FR: J'en mange / Je le mange

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been

New Member
United Kingdom, English
Bonjour,

J'etude le pronom 'en' et je le comprend, sauf que je ne suis pas sur ce que c'est le difference entre les deux phrases ci-dessus.

Par example:

Vous mangez de la viande?

Oui, j'en mange OU oui, je le mange.

Qu'est-ce que c'est la difference?

Merci beaucoup!
 
  • jann

    co-mod'
    English - USA
    Hello Been,

    I suspect you understand le much better than you realize, because it is exactly like English. It is en that is more difficult.

    Vous mangez la viande ? = Are you eating the meat?
    Vous la mangez ? = Are you eating it?
    Oui, je la mange. = Yes, I'm eating it.
    Obviously we are talking about some specific piece of meat here. The meat that is on your plate, mixed in with the vegetables in a serving of stew. Or the piece of steak that was leftover from dinner yesterday. Etc. Something earlier in the conversation needs to establish what specific meat is under discussion, otherwise these sentences don't make sense. Since there is a certain specific piece/serving of meat and we know which one it is, we can use the definite article to refer to it, and we can use the direct object pronoun la/"it" (feminine, of course) to replace it when we want to avoid repeating the word viande.

    Vous mangez de la viande ? = Do you eat (any) meat?
    Vous en mangez ? = Do you eat it?
    Oui, j'en mange. = Yes, I eat it.
    Oui, je le la mange :cross:
    We are no longer talking about a specific piece of meat. The question is whether or not you eat meat in general -- some meat, any meat. In French, we need a partitive article (de la, fem.) to express this idea. Then if you want to replace viande to avoid repeating it, you need the pronoun en. It just so happens that we use "it" again in English, same as we did for the direct object pronoun... but you cannot use la here, because there is no specific meat in question.
     
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