How to use En in French [+14 Examples]

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
  • the way to download Anki files for how to use en in 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.

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.

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

It’s not enough just to read the article on this lesson.

You should test your knowledge to see if you really understood everything, and to be able to repeat the material.

It is also for this reason that it is recommended to download the Anki Decks and do them.

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

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.

Anki File for How to use En in French

It is important to do the Anki excercises for this lesson on how to use en in French, so that you can remember what you just studied.

By downloading the Anki File for French A2 you can practice every French A2 lesson that is on Language Atlas.

At this moment the Anki File for this lesson doesn’t exist yet. However, in due time this will be available on Language Atlas.

If you don’t know why you should use Anki, or don’t know how to use Anki or merge Anki files please click here.

Anki can be downloaded from here.

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