Chez Meaning: How To Use This French Preposition

What does “chez” mean?

The French preposition chez (pronounced ʃe or “shay”) means to be in or at the home, residence or at a place of business. “Je suis chez Pierre” (I am at Pierre’s house). For business, “Je vais chez le dentiste” means I’m going to the dentist’s office. Chez can also refer to in this country or region. “Chez nous on mange bien” really means “In France people eat well”.

"Chez": How to use this confusing French preposition.

This article will cover the many usages of chez in detail. At the bottom of the page we’ve provided some expressions which use chez.

Main usages of chez in a nutshell:

  1. At the home of: Je suis chez moi. I am at home.
  2. Region, country: Il fait beau chez nous. It is nice weather out in our region (or country).
  3. Business: Elle va chez le dentiste. She’s going to the dentist.
  4. Company: Je travaille chez Apple. I work for Apple.
  5. Group of people: C’est la folie chez les enfants. Kids are crazy.
  6. Restaurant name: Je dîne Chez Pierre. I’m going out to eat at Chez Pierre.

How do you use chez in sentences?

The French preposition chez can appear in several different kinds of sentences. In all of these sentences, the underlying meaning is “at the place of”.

Chez meaning “at the home of”

When preceding a person’s name, the translation of chez is: “To be at xyz person’s home”. This is the most common usage of chez in the French langauge.

  • Julien est chez Marie. Julien is at Marie’s house.
  • Je vais chez Martin. I’m going to Martin’s house.
  • Jean dine chez Sylvie. Jean is having dinner at Sylvie’s house.
  • Marc habite chez Sarah Marc lives at Sarah’s house.
"Je suis chez moi" I'm at home.

The preposition chez can also precede a stressed pronoun to mean “at his house”, “at her house”, etc. Here are the combinations:

  • Chez moi at my house
  • Chez toi at your house (singular, informal)
  • Chez lui at his house
  • Chez elle at her house
  • Chez soi at one’s house
  • Chez nous at our house
  • Chez vous at your house (plural, formal)
  • Chez eux at their house
  • Chez elle at their house (female only)

The following are example sentences of chez + stressed pronoun:

  • Je dîne chez toi. I’m having dinner at your house.
  • Tu dînes chez moi. Your having dinner at my house.
  • Martin reste chez lui. Martin is staying home (at his house).
  • Sylvie reste chez elle. Sylvie is staying home (at her house).
  • Ils sont chez nous. They’re at our house.
  • Ils ne sont pas chez eux. They’re not home (at their house).

In one’s region or country

The preposition chez can also mean in one’s region or country. Here are some example sentences.

  • Chez moi on parle français. In my country one speaks French (French is spoken).
  • Chez nous on mange avec des baguettes. People eat with chopsticks in our country.
  • Parlez-vous anglais ou français chez vous? Do you speak English or French in your country?
  • Il fait beau chez moi. It’s nice weather out were I live/in my region.
  • Ça se fait pas chez nous! That isn’t done (don’t do that) in our country!

Used to refer to businesses

The French use chez to express going to specific businesses. Here are some examples.

  • Je vais chez le médecin. I’m doing to the doctor’s office.
  • Tu vas chez le fleuriste. You’re doing to the florist’s shop.
"Je vais chez le dentiste". I'm going to the dentist's office.

Used with company names

Chez can also be used to refer to ‘at a certain company’. For example:

  • Chez Samsung, vous trouverez des téléphones portables haut de gamme. You’ll find high-end mobile phones at Samsung.

Describing personalities

A less common usage of chez is associated with describing people personalities.

  • Chez cet homme, tout est égoïste. With this man, everything is selfish.

Generalizations about group

Chez can be use to make broad generalizations of groups. For example:

  • Il y a beaucoup de problèmes chez les adolescents. Adolescents have a lot of issues.
  • On trouve beaucoup d’inspiration chez les personnes âgées. You find a lot of inspiration from old people.

Reference to artists

Chez can also be used to make reference to an artist’s work. For example:

  • J’aime les couleurs vives chez Monet. I like Monet’s vibrant colors.
  • On peut apprécier la prose chez Molière. You can appreciate Moliere’s prose.

Chez with restaurants

Many French restaurants use chez in their names. The restaurant name is often the name of the founder or head chef.

For example, in New York City there is a famous French restaurant called “Chez Josephine“. In Chicago, for example, there’s French restaurant called, “Chez Joël”.

Common mistake with chez

In French there are two ways to say, ‘At my house’: chez moi and à la masion. Hence, to say, ‘I’m at home’, there are two options:

  • Je suis chez moi. I am home.
  • Je suis à la maison. I am home.

You cannot say, ‘Je suis à chez moi’ in French.

"Faites comme chez vous". Make yourselves at home.

Expressions with chez

Chez can also be found in several French expressions.

  • Rien ne vaut son chez-soi. There’s no place like home.
  • Faites comme chez vous (formal) make yourself at home
  • Fais comme chez toi (informal) make yourself at home
  • Ton petit chez-toi you little place, home
  • Bien de chez nous typically French
  • Avoir ses entrées chez to have a foot in the door
  • Bienvenue chez moi! Welcome!
  • Bonjour chez vous! Regards to the family!
  • Ça tourne pas rond chez toi! You’ve got a screw loose!
  • Passez chez quelqu’un to go to somebody’s house
  • Un chez-soi a place of your own
  • Être en visite chez quelqu’un to be visiting somebody
  • Faire un saut chez quelqu’un to pop in and see somebody
  • Fauché de chez fauché to be flat broke
  • il y a quelque chose qui cloche chez lui. Something’s not quite right with him.
  • Par chez nous in these parts

How to use the French preposition chez: Summary Table

The following table summarizes the top-five most common usages of the French preposition “chez”.

Usage of "chez"Chez in sentenceComments
At the home ofJe vais chez vous. I'm going to your place.Chez + person = at the home of place of. Chez can be followed by name or personal pronoun.
Region, countryChez nous on parle français. French is spoken in our country/region.Chez is used in a more boarder sense to mean in our country, region, area.
BusinessesJe vais chez le docteur. I'm going to the doctor's office.Use chez to proceed a professional's office or shop.
Company namesJe voudrais travailler chez Intel. I'd like to work for/at Intel.Use chez to mean for or at a given company or corporation.
GeneralizationsC'est la folie ces gens. These people are nuts.Use chez before a group of people to make a generalization.
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