"Pourquoi on en parle ?"

Translation:Why do we talk about it?

February 5, 2013

This discussion is locked.


what is "EN"? I don't understand at all...


"en" is a pronoun meaning "de-quelque chose" and is used to replace something that was previously mentioned.

Verb "parler" is constructed with preposition "de" : "parler de" = talk about

In a conversation: - ton chien est stupide (your dog is stupid) - je le sais, alors pourquoi on en parle ? (I know that, so why are we talking about it?)


Well , but I have another question . how to explain "Je m'en vais?" I met this sentence before and was told that it means 'I leave" So does "en"here also mean de+quelque choes? How to explain the whole sentence ?Je me vais de quelque chose?


In French, the verb "aller" does not stand alone. You can't say : "je vais" (I go), you have to give a hint of 'where to'. So, "en" in this case means "à-quelque part" (to somewhere).


But you said that "en"means de quelque choes...so does it also mean a quelque part? But how to explain "m' " here? Why there is a "m' "? couldn't it be just "J'en vais"?


"en" means indeed "de quelque chose" with verb "parler". It can mean "à quelque part" with verb "aller".

The full construction of "aller" when you want to mean "leave" is reflexive:

  • je m'en vais, tu t'en vas, il/elle/on s'en va, nous nous en allons, vous vous en allez (polite singular and plural), ils/elles s'en vont.


sorry, didn't say that clearly, i mean [ je y vais ]. is it correct?


In French, "y" is a vowel (sound: ee).

Therefore "je" has to be elided: j'y vais.


dont we use "y" in this case?


"y" would mean "there", a place.

"parler de" = to talk about

"en" stands for "de + something mentioned before".


To go off topic, can 'je le sais' also mean i know him?


No, when it comes to people or places : je le connais


'of it or about it'


I'm kind of aggravated with the voice on this one. The pronunciation led me to write "Pourquoi un on parle?" which I knew didn't make any sense, but that's what it sounded like. If "on" had sounded like "on" and "en" had sounded like "en", I might have gotten this one right! Thanks for giving us a place to vent, DuoLingo. :)


This sentence is what makes it so much harder to listen to french for me. En and Un sound so similar to my ear to the extent that I was sure it was un even though the sentence didnt make much sense. (btw, I tried to write this paragraph in french but I had no idea how to translate the first sentence =( )


Yes, "un" (article) in front of a verb would make no sense.

That is why, before typing what you hear, you have to make an educated guess about what it would mean, in other words: just back translate it and see what you get to.


Another correct translation given is "Why does one speak of her?", would "Why does one speak of him?" also be acceptable?


Why or how is the we implied in the translation? Why wouldn't the sentence say parlons instead of parle?


"On" is a different pronoun that means "we"

This might help: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/ss/subjectpronouns_5.htm


"On" means we too, but it's conjugated in the same way as "il" and "elle".


Is there any way of knowing - other than context - whether to translate 'en' here as 'it','him','her' etc.etc.?


No other way than context, I'm afraid.


why would this not be pourquoi nous en parlons?


That should also be accepted.


Could this also be On en parle pourqoui ?


If on means we, why use parle and not parlons?



On is a third person singular form. Therefore the verb takes a third person singular form.

Il, Elle, On = third person singular. On refers to an undefined group. It is comparable to the formal use of one/we in English.

EG: One wants to be sure about the grammar. Note that the third person singular is used. In this example one is singular but means everyone. On is also singular and also means everyone.

The use of one as we is formal and uncommon in English. The use of on as we in French is informal and very common.


Good answer. Thanks.


Is alors the same as donc ?


Je l'ai traduit, "Why is that spoken of?" Ce n'est pas un bon traduction? Sans le contexte...

  • 1860

Shouldn't "why are we talking" be accepted? It means the same thing.


I'd like to know this too


In English, we would generally say, "Why talk about it?" That answer wasn't accepted.


try putting that in the problem report


Oh I did. But thanks. :)


Accepted November 2018


Why are we speaking? Is not correct? I am so slow at getting this...


'parler' means to talk or to speak. why is 'speak' wrong?'


Can "en" also refer to a plural? as in, "why are we speaking of them?"


Yes, this is correct and accepted now, together with "these/those".

  • 1673

Where can I find type what you hear exercises? I've tried Duo on my Android tablet and phone, and on my pc. In 3 months of daily usage I've never had that kind of exercise, which I think would be very challenging but helpful.


well I am not sure but I guess you have to check your settings maybe you have the speaker turned off


I usually get this exercise in after finishing the first level (the one in which you get to know the new vocabulary)


So it is a fraction of a conersation and can not stand alone as nothing was previously mentioned in this sentence ?


There is never a context for any sentence on the course. But this is a full sentence which may not need further contextual detail.

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