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It is not about conjugation but grammar. I introduce you in this article 2 pronouns which are very used in everyday life : en and y. You will find explanations on how and when to use them. You will use them for expressing directions, in a variety of French expressions as well. You need to know and how to use them to consolidate your foundation, to reach your French goals, to be among the good talkers, to impress your professor, to have a better understanding of movies, to have more confidence. Do not forget to use all the resources you have to improve : an application,…

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The pronoun EN

En general en replace a noun which is preceded by the preposition de. As it repalces something we say that en is a pronoun. It is placed before the verb.

Vous mangez de la salade ? – Oui, j’en mange → Do you eat salad ? – Yes, I eat it
Vous buvez du vin ? – Oui, j’en bois → You drink wine ? – Yes, I drink it
Vous avez des enfants ? – Oui, j’en ai → Do you have kids? – Yes I have

The pronoun en is used when we express quantity.

Il y a trois chaises ? – Oui, il y en a trois → Are there three chairs ? – Yes, there are three
Il y a beaucoup de gens ? – Oui, il y en a beaucoup → Are there a lot of people ? – Yes, there are many
Be aware of the fact that we say il y en a trois, we do not say il y a trois. We say il y en a beaucoup, we do not say il y a beaucoup.

We use the pronoun en with verbs we build with the preposition de.

Vous parlez de votre travail ? – Oui, j‘en parle souvent → Are you talking about your work? – Yes, I often talk about it
Vous rêvez de votre famille ? – Oui, j’en rêve → Do you dream of your family ? – Yes, I dream about it
Vous faites de la danse ? – Oui, j’en fais → Do you dance? – Yes I do

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Excercises to practice

Write your answer in the comments and I will tell you if it is ok or not, and I will give you the correction.

Instruction : build up phrases with the pronoun en
Vous mangez de céréales ? – Oui, j’en mange → Do you eat cereal ? – Yes, I eat it
Vous buvez du thé ? – Oui, ………………… → Do you drink tea ? – Yes I drink it
Vous mettez du lait ? – Oui, ………………. → Do you put milk ? – Yes, I put some of it
Vous écoutez du jazz ? – Oui, ……………. → Do you listen to jazz music ? – Yes, I listen to it
Vous faites de la gymnastique ? – Oui, ………… → Do you do gymnastics ? – Yes, I do   

Instruction : answer to the questions with en
Katia mange de la salade ? – Oui, elle en mange → Does Katia eat salad ? – Yes, she eats it
Ahmed mange du fromage ? – Oui, ………………. → Does Ahmed eat cheese ? – Yes, He eats it
Florence et Inès mangent des légumes ? – Oui, ………….. → Do they eat vegetables ? – Yes, the eat them
Vincent achète du pain ? – Oui, ………………….. → Does Vincent buy bread ? – Yes, he buys it
Anna achète de la glace ? – Oui, ………………… → Does Anna buy ice ? – Yes, she buys it
Les enfants achètent des bonbons ? – Oui, ………………… → Do the children buy candies ? – Yes, the buy them

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The pronoun Y

The pronoun y is used to avoid repeating a place noun.

Je vais à la gare. J’y vais en taxi → I am going to the train station. I am going by taxi
Je vais en Espagne. J’y vais en avion → I am going to Spain. I am going by plane
Je suis chez moi. J’y suis jusqu’à six heures → I am at home. I am there until six o’clock
J’habite dans cette rue. J’y habite depuis deux mois → I live on this street. I have been living there for two months

The pronoun y replace à + a noun of a thing

Je pense à mon pays. J’y pense souvent → I am thinking of my country. I often think about it
Elle croit à l’astrologie. Elle y croit → She believes in astrology. She believes in it

Be aware of the fact that we say J’y vais, we do not say Je vais.
We say On y va, we do not say On va.

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Excercises to practice

Write your answer in the comments and I will tell you if it is ok or not, and I will give you the correction.

Instruction : answer to the questions according to the pattern
Vous allez à la montage en été ou en hiver ? – J’y vais en été
(Do you go to mountains in summer or in winter? – I go there in summer)
Vous allez à la piscine le samedi ou le jeudi ? – ………………………………………………….
(Do you go to the pool on Saturday or on Thursday ? – We go there on Saturday)
Vous allez à la mer en Juillet ou en Août ? – ………………………………………………………..
(Do you go to the sea on July or on August ? – We go there on July)
Vous allez au cinéma le Samedi ou le Dimanche ? – ……………………………………………
(Do you go to the cinema on Saturday or on Sunday ? – We go there on Saturday)
Vous allez au marché le mardi ou le jeudi ? – ……………………………………………………..
(Do you go to the market on Tuesday or on Thursday ? – We go there on Thrusday)

Instruction : transform the sentences according to the pattern
Je vais au bureau en métro – Moi, j’y vais en voiture
(I go to the office by metro – I go there by car)
Je vais à la cantine à midi – Moi, …………………………………………………………………………
(I go to the canteen at noon. I go there at 1 pm)
Je vais à la piscine le mardi – Moi, ……………………………………………………………………..
(I go to the pool on Tuesday, I go there on Wednesday)
Je reste au bureau jusqu’à cinq heures – Moi, …………………………………………………….
(I stay at the office until 5 pm – I stay there until 6 pm)
Je dîne « chez Lulu » vers sept heures – Moi,  …………………………………………………….
(I have a dinner at « Chez Lulu » around 7 pm – I have a dinner there at 7 pm as well)

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Thank you for reading this article !
Thomas 😀

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