dans vs. en

IgnatiusA2Kwiziq community member

dans vs. en

Why can't I write "Ton père est dans la prison.?

I think "dans la" & "en" both work in this example. My reasoning is that prison is a physical place.

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Ignatius, 

This question has been asked before and here is the answer -

https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/questions/view/en-vs-dans-1

Bonne Continuation !

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

You haven’t given the example (it does help),  but it is unlikely both answers will fit. 

If the English is  ‘ is in the prison’  you would use ‘(être) dans la prison’ to translate to French, as in both languages the respective phrases emphasise/mean being inside the prison, as a physical structure. 

 However if the English is  ‘is in prison’  the French translation will be ‘être en prison’ with both mean being incarcerated/imprisoned, an abstract ‘place’ rather than a specific location. 

Ignatius asked:View original

dans vs. en

Why can't I write "Ton père est dans la prison.?

I think "dans la" & "en" both work in this example. My reasoning is that prison is a physical place.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Ask a question

Find your French level for FREE

Test your French to the CEFR standard

Find your French level
Let me take a look at that...