En can replace de + phrase (adverbial pronoun)

Look at these sentences with the pronoun en:

Je viens de Paris. - J'en viens aussi !
I come from Paris. - I come from there too!

Que penses-tu de cette exposition ? - J'en pense le plus grand bien !
What do you think of this exhibition? - I think very highly of it.

Je m'occupe de mes problèmes. Je m'en occupe.
I'm dealing with my problems. I'm dealing with them.

 -> Note that en can replace plural things too.

Elle a besoin de vacances. Elle en a besoin.
She needs holidays. She needs them.

 

Notice that en as a pronoun can replace phrases introduced by the preposition de + [thing]/[object]/[location] (but not people), particularly with verbs that require de.  
In such cases, you cannot replace the noun alone with a pronoun, you must replace the whole de + [noun] group with en.

ATTENTION:

In the case of de + [people], the preposition de remains and is followed by a stress pronoun (moi, toi, lui, elle, nous, vous, eux, elles) replacing and agreeing with the noun:

Tu te moques de Paul et Daniel. - Non, je ne me moque pas d'eux !
You're mocking Paul and Daniel. - No, I'm not mocking them!

J'ai besoin de ma mère tous les jours. - J'ai besoin d'elle aussi.
I need my mother every day. - I need her too.

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources


Je m'occupe de mes problèmes. Je m'en occupe.
I'm dealing with my problems. I'm dealing with them.


Je viens de Paris. - J'en viens aussi !
I come from Paris. - I come from there too!


J'ai des chocolats.  -  J'en ai.
I've got chocolates.  -  I've got some.



Il se sert de ses outils. - Je m'en sers aussi.
He's using his tools. - I'm using them too.


Tu joues de la trompette. -  Tu en joues.
You play trumpet.  -  You play (it)


J'ai besoin de ma mère tous les jours. - J'ai besoin d'elle aussi.
I need my mother every day. - I need her too.


Je mange de la purée.  -  J'en mange.
I'm eating mash.  -   I'm eating some.


Tu te moques de Paul et Daniel. - Non, je ne me moque pas d'eux !
You're mocking Paul and Daniel. - No, I'm not mocking them!


Elle a besoin de vacances. Elle en a besoin.
She needs holidays. She needs them.


Que penses-tu de cette exposition ? - J'en pense le plus grand bien !
What do you think of this exhibition? - I think very highly of it.


Q&A Forum 9 questions, 19 answers

JamieB2Kwiziq community member

Why no EN?

In the sentence, encountered in a novel:

Il ouvrait un petit bar, y prenait une bouteille et deux verres.

Why "y"?  This seems to be a perfect example of "de plus location", as he is taking the bottle from a place.

Can someone elucidate, please"

Much obliged!

Asked 2 months ago
TomC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Jamie,

Thé French construction for taking something from somewhere confusingly does not use  "de" but instead uses "dans", hence the use of "y" in your   example. E.g. Il a pris la bouteille dans le frigo. - He took the bottle from the fridge.

Hope this helps,

Tom

JamieB2Kwiziq community member

I am obliged to you yet again, Tom, for introducing me to another French construction.  I already have to work mightily to remember:

 " "y" can replace locations introduced by the following prepositions: à, sur, chez, dans ".  

Now I get to learn all the idiomatic uses for à, sur chez, and dans!  

I'm sure there's a good dictionary of such idioms out there somewhere.  Can anyone suggest one?

Jamie

Why no EN?

In the sentence, encountered in a novel:

Il ouvrait un petit bar, y prenait une bouteille et deux verres.

Why "y"?  This seems to be a perfect example of "de plus location", as he is taking the bottle from a place.

Can someone elucidate, please"

Much obliged!

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

EulethaB1Kwiziq community member

Usage avec les quantités

Bonjour! Thank you for this great lesson and video about using "en!" I have a question about whether or not it's acceptable to repeat the noun when it's in a quantity phrase. To illustrate, for the sentence Elle apporte une bouteille de vin, which one of these is correct, or are both acceptable: Elle en apporte une bouteille. / Elle en apporte une.  I have a similar question with the phrase "des tranches de." My guess is that since "des" is a partitive, the noun "tranches" wouldn't follow the verb because "en" replaces the whole "des" phrase, but I'm not 100% sure. So Il mange des tranches de gateaux would become "Il en mange" and not "Il en mange des tranches"? Or are both acceptable? 

Asked 3 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Euletha,

In answer to your first query -

Elle apporte une bouteille de vin?   Oui, elle en apporte une  ( the en replacing une bouteille

in your second query -

Il mange des tranches de gâteaux? 

you would say,

 Oui, il en mange des tranches ( en replacing  'de gâteau')

The occasions when you would use an additional quantity value would be to emphasise the amount.

e.g

Pierre aime le chocolat Oui il en mange des tonnes!  ( en= of it)

Vous avez des timbres chez vous?  Oui, j'en ai des carnets!  (en=of them)

Tu mange de la purée? Oui, j'en mange des kilos  ( en=of it)

etc.

There is a sister Kwiziq lesson on en and quantities which you might find useful too -

https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/grammar/the-adverbial-pronoun-en-means-of-them-with-quantities

Hope this helps!

 

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

It is certainly grammatically correct to repeat the quantity/unit again. Seems a bit superfluous, though. Maybe even like there would be another possibility to take, e.g., one flask but you took one bottle.

Il en mange. -- He eats from it.
Il en mange des tranches. -- He eats slices from it.

Again, it's fine to repeat "des tranches" but it does shift the emphasis a bit.

The opinion of  a native speaker would be appreciated.

ShreyA1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Bonjour Madame Cécile !

I went through your answer and learnt a new concept that one would use an additional quantity value to emphasise the amount.

Now, if provided with a sentence->

Voulez-vous boire une tasse de thé?-                   

 Oui, je veux en boire une. (Here, en replaces une tasse).

This implies that I want to drink one cup of tea.

But if one says- Oui, je veux en boire une tasse.(en replacing de thé). On what is the emphasis being made and how ?

Merci Madame et je vous souhaite une bonne journée!

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Shrey,

You would say -

Oui, j'aimerais en boire une ( tasse)

 

Usage avec les quantités

Bonjour! Thank you for this great lesson and video about using "en!" I have a question about whether or not it's acceptable to repeat the noun when it's in a quantity phrase. To illustrate, for the sentence Elle apporte une bouteille de vin, which one of these is correct, or are both acceptable: Elle en apporte une bouteille. / Elle en apporte une.  I have a similar question with the phrase "des tranches de." My guess is that since "des" is a partitive, the noun "tranches" wouldn't follow the verb because "en" replaces the whole "des" phrase, but I'm not 100% sure. So Il mange des tranches de gateaux would become "Il en mange" and not "Il en mange des tranches"? Or are both acceptable? 

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

MichelleC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

D'en--how to you it and it is required?

As you don't have a skill relating to d'en, I'm linking this to the skill related to de phrases and en.

I'm guessing that d'en, as I keep hearing it, replaces "des/de + noun" (though I'm still somewhat confused about it). But it is really necessary to use d'en? Couldn't you just use le/la/les (or in some cases, ça/cela). As in "J'aurais mieux fait d'en prendre." could I just say "J'aurais mieux fait les prendre"?? If d'en is required, how do I know when I need to use it as opposed to le/la/les (apart from 'fixed' expressions like "d'en haut")?

Asked 4 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Michelle,

 The 'd'en' is because of the expression -

'faire mieux de' which is always tricky to translate in English.

e.g.

Le jour où je l'ai rencontré , j'aurais mieux fait de me casser une jambe The day I met him I'd have been better breaking a leg

Tu ferais mieux de le contacter aujourd'hui = You'd be better contacting him today

J'aurais mieux fait d'en prendre I'd have been better taking some 

Vous auriez mieux fait de les emmener avec vous You'd have been better taking them with you

The pronoun rules are the same as always.

Hoe this helps!

 

D'en--how to you it and it is required?

As you don't have a skill relating to d'en, I'm linking this to the skill related to de phrases and en.

I'm guessing that d'en, as I keep hearing it, replaces "des/de + noun" (though I'm still somewhat confused about it). But it is really necessary to use d'en? Couldn't you just use le/la/les (or in some cases, ça/cela). As in "J'aurais mieux fait d'en prendre." could I just say "J'aurais mieux fait les prendre"?? If d'en is required, how do I know when I need to use it as opposed to le/la/les (apart from 'fixed' expressions like "d'en haut")?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

MárcioA2Kwiziq community member

Usage « en »

Salut !

Dans ce cas ci-dessous, l'emploi de « en » ( Il n'en faut ) est-il correct ?  

Je cherche une guitare usagée. Il n'en faut pas être de haute qualité, mais qu'il soit en bon état. C'est pour apprendre à jouer.

Dans la dernière phrase « C'est pour apprendre à jouer. » est-il possible d'utiliser « en » « Y » ou « la / l' » pour faire mention à la guitare ? Si oui, est-il mieux de l'ajouter selon l'usage normal ? 

Merci !

Asked 9 months ago

Usage « en »

Salut !

Dans ce cas ci-dessous, l'emploi de « en » ( Il n'en faut ) est-il correct ?  

Je cherche une guitare usagée. Il n'en faut pas être de haute qualité, mais qu'il soit en bon état. C'est pour apprendre à jouer.

Dans la dernière phrase « C'est pour apprendre à jouer. » est-il possible d'utiliser « en » « Y » ou « la / l' » pour faire mention à la guitare ? Si oui, est-il mieux de l'ajouter selon l'usage normal ? 

Merci !

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

MarnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

en ...add footnote?

Would it be possibe to add a note addressing the use of “en” in this sentance? “Je voulais en savoir plus de cet artiste ensorcelant.”  I understand why “en” replaces but not the underpinning of this structure where it is not referring to a previous subject and where the object is wtitten out.  This part of the lesson on “en” is probablt covered in another lesson covering other aspects of the use of “en” but not here....
Asked 11 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
"En" in this context can be thought of to stand for "of that", even though it doesn't translate very well like this.
MarnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

It’s the linguistic underpinning I’m after... not the “translation”.  “Je voulais en savoir plus.”. is the meaning.  I’d like to know why and when a native speaker would add “de...” after “en” has already been used in same sentence.

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
I'm afraid you're looking for an explanation where there is none. "Je voulais en savoir plus" is like an idiomatic expression. And French is a highly idiomatic language where rules seem to be there to only to justify the exceptions.

en ...add footnote?

Would it be possibe to add a note addressing the use of “en” in this sentance? “Je voulais en savoir plus de cet artiste ensorcelant.”  I understand why “en” replaces but not the underpinning of this structure where it is not referring to a previous subject and where the object is wtitten out.  This part of the lesson on “en” is probablt covered in another lesson covering other aspects of the use of “en” but not here....

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

MarnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

il s’en occupe tout de suite

i answered the quizz with “of it” and “of him”.  but “of him” was wrong , yet “of them” was correct

what is the difference between ”take care of him” vs “take care of them”.  one is right, one is wrong but they both relate to ‘a person/people’ not things.

he takes care of him right away.

he takes care of them right away

he takes care of it right away

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

En can't be used as a pronoun to replace people. See if these examples help:

Luc s'occupe de Jean. -- Luc s'occupe de lui. (NOT: Luc s'en occupe.)

Luc s'occupe des fleurs. -- Luc s'en occupe. Luc takes care of the flowers -- Luc takes care of them  

In the last sentence, en replaces des fleurs and "them" refers to an object, not a person. If you were taking of persons, you would need a different construction. 

Luc s'occupe de mes parents. -- Luc s'occupe d'eux. 

 

Hope that helps. 

MarnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
but in this quizz, the 2 correct answers were “he takes care of it” AND “he takes care of THEM”. Given your reasoning “he takes care of THEM” is also incorrect yetbit was added to the correct answer and my “he takes care of him” was marked wrong.  Isn’t “He Takes care of THEM” just as wrong as “he takes care of HIM”?
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

If you read my previous post again, I did include an example using "them" referring to flowers. Since flowers aren't people, the use of "en" is OK.

Il s'occupe de ses grand-parents. Il s'occupe d'eux. -- He takes care of them (grand parents)
Il s'occupe des fleurs. Il s'en occupe. -- He takes care of them (the flowers).

MarnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

i did read your previous post.  your example does not have any relevance to the example in the quizz which didnt specify whether or not ‘en’ was supposed to rever to inanimate objects or humans. It’s the specific quizz question that i am querying.

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Well "en" cannot refer to persons, therefore there's no need to specify whether it refers to objects or persons. Since "them" in English can refer to objects, it is a possible translation for the sentence in question. Just think it through. 

il s’en occupe tout de suite

i answered the quizz with “of it” and “of him”.  but “of him” was wrong , yet “of them” was correct

what is the difference between ”take care of him” vs “take care of them”.  one is right, one is wrong but they both relate to ‘a person/people’ not things.

he takes care of him right away.

he takes care of them right away

he takes care of it right away

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

AnnC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

In the writing challenge, the translation from english was that person dreamed of going to Paris, I translated this as y rêver thinking rêver à aller

but the answer was en rêver. Please explain why
Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Ann !

This one is quite a tricky case!

The fact is that rêver à + [quelque chose] is very rarely used, and always in a figurative context, something you're considering: 

rêver à  de futures vacances... 
but
rêver de toi

For every other case, it would be rêver de.

And to say to dream of [doing something], you'll always use rêver de [infinitif]

Je rêve de  faire le tour du monde.
Il rêvait d'aller en Espagne.

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

In the writing challenge, the translation from english was that person dreamed of going to Paris, I translated this as y rêver thinking rêver à aller

but the answer was en rêver. Please explain why

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

AndyC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Ce matin, elle en a trouvé une sous le sèche-cheveux

Hello. In the Week 29 B1 writing test, the above sentence appears as a translation for 'This morning, she found one under the hairdryer.' To begin with I was confused by the phrase appearing to have two objects. But after thinking about it could this sentence be read as: 'This morning, she found one (of them) under the hairdryer.' ~Thanks for your help
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Andy ! Yes, that's exactly how this sentence works literally. In French, you need to mention the thing that the quantity refers to, otherwise something is missing (She found one what?). See the related lesson: En with quantities = Of them (adverbial pronoun) I hope that's helpful! Bonne Année !

Ce matin, elle en a trouvé une sous le sèche-cheveux

Hello. In the Week 29 B1 writing test, the above sentence appears as a translation for 'This morning, she found one under the hairdryer.' To begin with I was confused by the phrase appearing to have two objects. But after thinking about it could this sentence be read as: 'This morning, she found one (of them) under the hairdryer.' ~Thanks for your help

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

JohnC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Question from the Writing Challenge that references "en"

This lesson is referenced in the Week 1, B1 writing challenge but it does not contain information on the use of "en" in the part where the speaker says he will see places in Paris "that I've only seen in photos." The answer uses "que je n'ai vues qu'en photos." Why is en needed there? Thanks.
Asked 3 years ago
GruffKwiziq team member
Salut John ! In this case, "en" is just the preposition meaning "in", not the adverbial pronoun "en". We have "ne" + "que" = "only" and the "que" has contracted with "en" which is possibly what confused you? "en photo" means "in photographic form" / "in photos". Hope that helps!
PavlinaB1Kwiziq community member
What is the diffeence between en photo and sur le photo? Merci

Question from the Writing Challenge that references "en"

This lesson is referenced in the Week 1, B1 writing challenge but it does not contain information on the use of "en" in the part where the speaker says he will see places in Paris "that I've only seen in photos." The answer uses "que je n'ai vues qu'en photos." Why is en needed there? Thanks.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Getting that for you now.