There in French

For the French words’ y ‘and’ en ‘you often have 1 word in Dutch, namely’ er. That means that in French we have to pay attention when you use which word. Fortunately, there are rules for this.

Earlier we had already treated il ya; now we will elaborate on the word ‘y’. In short, ‘y’ replaces all prepositions except ‘the’. ‘And’ replaces ‘de’, the dividing article (such as ‘du’, or ‘de la’), a number and a quantity.

Tu vas à Paris? Oui, j’y vais.
Are you going to Paris? Yes, I am going there.
Elle pense à ses vacances. > Elle y pense.
She is thinking about her vacation. > She thinks about it.
Je m’habitue à la vie confiné. > Je m’y habitue.
I get used to life in lockdown. > I’m getting used to it.

You can see from these examples that the preposition (in these cases ‘à’) and everything that comes after it (and therefore belongs to the preposition) is replaced by ‘y’.

Note: ‘y’ never refers to people. In that case you use a personal pronoun (vous, le, lui …)
Your pense à mes amis. > Your pense à eux.
I think about my friends. > I think about them.


Il parle de ses vacances. > Il and parle.
He talks about his vacation. > He talks about it.
Je suis fière de ma fille. > J’en suis fière.
I am proud of my daughter. > I’m proud of it.
Tu as combien de pommes? J’en ai 2.
How many apples do you have? I have 2.
On with the crème solaire sur sa peau. > On and with sur sa peau.
You put sunscreen on the skin. > You put it on the skin.
J’ai des amis français. > Y’en ai.
I have French friends. > I have that one.

Place in the sentence
‘Y’ and ‘and’ always stand for the person form, also in the passé composé or if the sentence is negative. If the sentence contains a whole verb, then the ‘y’ and ‘en’ precedes the whole verb. If there are multiple personal pronouns in the sentence, then ‘y’ and ‘and’ are followed. If ‘y’ and ‘and’ are both in the sentence, then ‘y’ comes before ‘and’.
Il y and a 2 là.
There are 2 of them.
Il n’y en a only 2 là.
There are none of these.
Je ne veux pas lazy en parler.
I don’t want to talk to him about it.