Translating "into" into French
Hi, could someone please explain why "dans" and "en" are used respectively in the following two sentences where we'd use "into" in English? Is there an underlying reason or a way to remember which to use?
"La sorcière transforme l'oiseau en une fille." (The sorcerer transforms the bird into a girl.)
"Il voyagerait dans le passé avec la machine à remonter le temps." (He would have traveled into the past with the time machine.)
Thank you in advance!
we use 'dans' only if we speak of a place, for example 'je vais dans ma chambre' or 'je mets la chemise dans l'armoire'. 'En' is also used for geographic places, for countries, like 'je vais en Allemagne', but you have to be careful because for cities we use the preposition 'à', like 'mes amis sont allés à Paris'. But there are more precise rules to use for places. To be sure I recommend you to search them on the internet.