How to Use Y in French [+11 Examples]

how to use y in french

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

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • how y can replace there
  • how y can replace à + thing
  • how y is used in French in sentences
  • how to quiz yourself on how to use y in French
  • the way to download Anki files for how to use y 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 y in French!

Table of Contents

Y replaces: There

The pronoun “y” can be used to replace the word “there”.

When people are talking to each other, they may talk about a location.

Instead of repeating the location, people will just say “there”, or in this case “y”.

I have highlighted both the location and y in blue, so you can see how to use y in French.

Je vais à l’école. – J’y vais.

I am going to school. – I am going there.

Tu vas au bureau plus tard ? – Oui, j’y vais à 17 heures.

Are you going to the office later? – Yes I am going there at 17:00.

Annabelle est-elle arrivée à Londres hier ? – Oui, elle y est arrivée hier.

Did Annabelle arrive in London yesterday? – Yes, she arrived there yesterday.

Nous allons en France. Nous y allons.

We are going to France. We are going there.

Vous allez chez lui ? Oui, j’y vais !

Are you going to his place? Yes, I am going there!

Combien de fois vont-ils chez Clara ? Ils y vont tous les samedis.

How often do they go to Clara’s house? They go there every Saturday.

As you can see, every time that you use “there”, you can replace it with “y”.

There is one expression which is an exception.

You cannot use “y” to replace de + a place. You have to use “en” to replace de + place.

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

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

Y replaces: à + Thing

Y” can also replace a thing introduced by à.

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

When this happens, you have to replace à + (noun) group with y.

penser à

Je pense à mon nouveau téléphone portable. – J’y pense.

I am thinking about my new mobile phone. – I am thinking about it.

réfléchir à

Alexandra réfléchit à ses problèmes. Elle y réfléchit.

Alexandra is thinking about her problems. She is thinking about them.

assister à

Nous allons assister à cette réunion. Nous allons y assister.

We are going to attend this meeting. We are going to attend it.

penser à

Vous pensez au jeu vidéo. – Vous y pensez.

You are thinking about the video game. – You are thinking about it.

s’intéresser à

Ils s’intéressent aux trains. Ils s’y intéressent.

They are interested in trains. They are interested in them.

Please note that au, auxà l’, and à la also are accounted in this rule.

Also 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 Y in French

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

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

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

Je vais à l’école. – J’y vais.

I am going to school. – I am going there.

Tu vas au bureau plus tard ? – Oui, j’y vais à 17 heures.

Are you going to the office later? – Yes I am going there at 17:00.

Annabelle est-elle arrivée à Londres hier ? – Oui, elle y est arrivée hier.

Did Annabelle arrive in London yesterday? – Yes, she arrived there yesterday.

Nous allons en France. Nous y allons.

We are going to France. We are going there.

Vous allez chez lui ? Oui, j’y vais !

Are you going to his place? Yes, I am going there!

Combien de fois vont-ils chez Clara ? Ils y vont tous les samedis.

How often do they go to Clara’s house? They go there every Saturday.

penser à

Je pense à mon nouveau téléphone portable. – J’y pense.

I am thinking about my new mobile phone. – I am thinking about it.

réfléchir à

Alexandra réfléchit à ses problèmes. Elle y réfléchit.

Alexandra is thinking about her problems. She is thinking about them.

assister à

Nous allons assister à cette réunion. Nous allons y assister.

We are going to attend this meeting. We are going to attend it.

penser à

Vous pensez au jeu vidéo. – Vous y pensez.

You are thinking about the video game. – You are thinking about it.

s’intéresser à

Ils s’intéressent aux trains. Ils s’y intéressent.

They are interested in trains. They are interested in them.

Quiz Yourself on How to use Y 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 Y in French

It is important to do the Anki excercises for this lesson, 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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