dehors means outside, as in: Les enfants jouent dehors. -- The kids play outside.
En dehors refers to the outside as a more tangible place and as such has a clear opposite: en dedans. It can also be used figuratively, though.
As I see it, there are three levels of concreteness in referring to the outside:
dehors -- C'est dehors la question. -- It is out of the question.en dehors -- L'ennemi se trouve en dehors la cité. -- The enemy is outside the city.à l'extérieur -- Il faut repeindre l'extérieur du mur. -- One must paint the outside of the wall.
The association with a concrete physical location becomes more tangible from one to the next. But a native speaker would need to confirm that hunch.
-- Chris (not a native speaker).
dehors on its own is an adverb, so you use it to say they're playing outside, eating outside etc.
en dehors de is a preposition, so you use that to say outside of something.
"C'est dehors la question" seems wrong to me. I think it should be "hors de question".
Thank you to both of you.
I am getting the feeling for it now!
Sign in to submit your answer
Don't have an account yet? Join today
Test your French to the CEFR standard