en venir à, en être

Paula

Kwiziq community member

22 February 2018

3 replies

en venir à, en être

I have recently started to notice verb structures using en, where the en turns out not to be a pronoun, but seems to be part of an expression. I am having trouble translating

en venir à

en être

S'en vouloir would seem to fall into the same category. I don't know if there are other verbs like this. Is there a general way to interpret the en in these cases?

Paula

Chris

Kwiziq community member

23 February 2018

23/02/18

Hi Paula,


the little wlrd "en" is a veritable cameleon in the jungle of the French language. It is used frequently and in many idiomatic expressions, not just as a substitute for something introduced by "de". In such cases it isn't very useful to try to get one's head around a meaningful translation. Just accept the entire phrase as what it is: an idiom. Here are a few example:


Je m'en vais. -- I am leaving.
Je m'en fiche. -- I don't care (about that). It's all the same to me.
Ne m'en veux pas, s'il te plaît. -- Dont' hold it against me, please. Dont be angry with me.


I hope that helps, -- Chris (not a native speaker).



P.S.: Here is a link with more examples and a brief exercise: https://www.tolearnfrench.com/cgi2/myexam/voir2r.php?id=7396


Paula

Kwiziq community member

23 February 2018

23/02/18

Thanks Chris.  That was really helpful, and thanks for the link.  Just to return to my original query what do 'en venir à' and 'en être' translate as?


regards Paula

Chris

Kwiziq community member

23 February 2018

23/02/18

Oh, sorry, forgot those. 


Tu en es? -- Are you up for it?


en venir aux mains  -- to come to blows  


en venir au fait  -- to get to the point


en venir à faire -- to come to do


You see, all of these are more or less idiomatic. But very useful nonetheless.


-- Chris  


Your answer

Login to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Think you've got all the answers?

Test your French to the CEFR standard

find your French level »
2819questions5776answers118,085users
I'll be right with you...