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  5. En vs. Dans


En vs. Dans

I have seen sone situations where "Dans" was used and some where "En" was used, but I am having trouble telling the difference between the two. Can somebody please clarify the difference between these two? Thanks!

September 29, 2013



This is indeed very confusing, but they are not interchangeable and there are different rules on when to use which one. First the rules for en:

  1. En expresses length of time an action takes.

  2. En is used to express the month, season (except au printemps!) or year in which the action takes place.

  3. En can mean "in" or "to" when followed directly by a noun that doesn't need an article.

  4. En also means "to" or "in" with some states, provinces, and countries.

Rules for dans:

  1. Dans indicates the amount of time before which an action will occur

  2. Dans refers to something that occurs within or during a decade.

  3. Dans means "in" a location when followed by an article plus noun.

  4. Dans also means "to" or "in" with some states and provinces.

The rules are explained more fully with examples at the following link. The webpage also has a link to a page explaining more about when to use dans and en in geographical names. http://french.about.com/library/prepositions/bl_prep_en_vs_dans.htm

September 30, 2013


Thank you so much! :)

October 1, 2013
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