Une Question: Quand et comment utiliser le terme "en"?
This word is like my mortal enemy at the moment. I know from basics that it can mean "in", but apart from that it has more of a wide range of different usages within the French language, which is where I start to lose the sense of the word. Any simple and helpful insight (or links) that will explain how and when I can use the term en would be great! :)
Good morning Jaelle10,
How to use the en term ? :-) It represents the same difficulty for me to know how and mostly when to use in, at and on ? They are all over the map ! :-)
If you talk about in, it means that you want to know how to use en before a country for example. Well, it is very simple, en is used before a feminine noun for a country. For example, la France, l'Allemagne, l'Italie etc... are the feminine nouns for a country. So you say, en France, en Allemagne, en Italie. For the masculine noun for a country, such as le Canada, le Cambodge, les Etats-Unis etc..., you have to say or to write au Canada, au Cambodge, aux États-Unis etc...
En is also a pronoun as said by DTJ. Here is an example how to use it.
Par exemple, vous venez d'un supermarché, et quelqu'un y va et que vous voulez lui dire que vous venez de là bas, vous pouvez lui dire : j'en viens au lieu de dire je viens du supermarché. En ici sert à indiquer un endroit d'où vous venez. Dans ce cas, en est l'opposé de y. Vous allez au supermarché, vous dîtes : j'y vais, sous entendu que votre interlocuteur sache de quoi vous parlez.
En est aussi utilisé pour des verbes tels que décider de, parler de etc... Par exemple, vous êtes en train de parler d'un roman et quelqu'un vient et parle aussi du même roman, vous pouvez lui dire que vous êtes en train d'en parler = parler du roman en question.
Me suis-je bien fait comprendre ?:-)
en is also a pronoun The pronouns to familiarize your self with are direct objects, indirect objects, y (which ised used to replace a place), and finally en ( which replaces 'some', 'any', and 'one') This link explains it much better:
Can you explain to me, in return, how and when to use in, at, and on, please ? I still have mistakes about them...
"Can you explain (to) me..." And yes! I will try my best to explain those. ;)
First, in is used like the French prepositions, en and dans. It can be used for both physical or nonphysical locations (including times).
He's puts an apple in my hand (physical place).
I think she's in shock (nonphysical place).
We are almost in May (place in time)!
Next is at which also tells where something/someone is. It tends to be more general than in and on, though if you what to be more precise, it can sometimes be switched with in.
He is at the store picking apples./He is in the store picking apples.
She is at a loss for words. (This is another way of saying 'She's in shock').
The party is at the beginning of May./The party is in the beginning of may.
Then on which is only used as a preposition in English to indicate that something is on top, but can also be used like in in this way:
- She's on TV. (Not literally on top, but she is seen through there)
"On" can also be used to indicate usage.
He's on the computer.
You're on Duolingo.
Here is a link that may help, since there is no set rule on using these three words but practice helps. And thanks so much for you're help as well. I will be practicing as much as possible! :D
Thanks a lot Jaelle10. The use of these three prepositions is not evident for me. For example, in French, we say quelque chose est dans une liste, instead of on a list in English. As I don't know the rule, I am starting to remember it with my brain.-:)
I want to add that your explanation is very clear and well presented...
I think, as in French and other languages, there are many exceptions to the various basic rules for at/in/on, and it is often necessary just to memorise the particular phrase or usage. With practice, this is not so hard, it is just part of your vocabulary.
Yes, it is the verb that I have to use in my case : to memorise. To memorise, as you have said, particular phrase or usage of all the three prepositions. I had a look at the link given by Jaelle10, apparently there is no precise rule for the use of them, so our brain will be very solicited. :)
Je suis d'accord. It takes earnest effort if one really wants to learn something, but when it clicks, it clicks - which is what I hope will eventually happen.
And I just realized 'memorize' or 'memorise' spelled differently, but they are both correct spellings, depending on which region of the world you speak your English. By the way, how do you say that verb in French? I don't think I know that one yet. :]