près de / au coin de

près de / au coin de

Nous avons mis la hanoukkia ________ la fenêtre. I thought 'au coin de' meant by/near. In retrospect 'près de' sounds better. But why can't 'au coin de' be used in this case? Is it only used for placement in a room or by a building (geographical) vs by a person or object? Thanks!
Asked 0 years ago
Bonsoir Erica, Let's look at the translation of «au coin de» --> at the corner of. I am unaware of any other sense for the phrase; however, «près de» translates as «near or next to» in the Collins-Robert. Of course I prefer à côté de for next to. J'espère que cela vous aidera et bonne chance, Ron
Oh good, I also thought 'au coin de' would translate to at the corner of. But the study guide for "À côté de, en face de, à l'extérieur de, à l'intérieur de, près de, loin de, au coin de (prepositions)" states: près de close to / near au coin de by / near Sometimes words just can't be translated literally and I thought this was one of those cases. Is the study guide incorrect then? Thank you for your clarification. Erica
Bonjour Erica, I am studying their site to review and improve my French too, just like you. To that end, I am not affiliated with them. By answering questions that I have knowledge about, it helps me to further learn and reinforces what I have learned. If the study guide translates au coin de -->by, near then I would state that you are correct, that is a miscue. The way that I finally engrained «au coin de» in my mind was with this phrase, la boulangerie est situé au coin de la Rue de Rivoli et la Rue du Louvre. Now I do not know if there is a boulangerie there or not, but it is a type of memory device to help me keep it straight. You are absolutely correct that there are some French words and phrases that just do not translate across. I had one professor who told the class that French is not just English translated into French words. I don't think he knew exactly how correct he was. Je suis très ravi que ma réponse vous a aidé. Bonne chance dans la poursuite de vos études français Ron

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