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Hi All,

Can anyone help me understand the difference in meaning if prochain goes before or after the noun. I've been reading up on this and have managed to get myself confused.

For example, what is the difference in meaning (if any) between Le train prochain and Le prochain train.

Many thanks

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To my mind  the former indicates  the "very next" train and the latter indicates a train that comes next but perhaps not immediately.

But I could be wrong.


it's very unlikely that someone would say "le train prochain"

Not sure that a lot of people would make a difference between them but "le prochain train" might refer to the same destination of the previous one (you may have missed)  and "le train prochain" could refer to any train whatever its destination.

We could perhaps  have different sentences (intuition speaks):

le prochain train à destination de Paris/ en provenance de Paris...

Le train prochain ne prend pas de passagers

the meaning of an expression won't be different in all cases, for some adjectives their positions is irrelevant or won't change the meaning.It all depends on adjectives. You'll find a list of the ones that may change the meaning here:

This is how I have come to understand this situation: it has to do with the length of time inferred by the speaker.


You place prochain before the noun if it is indeed the 'very next' thing:  la prochaine station therefore it 'the next station' (notice it agrees in gender).


You place the word after the noun when the distance in time is wide as in l'annee prochaine, 'next year'.

Many thanks to everyone for taking the time to reply. Much appreciated.

Hello !

As a native speaker I would never use "prochain" after a noun except for the days of the week.

Le prochain train, le prochain épisode, le prochain candidat, etc...

Prochain always mean that something is the next one, not always close in time...

"Le prochain vol part demain matin"


The only moment we use "prochain" after a noun is for days.

"Nous avons rendez-vous samedi prochain"

Today is Tuesday 04 August, “Samedi prochain” = the Saturday after the next Monday = Saturday 15 August.


It’s just my opinion :)


"Quel train  vous prenez?"..."Le train prochain."

Does that dialogue  not work? Does it not sound natural to a native speaker?


No... not to me, I would say

"le prochain" or "le suivant" or "le prochain train" but I don't need to repeat the noun "train" as it was already in the question so the last one is the less natural...

(Sorry I'm very very late ^^° )

Trains can be late :)

Hi all,

I’m French, and i’m learning English. So, I apologize for my mistakes in English.
I would like to help you.

“prochain” always goes before the noun. There isn’t a difference of meaning, it’s just wrong.
So, it’s not correct to say : le train prochain, la prochaine année. You mustn’t say "Quel train  vous prenez?"..."Le train prochain."

There are exceptions: for the days of the week, with “année” ;“mois” and ”semaine”.
I think that’s everything.

You must say:

-          Le prochain train

-          Le prochain vol

-          Le prochain épisode

But you must say :

-          L’année prochaine

-          La semaine prochaine

-          Le week-end prochain

-          Le mois prochain

-          Lundi prochain

I hope that’s clear.

Have a great day ;)


Just to clarify, do native French speakers ever say "le train prochain" (even though it is wrong to do so)?

Hello George,

Native French speakers don't say "le train prochain" ;)

thanks, Sylenes.


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