En vs Dans: How to Talk about Time

en vs dans

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In this grammar lesson you will learn about en vs dans.

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • how to use en and dans
  • how en and dans are used in French sentences
  • how you can quiz yourself on en vs dans
  • the way to download Anki files for en vs dans

Please refer to the French A2 Curriculum to get a better overview of French grammar, if you are curious about how this fits in the overall structure of French A2.

By the end of the lesson you will know all about en vs dans!

Table of Contents

En

You use “en” to express how long it takes to do something.

Tu devrais arriver ici en cinq minutes à pied.

You should get here in five minutes on foot.

Il a répondu à toutes les questions en dix minutes.

He answered all the questions in ten minutes.

Les ambulanciers sont arrivés sur les lieux en quelques minutes.

Paramedics arrived on the scene within minutes.

Ils ont terminé leurs devoirs en une heure.

They finished their homework in an hour.

In every sentence “en” is used to show the length of time.

You can also use “en” to indicate when something happend

En quelle année vous êtes-vous rencontrés ?

In what year did you meet?

Je l’ai rencontrée en 2009.

I met her in 2009.

Je le rencontrais en janvier.

I met him in January.

Nous nous sommes mariés en 2019.

We married in 2019.

In every sentence, “en” is used to indicate in when something happend. “En” will be used with months and years.

Dans

You use “dans” to express the time until something happens.

Je sors dans une heure.

I’m going out in an hour.

Le soleil va se coucher dans deux heures.

The sun is going to set in two hours.

Nous partons dans une heure.

We will leave in an hour.

In every sentence, “dans” is used to show how long it takes for something to happen.

Sentences Overview of En vs Dans

The final section of this lesson on en vs dans is about seeing the terms in action.

This is valuable because you can improve your understanding on en vs dans through examples.

Here you can find all of the sentences used in the previous chapters, neatly organised in one place.

Tu devrais arriver ici en cinq minutes à pied.

You should get here in five minutes on foot.

Il a répondu à toutes les questions en dix minutes.

He answered all the questions in ten minutes.

Les ambulanciers sont arrivés sur les lieux en quelques minutes.

Paramedics arrived on the scene within minutes.

Ils ont terminé leurs devoirs en une heure.

They finished their homework in an hour.

En quelle année vous êtes-vous rencontrés ?

In what year did you meet?

Je l’ai rencontrée en 2009.

I met her in 2009.

Je le rencontrais en janvier.

I met him in January.

Nous nous sommes mariés en 2019.

We married in 2019.

Je sors dans une heure.

I’m going out in an hour.

Le soleil va se coucher dans deux heures.

The sun is going to set in two hours.

Nous partons dans une heure.

We will leave in an hour.

Quiz Yourself on En vs Dans

It’s not enough to just read this lesson.

You should test your knowledge to see if you really understood everything, and to be able to repeat the material.

It is also for this reason that it is recommended to download the Anki Decks and do them.

At the end of every lesson you can do a small test.

You will see the sentences of the previous chapter. It is up to you to give the correct answer.

You will either need to fill in the blanks, choose the correct multiple choice option, or both.

Once you are done the correct answer will be shown.

You can redo the quiz as many times as you want.

Anki File for En vs Dans

It is important to do the Anki excercises for this lesson, so that you can remember what you just studied.

By downloading the Anki File for French A2 you can practice every French A2 lesson that is on Language Atlas.

At this moment the Anki File for this lesson doesn’t exist yet. However, in due time this will be available on Language Atlas.

If you don’t know why you should use Anki, or don’t know how to use Anki or merge Anki files please click here.

Anki can be downloaded from here.

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