Using à, en, par with means of transport (prepositions)

Look at the following examples including means of transport:

Elle va au travail en métro.
She goes to work by tube/metro/underground.

Tu vas en ville à pied.
You go to town on foot/walking.

Elle arrive à cheval.
She is arriving on horseback.

Il voyage à moto.
He travels by motorbike.

Je vais à l'école à vélo.
Je vais à l'école en vélo.

I'm going to school by bike.

Ils viennent en bus.
They're coming by bus.

Nous allons en vacances en voiture.
We're going on holidays by car.

Léo vient en taxi.
Leo is coming by taxi /cab.

Ils traversent le lac en bateau.
They're crossing the lake by boat.

Nous venons en train.
Nous venons par le train.

We're coming by train.

Tu voyages en avion.
Tu voyages par avion.

You travel by plane.

 

When talking about travelling somewhere, you will use à for "individual" modes of transport (walking, bicycle, bike etc), and en for "group" modes of transport (bus, coach, car, subway, etc).

 

Note that you can also use par le with trains and par with planes, and that for bicycles, you can use either à vélo or en vélo.

 

 

 

 

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Nous allons en vacances en voiture.
We're going on holidays by car.


Tu vas en ville à pied.
You go to town on foot/walking.


Léo vient en taxi.
Leo is coming by taxi /cab.


Elle va au travail en métro.
She goes to work by tube/metro/underground.


Ils viennent en bus.
They're coming by bus.


Ils traversent le lac en bateau.
They're crossing the lake by boat.


Je vais à l'école à vélo.
Je vais à l'école en vélo.

I'm going to school by bike.


Nous venons en train.
Nous venons par le train.

We're coming by train.


Elle arrive à cheval.
She is arriving on horseback.


Tu voyages en avion.
Tu voyages par avion.

You travel by plane.


Il voyage à moto.
He travels by motorbike.


Q&A Forum 3 questions, 5 answers

Why can you say “par le train” but not “par le métro”?

I just got marked wrong for “par le métro” in a quiz

Asked 2 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Sara,

 It is just the way it is, no rhyme or reason....

Why can you say “par le train” but not “par le métro”?

I just got marked wrong for “par le métro” in a quiz

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JimC1

I have always understood that "en" is used only when the mode of transport is enclosed?

Asked 1 year ago
RonC1Correct answer
Bonjour Jim,
I, too, learned the use of «en» with modes of transportation was generally associated with things one rode inside of, i.e. plane, train, bus, automobile, bateaux, etc.; however, I noticed this phrase in the examples: Je vais à l'école à vélo. Je vais à l'école en vélo. ---> I'm going to school by bike.
Given that the use of en in the example phrase, it appears to be an acceptable use with moto and with vélo.
J'espère que ma réponse vous aiderait.
Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière et qui a été utilisé par le monde français depuis l’époque d’Hugues Capet
Jim asked:View original

I have always understood that "en" is used only when the mode of transport is enclosed?

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Is it acceptable to use en for moto also ?

... Nous allons au travail en moto ?
Asked 1 year ago
RonC1Correct answer
Bonjour Terry,

I learned the use of «en» with modes of transportation was generally associated with things one rode inside of, i.e. plane, train, bus, automobile, bateaux, etc.; however, I noticed this phrase in the examples: Je vais à l'école à vélo. Je vais à l'école en vélo. ---> I'm going to school by bike.

Given that the use of en in the example phrase, it appears to be an acceptable use with moto.

Bonne chance
Maybe you do you bro
RonC1
? ?

Is it acceptable to use en for moto also ?

... Nous allons au travail en moto ?

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