Here is what I have written:

On doit étudier toutes les matières jusqu'à partir de la troisième. Ensuite, on peut choisir entre les sciences économiques et la technologie, mais c'est obligatoire d'étudier les maths, les sciences, la géographie et l'anglais.

Am I using the expression "jusqu'à" correctly?

  • 1
    Jusqu'à is nearly always followed by a noun, and you're following it with a verb. So I don't think that's quite right! Grammatically you probably want jusqu'au début de la troisième, although a native speaker should check my math, so to speak, since I'm not sure if it's idiomatic for this sentence. Apr 21, 2016 at 4:50
  • Jusqu'à quitter la troisième ? Partir is somehow synonymous with quitter but in this context it will mislead your reader...
    – GAM PUB
    Apr 22, 2016 at 13:02
  • As a native speaker, I would agree with @Aerovistae for "Jusqu'au début de la troisième"
    – Gilles V.
    Apr 22, 2016 at 13:30
  • Why not just say this is not grammatical in French? It is flat out wrong.
    – Lambie
    Apr 22, 2016 at 13:39

2 Answers 2


Usually one says "jusqu'à ..." (until) or "à partir de ..." (starting from). I think "jusqu'à partir de la troisième" might be grammatically correct in theory, meaning "until one leaves la troisième" but a native speaker would never say that as it is ambiguous.

If you mean "until leaving", I'd say (with increasing preference) jusqu'à la fin de la troisième, jusqu'au collège, jusqu'en troisième, jusqu'à la fin du collège.

While I'm at it, a few corrections: on peut entre should probably be on peut choisir entre, and obligatoire étudier should be obligatoire d'étudier. Again by the way, in current French collège one has Technologie as a mandatory class, and in the lycée one can choose between sciences économiques and several other subjects, but not Technologie which does not exist in the lycée général, so your last sentence is not correct with regard to current conditions in France.

Source: I am not quite a native speaker but I do have one kid in lycée and another in collège.

  • "jusqu'à partir de" can't be correct. "à partir" always means "starting from", if you want to say "until one leaves" you could use the very old-fashioned "jusqu'au partir de (la troisième)" or the more common "jusqu'à ce qu'on/qu'il quitte (la troisième)" Apr 21, 2016 at 8:35
  • 2
    @AnneAunyme I was estimating that jusqu'à, normally followed by a noun, can be followed by an infinitive verb standing in for a noun, like in il est allé jusqu'à quitter son emploi, jusqu'à venir, etc., and that therefore the construct might be correct on a purely theoretical grammatical level. Of course we agree that jusqu'à partir should absolutely not be used. Grammatical or not, peu importe, it is basically incomprehensible.
    – Law29
    Apr 21, 2016 at 12:06
  • You are right, I did not think about this construction ! Apr 21, 2016 at 12:44
  • As a native speaker (from Belgium, not France), I would not say "jusqu'à quitter la troisième".
    – Gilles V.
    Apr 22, 2016 at 13:21
  • @GillesV. I agree that it sounds bizarre. It was already the expression I preferred least, but I've deleted it from my answer. All the examples I can think of of Il (X, v conjugué) jusqu'à (Y, v à l'infinitif) imply a causal relationship where repeating X sooner or later entails Y, instead of Y just happening and causing X to stop . . . maybe because Y even though infinitive has an implied subject which is the same as X. With Il (X) jusqu'à ce que one can have a different subject in the subordinate clause: Il joua jusqu'à ce qu'on l'appelle. Am I going too far . . . probably :)
    – Law29
    Apr 22, 2016 at 16:44

The previous answer is quite good but I want to make something precise.

You can just say "jusqu'à la troisième". This will mean "until the end of la troisième"

I would say like this :

"On doit étudier toutes les matières jusqu'à la troisième. Ensuite, on peut choisir entre les sciences économiques et la technologie, mais c'est obligatoire d' étudier les maths, les sciences, la géographie et l'anglais. "

  • I improved my answer but I still prefer specifying la fin de. Good catch on matiéres, I do recommend using a basic spell-checker for such things!
    – Law29
    Apr 22, 2016 at 16:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.