Frend Grammar - y versus en


Y vs EN:

Y is a pronoun referring to a previously mentioned place introduced by a preposition such as à (to), en (to), dans (in), chez (at someone's house). It can be interpreted as 'there' or 'it' in English. Examples:

Tu vas à la bibliothèque aujourd'hui ? // Are you going to the library today?
Oui, j'y vais. // Yes, we are going there.

Tom et Alice habitent en France. // Tom and Alice live in France.
Ils y habitent depuis 1 an. // They have been living there for 1 year.

Les élèves sont-ils dans la classe ? // Are the pupils in the classroom?
Oui, ils y sont. // Yes, they are there.

Y always comes before the verb.

Paul est allé chez Sam ce matin. Il y retournera demain. // Paul went to Sam's house this morning. He will return there tomorrow.

Y is also used to replace the preposition à + something with verbs such as 'penser à' (to think about), 'réfléchir à' (to think about), 's'intéresser à'(to be interested in). Examples:

Tu penses à ton avenir ? // Are you thinking about your future?
Oui, j'y pense. // Yes, I am thinking about it.

Tu t'intéresses à la musique ? // Are you interested in music?
Non, je ne m'y intéresses pas. // No, I am not interested in it.

Y is also used in some expression such as:

Il y a // 'There is' or 'there are'
Allons-y // Let's go!
Tu es prêt ? Allons-y ! // Are you ready? Let's go!
On y va. // Let's go.

En is a pronoun which replaces 'de + noun'. It is also used to replace 'de + noun' with verbs which require the preposition 'de', such as 'avoir besoin de' (to need), 'avoir envie de' (to want), 's'occuper de' (to deal with).

Elle mange des pommes ? // Does she eat apples?
Oui, elle en mange tous les jours. // Yes, she eats them every day.

In the above example, 'en' can be interpreted as 'them' or 'some'.

As-tu du lait ? // Do you have some milk?
Oui, j'en ai. // Yes, I do have some.

Like 'y', 'en' also come before the verb.

Avez-vous des livres ? // Do you have books?
Oui, j'en ai beaucoup. // Yes, I have a lot of them.

As-tu besoin de l'ordinateur ? // Do you need the computer?
Non, je n'en ai pas besoin. // No I do not need it.

Elle parle du film ? // Is she talking about the film?
Oui, elle en parle. // Yes, she is talking about it.


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