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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
Andy

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Merci pour l'explication.

Here are exemples of "prochain" after a noun (dans le temps futur/ qui est près d'arriver, de se produire ):

Je n'augure pas bien de l'avenir prochain.

la fin prochaine (la mort)

Un jour prochain.

Je ne pense pas que des malheurs prochains éclatent.

"Quand les hirondelles approchent du moment de leur départ, il y en a une qui s'envole la première pour annoncer le passage prochain des autres "    

Chateaubriand

And there can be some differences of meaning:

Attendez vous à une parution prochaine!  it's going to happen very soon

Attendez vous à une prochaine parution ! it might be unexpected but there will be another one, we don't know when it will occur.

lundi prochain/ le prochain lundi

The adjective prochain identifies the next occurrence (or one among next occurrences) in a sequence whose elements are most probably ordered according to the speaker's time referential. However, when it's placed after the noun this adjective has a slightly different purpose, it implies some kind of temporal proximity (not only next, but soon).

Two remarks:

  • This “soon” meaning is only possible with events or actions (and it must obviously be related to time), it cannot be applied directly to objects. The following sentences are correct:

    Préparez-vous à l'arrivée du prochain train. (next)

    Préparez-vous à l'arrivée prochaine du train. (“soon”)

    The following is not:

    *Préparez-vous à l'arrivée du train prochain.

  • If prochain comes together with an adverb, then its position becomes mostly irrelevant. There's hardly any difference between “La très prochaine nomination” and “La nomination très prochaine”. In both cases, the meaning is “which will happen very soon”.

prochain = next .

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