well, my initial reaction was shock and horror until I remembered that it's a pronominal verb (se souvenir - to remember). so Je me souviens = I remember.
To make that past, since it's pronominal, you have to use être, so Je me suis souvenu = I remembered.
Then this is negative, so you add in the ne pas according to the rules: Je ne me suis pas souvenu = I didn't remember
And then I imagine se souvenir uses "de" to introduce what is being remembered, which all becomes "en" when used as a pronoun, so Je ne m'en suis pas souvenu = I didn't remember it
but it took me five minutes and if someone said this to my face I would immediately develop a blank stare.
Wonderful explanation @oxymoronic. I can go through these processes too. But I agree with @Pastafarianist (from two years ago), that both 'en' and 'y' are so often counterintuitive to so many people that it would be great to have a whole big sections devoted to them to get them into our linguistic systems!
No, because the past participle gets its gender and plural from the direct object (if it appears before the pp in the sentence). "se souvenir de" cannot be constructed with a direct object. The object if necessarily introduced by the "de". The object is then indirect, and the pp remains unchanged.
Oh, it gets even trickier when we are talking about pronomial verbs. Have a look at this: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/pronominalverbs_4.htm
Note: "When pronominal verbs are in the compound tenses, the past participle has to agree with the reflexive pronoun when the pronoun is a direct object but not when it's an indirect object." [My emphasis]
That said, I'm relatively certain that in this case, the reflexive pronoun is a direct object, so, "Je ne m'en suis pas souvenue" should be correct, given a female speaker.
(Btw, the apparent gender of the robot voice is never relevant to the genders in the sentences. Think of them as reading from a memoir - not their own words but someone else's.)
As always, actual Francophones are cordially invited to correct/confirm my guesses here.
Thanks Diana. It looks like it's time for me to hit the grammar books about the reflexives and agreement. So many times, I think I have something figured out, and then there is another nuance that I've forgotten. I like examples to help me remember. Here's what my grammar book says:
Here "me" is considered a direct object:
Je me suis lavée (for a woman)
Here "les mains" is considered the direct object, and "me" becomes the indirect object:
Je me suis lavé les mains (no e even for a woman)
I studied French in high school and again in various "adult ed" classes, as well as through French in Action and other self-ed means. I could swear nobody ever told me about the direct object rule regarding verbs conjugated with avoir, but it's always possible I just wasn't paying attention. I only learned about it here about a year ago, and this stuff about the pronomial verbs is even less familiar.
Sigh. I do find I can read French with less confusion these days, so something is sinking in.
Yes, the reflexive pronoun is the direct object for this sentence and since it refers back to the subject, you could say that the past participle of the pronominal verb must agree with the subject. There are a few verbs where the reflexive pronoun is an indirect object. From your own link: "2. Likewise, with a pronominal verb plus a preposition plus a noun, the reflexive pronoun is the direct object, so you need agreement.
Elle s'est occupée du chien. She took care of the dog.
Ils se sont souvenus de la pièce. They remembered the play."
Their example includes the verb we are using in this Duolingo sentence.
Yes, the feminine version "Je ne m'en suis pas souvenue." has been reported and is accepted as correct.
This regularly confuses me, too. This might help:
The "en". I don't really understand why. The following article mentions that "en" is used sometimes as a generic pronoun. http://french.about.com/od/vocabulary/a/jenenrevienspas.htm
Here are some websites that may help: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/objectpronouns.htm http://french.about.com/library/prepositions/bl_prep_en_vs_dans.htm http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionaries/french-english/en/28919
Scroll down on that last one for the pronoun since "en" has so many uses.
"en"? "suis"? I typed "I" and then got stuck. I could see "not" and "remembered" but nothing that looked like a sentence since something like *"je suis mange" for "I am eating" is dead wrong! The closest I could come up with was "I myself am not being remembered" but in the end I just submitted "I" as my answer.
Perhaps this will help: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/pronominalverbs.htm
Where is the "it" in this sentence. I do not even get the construct with "en suis" anyway as it is unlike what I have seen before. I can accept that is my own ignorance, but DL says this is "I did not remember IT". I see nothing here that would mean "it". It seems like it would simply be "I did not remember".
Except that the "en" says what it is that you did not remember. In context, it refers to something previously mentioned. The French needs to have an object for the verb "se souvenir". Without saying specifically what it is, one must insert the "en" to make it grammatical in French.
« souvenir » can't be by itself. It's normally « souvenir de [quelque chose] » - "to remember [something]". Whenever an expression uses « de [quelque chose] », it becomes « en » as a pronoun, which must therefore come before the verb. « en » is the equivalent of "it" in the English translation.
Because, if I remember correctly, "en" acts as kind of like a "replacement pronoun" for "de + something" after this thing has already been mentioned, so "Je ne me suis pas souvenu d'elle" when you first bring it up, "Je ne m'en suis pas souvenu" when you've already mentioned this girl you didn't remember.
No, they sound very different mon has a definite long o nasal sound. Also “Je ne “ starts a sentence and you would be expecting a verb or the pronouns that come before verbs. It is just that if you had never heard of “en”, then your mind would try to replace it with something familiar, but then you should wonder how you got to a possessive adjective without a noun after it and what happened to the verb? Remember that “ne...pas” surrounds the verb with any and all preceding object pronouns. Here, listen to native speakers pronouncing them:
I just read the answer to this in another discussion thread! « se souvenir » uses « de », which becomes « en » as a pronoun. Whenever a verb uses « se », the auxiliary verb is « être ». « se » becomes « me », « te », « se », « nous », « vous » & « se » when conjugated.
This is the breakdown of the sentence:
- Je ne m'en suis pas souvenu - I
- Je ne m'en suis pas souvenu - did
- Je ne m'en suis pas souvenu - not
- Je ne m'en suis pas souvenu - remember
- Je ne m'en suis pas souvenu - it