How to differentiate between à and dans when both mean 'to'?

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Kwiziq community member

5 April 2018

2 replies

How to differentiate between à and dans when both mean 'to'?

(For location other than countries, cities, continents, regions, states, etc) Like going 'to' a market, school, or some other place

This question relates to:
French lesson "En vs dans with locations (prepositions)"


Kwiziq community member

5 April 2018


Hi Joan,

Did you really mean "à" and "dans"? Because "dans" means "in" and "à" can assume a lot of meanings but "in" isn't normally one of them. From the lesson you are referring to, could it be that you mean "en" and "dans"?

If I go to the lesson page of the one you refer to and scroll all the way down to the bottom I find a whole lot of posts dealing with this issue. Does any one of them speak to the question you have? If not, can you post an example which gives you a problem?

-- Chris. (not a native speaker).


Kwiziq language super star

5 July 2018


Hi Joan,

In all the examples you give we would use :

'à + article' , so:

Nous allons au marché, à l'école, à la plage, au bureau, au collège etc...

We say 'dans la jungle' oddly enough, but I think it is to convey how difficult it is to get into it...

If you say 'inside' in English it will normally be 'dans' that we use.

Hope this helps!

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