FR: J'en connais les dangers - rôle de "en"


New Member
Case study:
j'en connais les dangers.

I hope that if you can explain why 'en' is necessary here, many other usage cases will get covered as well. Unfortunately, the case of indefinite adjectives seems to be a rather narrow grammatical realm, even as the notion of 'en' complementing a d.o. which takes an indefinite article in the way you described makes great sense.

(I'd like to stress that i understand how and why 'en' is used most of the time, in relation to its translating to "some, in, there, it," etc.)

Again, thanks so much.
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  • "en" seems to be a regular questionning... and I agree that it's a known difficulty in French; it could generate books ;-)
    Some cases are "simple", as those explained by Capello in his previous post. Some cases are "less clear". In many cases, it refers to something that has been exposed before (sometimes... after ;-) and, roughly speaking, can be understood as "de cela". This is the case for your (simple) example: j'en connais les dangers = je connais les dangers de cela
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    thanks so much Olivier. Given my frequent run-ins with this term, I will always keep this 'de cela' subsititution in mind. With it, and the fact that there;s quite a number of verbs which take the term with no apparent antecedent, i hope to cover over 95% of the cases. All the best.
    I hope it can help. Just be aware that "en" can refer either to complete a verb but also to complete a noun... or whatever, as you quote (I mean, no evident antecedent: especially for verbs, you have to link it with the grammatical way the verb is used). My comments are not really pure grammar... but I think it may help to solve 95% (?) of the cases when understanding has to be reached.
    I do agree that the use of "en" in French is one of the most difficult thing to appreciate as it can have many and many uses which, sometimes, require a very fine appreciation and which, sometimes, are, finally, set, colloquial or idiomatic expressions.