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  5. "Il en tombe amoureux."

"Il en tombe amoureux."

Translation:He is falling in love with it.

December 24, 2012



Duolingo does not give any instruction, it gives you examples and you use your brain to catch the rule...

"En" is a pronoun used to replace a noun/name previously used, when the verb (here "tomber amoureux" is constructed with the preposition "de").

The noun/name replaced can be masculine or feminine (human, animal, object), singular or plural.

  • il visite Paris, il en tombe amoureux
  • il voit un ours en peluche (teddy bear), il en tombe amoureux
  • elle rencontre un peintre, elle en tombe amoureuse
  • il parle à Marie, elle est charmante, il en tombe amoureux (note: Marie and elle are not repeated).

You could also say "il tombe amoureux d'elle" if "en" represents a female person mentioned before.


Yes, and if we didn't have you and others instructing us in "Discuss Sentence," many of us would have to quit trying to learn on DL sooner or later!


Thanks for that!


So, since nothing was named previously, how could we possibly pick up this rule?


You could translate to "Il tombe amoureux d'elle", which should be accepted, then Duo proposes an alternative version with "en" where you have to understand that "en" replaces "d'elle" (= with her).

That would be the ideal scenario...


Hi Sitesurf. Listen, since "en" could represent a person or thing, and we do not have the benefit of the previously introduced direct object, why "He loves it" could not be taken as a correct answer?


"he is falling in love with it" is possible (a nice Ferrari?) and already accepted.


In this sentence "en" can be "with... him, her, it, them".

He falls in love = Il tombe amoureux


Can it just be "He falls in love" or "He falls in love with him"


Where does the word "with" come from? I don't see any correlation in the phrase..


Sitesurf, you must be a mind-reader. I was just about to ask whether you could use "d'elle" or "de lui" instead of "en" -- thank you for anticipating my question!


Thank you for your excellent question which should be positioned at the top of the discussion. It is completely logical, and reveals the problem with this training example.


In the Windows Phone app the comments are not available. When I found them when using Android my learning improved a lot. Even for things I get right I can look in the comments for "I wonder if this could also..." type questions.

Sitesurf and the other helpful commenters really improve this as a learning resource. My thanks to all of them.


"en" was introduced much earlier in the tree than this lesson...


can it be plural? 'alors qu'il promène les chiens, il en tombe amoureux'


"en" is neutral, so why not a plural, that is possible.


In this example, i see two possilbe refference points for "en": 1) he fell in love with the dogs; 2) he fell in love with the fact he was walking them, i.e. the whole main sentence. In other words, can "en" replace a whole sentence as I just guessed? (or just humans, animals and objects) Thanks! :)


Wonderful explanation Sitesurf. This EN and Y phenomenon in French..., seemingly simple but so difficult to actually internalise AND then use it. I'm sure they deserve a couple of sections on the DL tree :)


So it could be "He falls in love with [her, it, him, them....]??


Thank you. This is very useful.


Excellent explanation sitesurf - merci beaucoup encore


Thanks for that wonderufl explanation!


apparently you have finished off one thousand question marks ...


At this time, I have 62 841 emails piled up in my inbox for the past 2 years or so. So I may have answered more than 1,000 questions...


I am very grateful to you for taking the time


You should be paid by the word like Charles Dickens. Your expertise is highly valued by we Duolingo-ists.


... holy carp. Thank you for your time!


Inductive learning ;-)


It would seem that the French fall in love rather easily and promiscuously...;-)


Hello Sitesurf: why is it: he is falling in love and not he is in love with it.?


Il en tombe amoureux = He is falling in love with him/her/it/them
Il en est amoureux = He is in love with him/her/it/them


Thank you so much for your explanation. Always concise and to the point.


I have always been taught that the present tense (here "tombe") can be translated as either the simple present or the present continuous, thus either "he falls in love" or "he is falling in love" would be correct. Duolingo marks the present continuous as incorrect. Why?


It might be a bit far-fetched, but somehow in French "tomber amoureux" really conveys the meaning that it is yet too late, that you are in love with her. To convey the sense that the process is not yet finished (meaning that you're not quite sure he's already totally in love with her) you would really use "il est en train de tomber amoureux d'elle".


I see your logic, but once you are falling in love, it is already too late, non?


"He is falling in love with her" is accepted now.


where does it necessarily indicate that he falls in love with a "her"? What if he is just falling in love?


Yes, it can be "her" or "him" or "it"


The pronoun "en" indicates that he is falling in love with something (whomever they be or whatever it is). So you can't translate the sentence as "He is falling in love".


Aw, I was pleasantly surprised that it accepted "He falls in love with him."


but how does it get to be "with her?" Exactly how does amoureux translate?


The issue is not with "amoureux" but with "en" which does not only mean "it", but also "him", "her", "them".

Amoureux de quelqu'un (or de quelque chose) = in love with someone (or something).

"en" therefore replaces "de lui" or "d'elle", ie a masculine or a feminine person or object.


Thanks a lot, Sitesurf


It could equally be "in love with him"


What is the difference between: 'Il en tombe amoureux' 'Il lui tombe amoureux' 'Il la tombe amoureux'


Only the first one is correct.

  • il tombe amoureux d'elle/de lui
  • elle tombe amoureuse de lui/d'elle


Why isn't just "He is falling in love." accepted? I sort of understand from the other discussion that "en" can refer to things or genders, but can someone explain WHY it must refer to something at all? If I wanted to say simply "He is falling in love." Would I say "Il tombe dans amoureux."? I'm trying to wrap my head around the difference.


"He is falling in love" would back translate to "il tombe amoureux" and in both languages you would miss the object: "with him/her/it" in English is the translation for "en" in French.


Since "ont" and "en" sound similar (particularly when the next word begins with a "t") I translated this as "Ils ont tombent amoureux." Just wondering, would this translate how I believed it would - "They fall in love."


you should train your ear to the difference between various nasal sounds: an, on, in, un (go to Google Translate)

"Ils ont tombent amoureux" is not correct: it would be like "they have fall in love".

You cannot have two conjugated verbs next to each other. When the verb "avoir" (ont) is conjugated, it can be followed by a past participle to build a compound tense: "ils ont fait" (passé composé)

And the verb tomber in passé composé is not constructed with auxiliary avoir but être: ils sont tombés.


What a great answer! I always learn so much from your comments. They are clear, really helpful, and never have any sense of judgement or annoyance with us learners. Sometimes I look at the 'discussion' just to see if there are any gems from you!


Ruby for you!


I have exactly the same sentiments. Sitesurf , thanks for your patience and dedication.


why, in the correct answer, is the "with it" in "he falls in love with it" necessary if there is no context to refer to. Is it simply to identify that the sentence refers to an undefined object with an unknown gender? The English "he falls in love|" is open ended as there is no information as to what the object of his love is. The object of his love may be a person place or thing so "it" wouldn't be appropriate to indicate a gender,,,or lack therof.


"en" means de + someone/something mentioned before.

Il voit la jeune fille et il en tombe amoureux (her)

Il voir la nouvelle Porsche et il en tombe amoureux (it)

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I had entered he is falling love with them and was marked wrong. From 'Sitesurf's' explanations, I assume I should have been shown as correct?


you missed one word: "he is falling in love with them" is correct.

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Sorry that was a top in posting to the discussion. However, might have done the same in the exercise I guess. Thanks for your continued input. Have found your answers and comments to be very helpful on a number of occasions.


how do you know whether to use amoureux or amoureuse?


"il" is masculine, so "amoureux" has to be masculine as well.

"elle en tombe amoureuse" is the feminine version.


Merci -- that was my question. The sentence "Il en tombe amoureux" could be translated as "He falls in love with him"


"Il en tombe amoureux" can be translated to any of "he falls in love with her/him/it/them", because the pronoun "en" is indefinite.


il en tombe amoureux


I wonder why falling and not falls in love?

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