FR: j'(en) tremble encore


Senior Member
Portuguese - Brazil

I realize that there's a similar thread in the "Français Seulement" forum, but it doesn't quite answer my question, namely: in the sentence

"Rien que d'y penser, j'(en) tremble encore",

is the pronoun "en" required or can it be omitted? And if it can be omitted, is it used redundantly for emphasis or does it play another role?

Merci beaucoup.
  • Omitting the pronoun en would not really be impossible from a strict grammatical standpoint, but it is a lot more idiomatic to include it.

    It is not redundant. It refers to the reason of the trembling:

    J'en tremble encore = I'm still trembling because of it.
    Usually "y penser" doesn't necessary imply that you "en tremble encore".

    In other words: Just thinking about it, you still tremble (en can be omitted)

    But Just thinking about it, it still makes you tremble plays an emphatic role maybe caused by the sentence construction.

    À la prochaine!
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    So if the "en" is not redundant and can be omitted, what difference in meaning would omitting it bring about? In other words, what's the difference between

    "Rien que d'y penser, j'en tremble encore" and
    "Rien que d'y penser, je tremble encore"?

    I'm having a hard timing understanding when I have to use this pronoun, as you might have noticed. 😂
    Thank you again, Maître Capello.

    I get that it shouldn't be omitted, but does the omission change the meaning at all? Understanding this might help me better comprehend why the pronoun should be used in the quoted sentence.
    I must have expressed myself poorly, Maître Capello. The difference you had pointed out was crystal clear. I meant to ask if there is any difference in meaning between the two complete sentences ("Rien que d'y penser, j'en tremble encore" and "Rien que d'y penser, je tremble encore"), and not between the clauses "Je tremble encore" and "J'en tremble encore". From the explanations above I'd give the follow translation to both sentences:

    "Just at the thought of it, I'm still trembling."

    "Because of it." would therefore be implied. I wouldn't translate the second sentence as:

    "Just at the thought of it, I'm still trembling because of it."

    That's why I'm struggling to understand the difference in meaning between both sentences that would explain the possible (even though not recommended) omission of the pronoun "en".

    The sentence sounds weird without  en, and it's hard to compare these French idiomatic constructions with their English translations, as of it, because of it or about it are usually implied in English. So you would still understand the meaning without  en, but that's not what French natives would say.