How to use En in French [+14 Examples & Quiz]

how to use y in french

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In this grammar lesson you will learn how to use en in French.

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • how en can replace nouns modified by quantity
  • how en can replace de + phrase
  • how en is used in French in sentences
  • how to quiz yourself on how to use en in French
  • how to practice with flashcards for how to use en in French
  • how and why you should use the courses of Language Atlas to learn French

Please refer to the French A2 Curriculum to get a better overview of French grammar, if you are curious about how this fits in the overall structure of French A2.

By the end of the lesson you will know all about how to use en in French!

Table of Contents

En with Quantities: Of them/Of it

The pronoun “en” can be used to replace nouns modified by quantity. The pronoun “en” will then mean “of them” or “of it”.

Take a look at this sentence:

J’ai trois stylos. – J’en ai trois.

I have three pens. – I have three of them.

The noun is pen. This is modified by quantity, as there are three pens.

In the second sentence, you are not repeating the word stylo, instead you will say “en“.

You are using “en” to replace the noun “stylo“.

When you replace a noun modified by quantity with en, you do it in the following way:

  • en + (verb) + (number)

In the following examples, you will see a lot of examples where nouns modified by quantity are replaced by the pronoun en.

All of this will help you to understand how to use en in French.

J’ai deux ordinateurs. – J’en ai deux.

I have two computers. I have two of them.

Tu as trois chats. – Tu en as trois.

You have three cats. – You have three of them.

Il veut quatre oreillers. Il en veut quatre.

Il veut four pillows. He wants four of them.

Nous voulons beaucoup de vin. Nous en voulons beaucoup.

We want a lot of wine. We want a lot of it.

Mangez-vous une banane tous les matins ? – Oui, j’en mange une tous les matins.

Do you eat a banana every morning? – Yes, I eat one every morning.

Combien de sœurs avez-vous ? – J’en ai trois.

How many sisters do you have? – I have three.

Ils veulent deux litres de lait. Ils en veulent deux litres.

They want two litres of milk. They want two litres of it.

En replaces: de + phrase

En” can also replace de + phrase.

This is often the case with certain verbs that are followed by de.

When this happens, you have to replace de + (noun) group with en.

venir de

Je viens de Chicago. – J’en viens aussi !

I come from Chicago. – I come from there as well!

parler de

Stella parle de sa journée. Stella en parle.

Stella is talking about her day. Stella is talking about it.

venir de

Est-ce qu’elle vient de l’université ? Elle, elle en vient.

Is she coming from the university? She, she is coming from there.

avoir besoin de

Nous avons besoin de repos. – Nous en avons besoin.

We need some rest. – We need it.

penser de

Que pensez-vous de son discours ? – Vous savez ce que j’en pense.

What do you think about his speech? – You know what I think about it.

jouer de

Est-ce qu’ils jouent de la guitare ? Oui, ils en jouent.

Do they play the guitar? Yes they play it.

Please note that people are NOT counted as things.

For people, we have the indirect object pronouns (lui and leur) as well as the other indirect object pronouns (me, te, nous, vous).

Sentences Overview of How to use En in French

The final section of this lesson on how to use en in French is about seeing the pronoun in action.

This is valuable because you can improve your understanding on how to use en in French through examples.

Hear you can see all of the sentences of the previous chapter, neatly stored in one place.

J’ai trois stylos. – J’en ai trois.

I have three pens. – I have three of them.

J’ai deux ordinateurs. – J’en ai deux.

I have two computers. I have two of them.

Tu as trois chats. – Tu en as trois.

You have three cats. – You have three of them.

Il veut quatre oreillers. Il en veut quatre.

He wants four pillows. He wants four of them.

Nous voulons beaucoup de vin. Nous en voulons beaucoup.

We want a lot of wine. We want a lot of it.

Mangez-vous une banane tous les matins ? – Oui, j’en mange une tous les matins.

Do you eat a banana every morning? – Yes, I eat one every morning.

Combien de sœurs avez-vous ? – J’en ai trois.

How many sisters do you have? – I have three.

Ils veulent deux litres de lait. Ils en veulent deux litres.

They want two litres of milk. They want two litres of it.

venir de

Je viens de Chicago. – J’en viens aussi !

I come from Chicago. – I come from there as well!

parler de

Stella parle de sa journée. Stella en parle.

Stella is talking about her day. Stella is talking about it.

venir de

Est-ce qu’elle vient de l’université ? Elle, elle en vient.

Is she coming from the university? She, she is coming from there.

avoir besoin de

Nous avons besoin de repos. – Nous en avons besoin.

We need some rest. – We need it.

penser de

Que pensez-vous de son discours ? – Vous savez ce que j’en pense.

What do you think about his speech? – You know what I think about it.

jouer de

Est-ce qu’ils jouent de la guitare ? Oui, ils en jouent.

Do they play the guitar? Yes they play it.

Quiz Yourself on How to use En in French

At the end of every lesson you can do a small quiz.

You will see the sentences of the previous chapter. It is up to you to give the correct answer.

You will either need to fill in the blanks, choose the correct multiple choice option, or both.

Once you are done the correct answer will be shown.

You can redo the quiz as many times as you want.

Fill in the Blank!J'ai trois stylos. - J' ai trois.

I have three pens. - I have three of them.
Fill in the Blank!J'ai deux ordinateurs. - J' ai deux.

I have two computers. I have two of them.
Fill in the Blank!Il veut quatre oreillers. Il veut quatre.

He wants four pillows. He wants four of them.

How to Practice With Flashcards for This Lesson

Using flashcards is an absolute necessity when it comes to learning a language!

It is the best way to memorize what you learn, you can personalize your progression because it adapts to your actions, and all flashcards have audio to improve your hearing and pronunciation.

Please read our article on how to learn a new language for more information on flashcards and the best way to learn a new language.

There are two ways to practice with Flashcards for this lesson.

  1. Anki
  2. The Flashcards in our Courses

Anki is a free software with which you can create and practice flashcards.

After you have downloaded Anki, you can get our French A2 Anki Deck.

This Anki Deck contains 3,816 flashcards with which you can practice absolutely everything for French A2.

All the flashcards have text, images, explanations, and audio.

You can also use our courses that have flashcards integrated alongside lessons with audio, quizzes and much more!

However, I am sure you are wondering, what are your courses, and why should I take them?

The Courses of Language Atlas

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