I used “en retard pour le travail”. I knew it was wrong but did not think of an alternative. Is there a Lawless lesson that can help me with this construction?
Freeform Writing Exercise A1
I hope your research was fruitful. Here is a little explanation on how to use ‘à’ or ‘pour’, albeit not with ‘en retard’. However, I do hope it gives you a better picture overall:
location → je vis à Madrid = I live in Madrid
→ en retard au travail = late to/for work
speed/distance → j’habite à 100 mètres = I live 100 meters away
→ il conduit à vive allure = he drives at stop speed
composition/flavour → une glace à la vanille = a vanilla ice-cream
means of transport → je marche à pied = I walk on foot
ATTENTION : je pars en voiture = I leave by car
price → un article à 20 euros = an item at 20 euros
time → il part à 15 heures = he leaves at 3 pm
container → une corbeille à pain = a bread basket
ATTENTION : un pot de confiture
mouth/lips → du rouge à lèvres = lipstick
→ une cigarette à la bouche = a cigarette in the mouth
duration → il est absent pour toute la journée = he is away for the whole day
destination → il part pour Cuba = he leaves for Cuba
goal → tu ne vis que pour ton travail = you only live for your work
cause → pour qu’il t’apprécie, soit plus gentil = so that he likes you, be nicer
consequence → j’ai dû le faire chanter pour qu’il parte = I had to blackmail him to leave
concession / point of view → pour être honnête... = to be frank…
→ pour lui, tu es un génie = to him, you are a genius
I hope this is helpful.
Bonne journée !
Try this link
Expressing timeliness in French - late/early - precise
Does this help you?
Thank you, Jim. My question was not clear enough. English speakers like myself tend to literally translate the word « for » with « pour ». But, I know that is not always correct. My question is how should I know that I should say « en retard AU travail », instead of « en retard POUR LE travail »? Is there a grammar rule regarding expressions like this, and the prepositions that we are to use?
Translating prepositions literally is a surefire way to get off the right track. That said, the adverbial phrase en retard works with several different prepositions and changes meaning subtly with them. Here is a link that has more on this:
Thank you, Chris. That helps more, but still leaves me uncertain on how to guess what the appropriate preposition should be. I will research further.
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