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TNs, U45b: Verbs: Present 3 (Y Replaces À + Thing, Confusing Verbs)

Y Replaces À + Thing

For verbs appended with à (like penser à), the adverbial pronoun y can replace à + a thing.

  • Tu penses à l'examen ? — Are you thinking about the test?
  • Oui, j'y pense encore. — Yeah, I'm thinking about it again.
  • Il croit aux fantômes ? — Does he believe in ghosts?
  • Oui, il y croit. — Yes, he believes in them.

To replace à + a person or animal, use an indirect object pronoun instead.

  • Je lui parle. — I am talking to him/her.
  • Elle me téléphone maintenant. — She is calling me right now.

Confusing Verbs

Demander à means "to ask to" when followed by an infinitive.

  • Elle demande à payer avec des dollars. — She asks to pay with dollars.

However, when used with nouns, demander is particularly confusing because its direct and indirect object are the opposite of its English counterpart, "to ask".

  • Je demande une baguette. — I ask for a baguette. (Not "I ask a baguette.")
  • Je demande une baguette à la boulangère. — I ask the baker for a baguette.
  • Je lui demande de me donner une baguette. — I ask him/her to give me a baguette.

Manquer à means "to miss", but the pronouns are flipped from its English counterpart. If it helps, you can think of manquer as "to be missed by".

  • Vous me manquez. — I miss you.
  • Je vous manque. — You miss me.

Plaire à is commonly translated as "to like", but for grammatical purposes, think of it as "to please" or "to be pleasing to".

  • La jupe plaît aux filles. — The girls like the skirt. / The skirt is pleasing to the girls.
  • Ça me plaît. — I like it. / That is pleasing to me.

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