Y et en
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Y et enY and en are used to refer to something that has just been referred to. This could be an action, a thing, a place, etc. We use y or en in order to avoid repeating it.
Tu vas à la manif aujourd’hui ? J’en reviens à l’instant. Are you going to the protest today? I just got back from it.
Y is normally translated by ‘there’ in English. It mostly replaces prepositional phrases that begin with à, such as à cet endroit (to this place).
C’est un très mauvais restaurant. N’y allez pas ! (= N’allez pas à cet endroit.) It’s a very bad restaurant. Do not go there!
Tu es allé faire les courses ? Oui. J’y suis allé.(= Je suis allé au supermarché.) Have you done the shopping? Yes, I just went there (to the shop).
En can very generally be translated as ‘some’, ‘any’ or ‘one’ in English. It mostly replaces prepositional phrases that begin with de.
Cécile a des projets. Elle m’en parle souvent. (= elle me parle souvent de ses projets) Cécile has some projects. She talks about them often.
Dédé a pris des vacances. Il en avait besoin ! (= il avait besoin de prendre des vacances) Dédé just took some holidays. He needed some!
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