How to use the pronoun EN in French

The French pronoun EN replaces a QUANTITY

EN refers to a noun that is introduced by:
De / de la / du / des / d’ / un, une or any other number
Expressions of quantity like:  un verre de / un kilo de / une bouteille de..
Adverbs of quantity like:  beaucoup de / peu de / assez de…
EN is normally translated by “some”, “any”  or “one” in English.
Many times we don’t need to say “some” or “of them” in English,
but you can’t avoid it in French. 
That’s why you need this pronoun.

👉 Scroll down to watch my comprehensive video lesson on the French pronoun EN 👈


In these examples the pronoun EN replaces a QUANTITY.

Nous voudrions 2 baguettes.

We would like 2 baguettes.
Nous en voudrions 2.

We would like 2 of them.

*Note that the EN comes right before the verb in the present tense.

*Note that the number needs to be repeated.
Je ne mange pas de frites.

I’m not eating any fries.
Je n’en mange pas.

I’m not eating any of them.

*Note the placement of ne / pas when using the pronoun EN.

*Note that the form of “de” that introduces the noun also gets replaced.
Tu vas servir du champagne?

Are you going to serve champagne?
Tu vas en servir?

Are you going to serve some of that?

*Note that when you have an infinitive in the sentence
the EN comes right before it.
Vous achetiez beaucoup de citrons?

Were you buying a lot of lemons?
Vous en achetiez beaucoup?

Were you buying a lot of them?

*Note that even when using another tense like the imperfect the EN comes right before the  verb.

*Note that you have to repeat the word beaucoup or any other adverb of quantity.
J’ai bu 8 verres d’eau. 

I drank 8 glasses of water.
J’en ai bu 8 verres.

I drank 8 glasses of it.

*Note that in the passé composé the EN
comes right before the helping verb.

*Note that you have to repeat the quantity
and the expression of quantity.
Il n’a pas voulu de poulet.

He didn’t want any chicken.
Il n’en a pas voulu.

He didn’t want any of it.

*Note the placement of ne / pas when using
EN with negation in the passé composé.

The French pronoun EN replaces a THING

EN replaces a THING that has been introduced by a verb and that is preceded by: 

de / de la / du / des / d’
Many French verbs are followed by the preposition DE
Here are just a few of the most common French verbs followed by DE: (here’s a more complete list)

Avoir peur de quelque chose  / to be afraid of something
J’ai peur des serpents.
J’en ai peur.

Avoir besoin de quelque chose / to need something 
Tu as besoin d’argent?
Tu en as besoin?

Avoir envie de quelque chose / to desire or want something 
Il a envie de manger une pizza.
Il en a envie.

Avoir l’intention de quelque chose / to have the intention of doing something 
Nous avons l’intention de partir en vacances.
Nous en avons l’intention.

S’excuser de faire quelque chose / to excuse oneself for doing something
Vous vous excusez d’arriver en retard.
Vous vous en excusez.

Rêver de faire quelque chose  / to dream of doing something
Elles rêvent de faire le tour du monde.
Elles en rêvent.

Se souvenir de faire quelque chose / to remember something
Je me souviens de ce restaurant.
Je m’en souviens.

Profiter de faire quelque chose / to take advantage of something
Tu profites de tes vacances.
Tu en profites.

Se servir de quelque chose / to use something
Elle se sert de ma voiture.
Elle s’en sert.

French Lesson on Pronouns Y and EN

This lesson @ LLL French Academy is for you if you find yourself confused as to how and when you should use the French pronouns Y and EN, and you’ll learn how to do all of this in three tenses (negation included).


  1. Downloadable video lesson on the pronouns Y and EN.
  2. 6 page lesson guide with rules, examples, and quick tips.
  3. 3 online multiple choice quizzes
  4. 75 practice cards with answer key

Step 1: Watch the video grammar lesson about the pronouns Y and EN. Even if you don’t really know what they are in English (or if they even exist in English), by the end of this lesson you’ll have a much better understanding. Before you watch the lesson, be sure to download your 6 page lesson guide where you’ll find all of the rules and examples given in the lesson. You’ll even get a few helpful hints, and it will be a handy guide to add to your study resources.

Step 2: You will have three online multiple choice quizzes to take. Each quiz has ten questions, and they are in three different tenses: present tense, passé composé, and futur proche. These quizzes will help you out a lot before moving on to the 75 practice cards.

Step 3: Now it’s time to really challenge yourself. I’m including a set of 75 practice cards (no multiple choice answers) to challenge you in 3 tenses (and with negation)! Don’t worry, an answer key is included so that you can easily check your work. I’m including a paper free version that you can open up on your device as well as a version with 4 cards per page that you can print and cut out in case you enjoy being away from the screen sometimes. You’ll be able to use this resource anywhere to truly master the French pronouns Y and EN.

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