Salut c’est Géraldine, welcome on Comme une Française!
Dès, depuis, and à partir have a close meaning but they’re used differently – in a sentence (grammatically) and in their meaning!
Let’s see how you can use them in a French sentence.
Let’s dive in.
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“Dès” mostly means “as soon as“.
Never at the end of a sentence!
You must add a starting point (or a condition.) That “starting point” can be an action (with a verb), for example:
Je me suis levée dès que le réveil a sonné. = I got up as soon as the alarm went off .
Dès que j’arrive à la maison, je me fais couler un bain. = As soon as I get home, I run myself a bath.
But the “starting point” can also be an event (with a noun!). It’s trickier to translate literally – but it still means the idea of “as early as.”
Vous pourrez plonger dans la piscine dès votre arrivée à l’hôtel
= You can dive in the pool as early as your arrival at the hotel (literally)
= You’ll be able to dive in the pool upon arrival at the hotel / as soon as you arrive in the hotel.
Je suis occupée aujourd’hui, mais je te rappelle dès demain.
= I’m busy today, but I’ll call you back as early as tomorrow. (Or “as soon as it’s tomorrow.”)
Dès is also used in the expression: dès que possible = as soon as possible.
The extra mile : Des, dès, Dès
L’accent grave (the accent, going down from left to right) is important!
Without, the sound doesn’t change… but the meaning does!
Des (= some, without an accent) is the plural of un / une (= a).
We also have un dé, des dès (= a die, some dice) with a different accent (and different sound too!)
And Henri Dès [pronounced Dess] is a popular singer for children. I love his songs!
Depuis means since or for.
It comes before a starting point in the past (like “since”), or a duration (like “for.“)
And the action must have an effect in the present. For example:
Elle parle français depuis deux ans.
= She’s been speaking French for two years.
Elle parle français depuis 2015.
= She speaks French since 2015.
Tout a changé depuis qu’elle est partie.
= Everything has changed since she left.
Depuis que je regarde les vidéos de Comme Une Française, j’ai beaucoup progressé en français.
= Since I’ve been watching Comme Une Française videos, my French has improved a lot.
Depuis mon arrivée à Paris, je suis émerveillée.
= Since my arrival in Paris, I’ve been amazed.
J’apprends le français depuis deux ans.
= I’ve been learning French for two years
Ça fait [+ duration] que…
= It’s been [duration] that…
Ça fait trois heures que je travaille.
= It’s been three hours that I’m working (literally)
= Je travaille depuis trois heures.
= I’ve been working for three hours.
The extra mile : Depuis also means “from” (starting location)
Depuis also sometimes means from a location (in space, and not time) for an action. You can use a simple “de” instead:
Il nous appelle depuis Paris.
= Il nous appelle de Paris.
= He’s calling us from Paris.
I recommend you use “de” by default, but it’s good to know that people might use depuis this way too!
3) À partir de
À partir de = starting / starting from
Je vais à la gym à partir de demain.
=I’ll go to the gym, starting tomorrow.
It’s a synonym of Je vais à la gym dès demain (= I’ll go to the gym as early as tomorrow) but “à partir” stresses out that you’ll keep going the days after tomorrow!
Le colis arrivera dès demain.
= The package man will arrive as early as tomorrow. –> It stresses out that it’s a quick delivery!
Le colis sera disponible à partir de demain.
= The package will be available starting from tomorrow. –> It stresses out that it’s not available today.
Entre [starting point]et [final point]
= From [point] to [point] / Between [point] and [point]
–> Entre quand et quand ? / Entre quelle heure et quelle heure ?
(= Between when and when / from which hour to which hour)
** The extra mile : approximation ans synonyms **
A time range (or a price range) is called une fourchette (= literally: “a fork” !). When you don’t have precision, only upper bound and lower bound.
Une approximation (= an approximation), une estimation (= an estimate).
À peu près (= roughly)
Plus ou moins (= more or less)
En gros / À la louche (= Colloquial: Mostly, “with a ladle”)
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