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  5. Translate - Il n'y en a qu'un…


Translate - Il n'y en a qu'une seule

Google translates it as - There is only one

1) Is - Il y a une seule - wrong?

2) ne...que is "only" so is that were the only comes from or from seule?

3) I guess the "a" could be - They "have" only one, but then what role does "en" play?

Can't make heads or tails of this, can someone brake down this sentence for me. Thanks in advance.

August 28, 2017



Il y a - there is/are

Il y en a - there is/are one/some

Il n'y en a que... - there is only (one)...

Il n'y en a qu'une seule... - there is only a single one [of something] (of it).


Yes, 'en' means 'of it', so literally: 'These is only a single one of it.'


Informal version: 'Y'en a qu'une seule.'


  • Il y a = Y'a
  • Il y en a = Y'en a
  • Il n'y en a que = Y'en a que

Every 'ne' is dropped in spoken French.


The pronoun en means 'some of those'. For example, in French:

"J'en ai cinq" I have five of them

I think "ne que" means only; seule means alone.

The a is part of 'il y a' which means there is.

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