FR: c'en est fini de - rôle de "en"


Senior Member
Hey all,
Never seen this structural form before, so just need a little help in translating it/ why "en" is actully used!
It's an article about homing pigeons, and this part comes in the actual title of the article:

A l'armée, c'en est fini des pigeons voyageurs, concurrencés par le courrier électronique.

My try:
In the army, it is finished of homing pigeons, rivaled by electronic mail.

Does the "en" relate to "l'armée"?


Sorry for the questions, still relatively new to learning French!

Thanks for any help at all
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  • Madore

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    This is a rather formal and somewhat outdated expression.
    EN means OF IT => it is over, we have finished with it
    EN relates actually to "the fact that pigeons are used for transporting mail".

    Last edited by a moderator:


    Senior Member
    American & Canadian English
    That's right. EN = (that's the end) of it

    So, you would just write naturally in English and not try to translate every single element in the French. Perhaps, something like: "In the army, homing pigeons are now obsolete, rivaled by electronic mail."