Prepositions with seasons: en, l', au

In French, you will have different ways to say that something takes place in one of the four seasons (winter, spring, summer, autumn).

Look at the examples using the four seasons: 

En hiver, je vais skier.
In winter, I go skiing.

L'hiver, il fait très froid.
In winter, it's very cold.

En été, je mange beaucoup de glaces!
In summer, I eat a lot of ice cream!

L'été, on bronze sur la plage.
In summer, we tan on the beach.

En automne, les feuilles tombent des arbres.
In autumn, leaves fall from the trees.

L'automne, on retourne à l'école.
In autumn, we go back to school.

To say in + [winter, summer, autumn], you will use either : 

en + [hiver, été, automne]
or
l' + [hiver, été, automne] 

You will do the liaison between en and the vowel (été, automne) or mute h (hiver).

ATTENTION :

Au printemps, on se sent heureux.
In spring, we feel happy.

To say in spring in French, you will only use :

au printemps

 

Note that all seasons are masculine in French.

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

L'automne, on retourne à l'école.
In autumn, we go back to school.


L'hiver, il fait très froid.
In winter, it's very cold.


En hiver, je vais skier.
In winter, I go skiing.


Au printemps, on se sent heureux.
In spring, we feel happy.


L'été, on bronze sur la plage.
In summer, we tan on the beach.


En été, je mange beaucoup de glaces!
In summer, I eat a lot of ice cream!


En automne, les feuilles tombent des arbres.
In autumn, leaves fall from the trees.


Vive le temps, vive le temps,
Vive le temps d'hiver,

Long live the weather, long live the weather,
Long live the winter weather,


Q&A Forum 7 questions, 14 answers

When do you use en vs the definite article?

This lesson states you use either en or l' ; but it does not provide any rules for usage.  

Are they interchangable? Can I use either to say "In winter, I go skiing."
En hiver, je vais skier.
L'hiver, je vais skier.

Asked 2 months ago
ChrisC1Correct answer

Yes, they are interchangable. Can't think of an example where they wouldn't be.

When do you use en vs the definite article?

This lesson states you use either en or l' ; but it does not provide any rules for usage.  

Are they interchangable? Can I use either to say "In winter, I go skiing."
En hiver, je vais skier.
L'hiver, je vais skier.

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In spoken French, is there a liaison between "sent heureux"?

Asked 6 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Fran,

It is one of those optional liaisons...

In spoken French, is there a liaison between "sent heureux"?

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Example not relating to the lesson.

Bonjour Madame !

Thank you for your support and Yes, I will surely co-operate with your French team with my queries in future and provide you sufficient time to answer my problems.

The example “ Vive le temps, vive le temps, vive le temps d’hiver doesn’t relate to en, l’ , au as being taught in the lesson. It might be a special, specific case. Thank you for your feedback.

Merci bien et bonne journée !

Asked 6 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi  Shrey,

The preposition 'de' is  often used in French to link two nouns together (which isn't required in English) unless they are separated by a hyphen (centre-villepause-café ...)

For instance in this example it is 'winter weather/ time' .

So you would have - 

Un arrêt d'autobus a bus stop

Hope this helps!

 

 

Thank you Madame Cécile for explicating this very particular case of “de”.

Merci encore ! Bonne journée !

Example not relating to the lesson.

Bonjour Madame !

Thank you for your support and Yes, I will surely co-operate with your French team with my queries in future and provide you sufficient time to answer my problems.

The example “ Vive le temps, vive le temps, vive le temps d’hiver doesn’t relate to en, l’ , au as being taught in the lesson. It might be a special, specific case. Thank you for your feedback.

Merci bien et bonne journée !

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D’hiver?

When do you use this construct? I see it in the example. 

Asked 7 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Johanna,

You could also say -

Des vêtements ou des chaussures d’hiver = Winter clothes/ shoes

Hope this helps!

 

La saison d'hiver est pleine de neige. -- The winter season is full of snow.

Just as an example.

D’hiver?

When do you use this construct? I see it in the example. 

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En ?

En été, je mange beaucoup de glaces!
In summer, I eat a lot of ice cream!

L'été, on bronze sur la plage.
In summer, we tan on the beach.

(i don't understand why it is not "En été, on bronze sur la plage"

Asked 11 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Else,

As the lesson says, you can use either  'en' or 'l'  for été , hiver, automne and 'au' or 'le' for printemps.

Hope this helps!

 

Hi Else,

either option is fine: en été or l'été. You could just as well say en été on bronze sur la plage.

thanks - I thought 'en' might be for the more general statement and 'L' ' for the more specific activity in the season?
Nope, either is fine.

En ?

En été, je mange beaucoup de glaces!
In summer, I eat a lot of ice cream!

L'été, on bronze sur la plage.
In summer, we tan on the beach.

(i don't understand why it is not "En été, on bronze sur la plage"

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Is there any meaning change between en/l'?

Asked 11 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Serian,

As the lesson says, you can use either...

Not that I would be aware of. 

Is there any meaning change between en/l'?

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D' and du

The lesson doesn't mention d' and du at all, yet they're in the title. Is there something I should know about d' and du with seasons? Thanks.
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Johnny ! Thanks so much for pointing this out: we've now removed these superfluous mentions from this lesson's title. Merci encore et à bientôt !
Hi Aurélie, there is one remaining- Vive le temps, vive le temps,Vive le temps d'hiver,

D' and du

The lesson doesn't mention d' and du at all, yet they're in the title. Is there something I should know about d' and du with seasons? Thanks.

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