Can all of these French prepositions affect the meaning of verbs?


Am I right in thinking that all of the following French prepositions (following verbs)can affect the meaning of verbs? I hope I’ve listed all the ones that can affect meaning. I’m not sure
I look forward to your feedback
• à
• de
• de

•	contre
•	dans
•	en
•	par
•	pour
•	sur
•	vers
•	y

What do you mean exactly by “affect the meaning” ?

You can append those after a verb (then add a bit of a sentence to go with them :)) in order to clarify or precise what you mean to say, but the essential meaning of the verb itself typically isn’t changed (I’m sure there are exceptions, this is French we’re talking about ;)). “Aller” (to go) and “Aller à”, “Aller vers”, “Aller par”, “Aller pour”, “Aller sur”, “Aller en” etc… are still fundamentally about going someplace, you’re just defining where or why or how you’re going.

Unlike in English where, for example off the top of my head, “standing” and “standing up [someone]” ; or “clearing” and “clearing off” don’t mean the same thing at all.

Well, several of those prepositions may have to be used to connote certain specific meanings of verbs.

For example, “boire” means “to drink.” So, “J’aime bien boire du vin,” means “I like to drink wine.” But “Donne-moi quelque chose a boire” means “Give me something to drink.” In this case, “a boire” means, “to be drunk.”

Maybe not a perfect example, but:
vouloir quelqu’un means to want someone, whereas
en vouloir à quelqu’un means to be annoyed with someone.

Phrasal verbs (“beat up”, “turn on”, “put up with”, etc.) are more a feature of English than French, and typically translate as a single verb in French (tabasser, allumer, supporter).

If you’re giving directions:
“Tourne à droit” Right as in the opposite of left
“Continue tout droit” Straight

Similar to English I suppose:
“I continue right?”
“I continue, right?”
“Right. Correct, right.”

Of course they don’t “change the meaning” because in this case the two words are one unit. In hibernicus’ example, “en vouloir” isn’t just a variation of vouloir, even if they might have the shared etymology. For the OP, many of those do (but only with certain fixed verbs, of course). Examples for some of them aren’t coming to mind though, but many of them.

Apologies for my decaying French language skills.

As I understand it, the OP is looking for examples, in French, where the verb combines with a preposition to form a “phrasal verb” whose meaning is different from the meaning of the original verb.

This is extremely common in (indeed characteristic of) English. So far nobody has proposed a single good example in French.

By the way, à droite meaning “right” and tout droit meaning “straight ahead” are not the same word.

We shouldn’t confuse phrasal verbs with a simple prepositional collocations. Those things that are in phrasal verbs are not prepositions; they’re particles, (even though they look exactly the same), and, as such, are part of the verb itself, as you mention, though many phrasal verbs collocate with specific prepositions. (And, no, you won’t find phrasal verbs of this type in French.)

But really the OP is begging the question by phrasing it this way. It’s not that the prepositions “affect” the meaning, but rather that a single verb can take on different meanings, and often the preposition will change to reflect that. This happens I think in just about all the European languages–it’s not unique to French.

Bob Jones is running a restaurant.
He’s also running for Senator, and today
he’s running behind schedule.

Does any volume among the Larousse grammar volumes (presumably there are a series of them) focus specifically on the topic of which prepositions follow which verbs?

The probable answer is that there is no such topic. There is no grammatical constraint on selecting the appropriate preposition to convey your intended meaning. Think of the preposition as being in relation to the noun phrase that comes after it, rather than to the verb that precedes it.

(The preposition y is unusual in that it precedes the verb, but the same principle applies.)

To use another example, when a French infinitive is preceded by “pour,” the meaning becomes “in order to do something.”

“Pour encourager les l’autres” means you’re doing something “in order to encourage the others.”

Thank you all. Very helpful