French Grammar: The Preposition CHEZ

French Grammar: The Preposition CHEZ

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French Grammar: The Preposition CHEZ
la grammaire française: la préposition CHEZ

The French preposition CHEZ has several different meanings, all of which require several words in English.  CHEZ can mean “at someone’s home”, “at someone’s business/office”, “within a group”, “within someone’s nature”, “within the body of work of an author/artist”.

Study:

The French preposition CHEZ has several different meanings, all of which require several words in English.  CHEZ can mean “at / to someone’s home”; “at / to someone’s business”; “within / among a group”; “within someone’s nature”; “within the body of work of an author/artist”.

1. Most often, CHEZ is used to indicate a destination or physical location:

Je reste chez moi ce soir.
I am staying (at) home this evening.

Nous allons chez nos grand-parents ce week-end.
We are going to our grandparents’ home this weekend.

Elle a rendez-vous chez le dentiste demain.
She has an appointment at the dentist’s (office) tomorrow.

Tu peux m’accompagner chez l’avocat?
Can you (informal) come with me to the lawyer’s (office)?

Je dois aller chez le fleuriste avant de rentre chez moi.
I have to go to the florist’s (shop) before returning home.

Il a déposé ses chaussures chez le cordonnier.
He dropped off his shoes at the shoemaker’s (shop).

2. CHEZ is also used to indicate the custom(s) or state of mind among a particular group:

Chez les Sénégalais, le français est une langue commune.
Among the Senegalese, French is a common language.

La famille est très importante chez les Français.
Family is very important to the French.

3. CHEZ can also be used to indicate a trait within someone’s (or some group’s) nature:

Chez elle, c’est une habitude.
That’s a habit with her.

Ce comportement est bizarre chez un adulte.
That behavior is strange for an adult.

La malhonnêteté est typique chez plusieurs politiciens.
Dishonesty is typical of several politicians.

La distance? Cela se trouve souvent chez les chats.
Aloofness? You find that often among cats.

4. CHEZ can also denote characteristics within the body of work of an author or artist:

Chez Van Gogh, on voit les effets du tourment intérieur qu’il a enduré.
In Van Gogh’s work, you see the effects of the inner torment that he endured.

Il y a beaucoup de satire sociale chez Molière.
There is a lot of social satire in the work of Molière.

5. Very often, CHEZ + someone’s name is used as the name of a restaurant (especially French restaurants!). Normally, the name used in this case is that of the chef:

Ce soir, les amis dînent au restaurant “Chez Louis”.
This evening, the friends are having dinner at the restaurant “Chez Louis”.

Adapt:

La féte est chez Marie?
Is the party at Marie’s (home)?

Oui, la fête est chez Marie et ses colocataires.
Yes, the party is at Marie’s and her roommates’ (home).

Je peux m’asseoir ici?
Can I sit here?

Mais bien sûr! Fais comme chez toi!
Of course! Make yourself at home!

Tu vas chez le boucher après le travail?
Are you (informal) going to the butcher’s (shop) after work?

Non, je vais chez le marchand de vins après le travail.
No, I am going to the wine merchant’s (shop) after work.

Quelles sont les idéales importantes chez les Français?
What are the important ideals among the French?

Les idéales importantes chez les Français sont la liberté, l’égalité et la fraternité.
The important ideals among the French are liberty, equality and solidarity.

Quels sont les thèmes communs chez Camus?
What are the common themes in the work of Camus?

Chez Camus, on trouve souvent l’idée de l’absurde.
In the work of Camus, we often find the idea of the “absurd”.

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