrière, etc. where the preposition is exactly clear. So how can I determine whether it means at the end of, at the bottom of, or in front of? What's the best way to use it?

("in front of" and "at the end of" can be completely opposite in directions!)

August 11, 2017

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Qiunnn
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I thought 'en bas de l'immeuble' would mean at the bottom of the building as in lowest floor

August 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MarcD50
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Yes, all of them literally mean 'at the bottom', actually. More refined translations may make them look different, but they are exactly the same thing.

'En bas de la rue' is not 'at the end of the road' but 'down the street'.

EDIT: Actually 'near the lower end of the street'.

August 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SnowFell1

I see... But hmm I got the translation from word reference. It says that "en bas de ma rue" means "at the end of my road". So I'm slightly confused about that.

August 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MarcD50
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Rue = street

Route = road

Possible mistake on WordReference.

August 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MarcD50
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About 'en bas de l'immeuble': it literally means 'at the bottom of the building' but we use it to mean 'just in front of the building', on the sidewalk or in the street.

August 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SnowFell1

So if I'm understanding this correctly, "en bas de" can be interpreted as "in front of" because the subject is still at the bottom of the object? (Of a building, for example)

And saying "en bas de l'immeuble" can mean both "at the lowest floor of the building" and "just in front of the building"?

Lastly, what about saying "en bas de chez toi" and "en bas de la foule"? Would the first be understood as "just in front of (the bottom of) your place" and would the latter even make sense when meaning "in front of (the bottom of) the crowd"?

August 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MarcD50
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'En bas de l'immeuble': just outside the building. If you are still in the entrance, in general we will not say that you are 'en bas de l'immeuble' but 'dans l'entrée de l'immeuble'.

'En bas de chez toi': if you live in a building, it will be the same as 'en bas de l'immeuble'. If you live in a little house, it could mean, 'a little down your street'.

'En bas de la foule' is totally impossible. We would say: 'devant le foule'.

August 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Alexandre93260

"en haut de l'immeuble" would be "on the roof of the building", "en bas de l'immeuble" is "the ground"...this generally means, "in front of the main door" A crowd is not a building. You cannot walk on his roof, so why would you want to go at his top or his bottom ?

Sometimes we say "en haut de la rue" or "en bas de la rue" which would mean "uphill" or "downhill"...depending on the side.

August 12, 2017
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