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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I'll answer your most common French questions.
The question for this lesson is: How do you use y and what are some common expressions?
Y is a pronoun that you can use to replace a noun. It makes your sentence shorter and easier to say or read. Y usually replaces a location. However, there are a few different ways to use it.
For places, y means "there." Let’s break it down with this sentence --
J'ai mis mes clés sur la table mais elles n'y sont plus.
That means, "I put my keys on the table but they're not there anymore."
That's easier than saying, "I put my keys on the table but they're not on the table anymore."
In this case, the y in ells n'y sont plus refers to sur la table.
You can also use y for geographical locations. Say someone asks, Est-ce que tu vas à Paris cet été? meaning "Are you going to Paris this summer?"
You can respond with either Oui, j'y vais en août. "Yes, I'm going there in August," or Non, je n'y vais pas. Je vais à Londres. "No, I'm not going there. I'm going to London." In the English translations, y becomes the word “there,” replacing “Paris.”
We also use y with certain verbs that use the preposition “it.”
For example, let’s take penser à, which means "to think about." For the verb "to think" in English, you'd normally use the pronoun "it." This is to refer to something you mentioned previously, like "I'll think about it." In French, we use y. So "I'll think about it" is Je vais y penser or Je vais y réfléchir.
Pretty useful, right?
In another lesson, we'll talk more about verbs that use à versus verbs that use de.
That’s it for now! If you have more questions, please leave them in the comments and I’ll try to answer them!
A bientôt, see you soon!