Examples of function words in English and in French include the following:
- English: a, an, and, as, at, before, but, by, for, from, is, in, into, like, of, off, on, onto, per, since, than, the, this, that, to, up, via, with, etc.
- French: le, la, l’, les, de, du, d’, des, sur, sous, avec, donc, en, et, y, ou, mais, là, sauf, un, une, ni, dans, à, au, aux, car, après, avant, donc, vers, par, etc.
Exceptions to this include fixed expressions, where removing a function word can change the meaning. For example, "En bref" and "À propos", which mean "About" in French, have fairly different meanings from "bref" (brief) and "propos" (sentiments, remarks). So in these two cases, "en-bref" and "a-propos" are acceptable.