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Lesson Transcript

Jason: Can't Get Enough of Those French Strawberries? C’est Jason. Jason here!
Ingrid: Bonjour à tous, Ingrid here!
Jason: In this lesson, you’re going to learn the use of “y” and “en” which are the main adverbial pronouns in French to avoid repetitions in a sentence. You will see that they are very useful!
Ingrid: They are the equivalent of “there” or “some” in English. The first one is used to avoid places' repetition while the other avoids objects' repetition.
Jason: And what about today’s conversation?
Ingrid: Our dialog will take place in Philippe and Karine’s apartment.
Jason: Yes, and Karine is pregnant so her husband Philippe has to be very attentive to all her desires!
Ingrid: As usual in such situations, I guess! Of course, as Philippe and Karine are married, they will speak informal French.
1st time: natural native speed:
(In Philippe and Sophie’s apartment)
(1 time slowly)
Sophie: J'ai envie de manger des fraises!
Philippe: Encore! Mais je suis déjà allé à l’épicerie en acheter ce matin! Sophie: Mais chéri, tu sais bien que les femmes enceintes ont toujours des envies soudaines de nourriture!
Phillipe: J'ai compris, j'y vais! Je vais en racheter!
Sophie: Oui vas-y, et achètes-en assez cette fois!
(1 time natural native speed with the translation)
(In Philippe and Sophie’s apartment)
Sophie: J'ai envie de manger des fraises!
I want to eat strawberries !
Philippe: Encore! Mais je suis déjà alle en acheter a l’epicerie ce matin!
Again? But I have already been to the grocery store to buy some this morning !
Sophie: Mais chéri, tu sais bien que les femmes enceintes ont toujours des envies soudaines de nourriture!
But darling, you know well that pregnant women always have sudden cravings for food!
Phillipe: J'ai compris, j'y vais! Je vais en racheter!
Okay, got it ! I'll go back to buy some more !
Sophie: Oui vas-y, et achètes-en assez cette fois!
Yes please, and buy enough (of them) this time!
Jason: Such a nice husband isn’t he?
Ingrid: Yes a very thoughtful one indeed! But I’m sure all future fathers will know this kind of situation one day!
Jason: Yes I guess you’re right, especially in France, where I know many babies are born every year, isn't that right Ingrid?
Ingrid: Yes you are – each woman has 2 children on average and this is a lot for a developed European countries!
Jason: So does that mean French people love babies and children?
Ingrid: I think this is true, especially in today’s hard times, babies’ births are a way to lift families’ spirit.
Jason: You think there is a link between the crisis situation and the high number of births? But it’s quite strange, shouldn’t it be the opposite phenomenon?
Ingrid: Normally yes I guess it should be the opposite, but you know French people always love to do the opposite to their neighbors! More seriously, I think it’s also due to much deeper demographic issues.
Jason: Anyway, it’s true that there are many young people in France, so no doubt you will find many fun people to meet if you go there!
Okay, so now, let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
The first expression we shall see is:
Avoir envie de [natural native speed]
Meaning “to want to”
Avoir envie de [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Avoir envie de [natural native speed]
Encore ! [natural native speed]
Meaning “again!”
Encore ! [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Encore ! [natural native speed]
Epicerie [natural native speed]
Meaning “grocery store”
Epicerie [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Epicerie [natural native speed]
Bien savoir [natural native speed]
Meaning “to know well”
Bien savoir [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Bien savoir [natural native speed]
Femme enceinte [natural native speed]
Meaning “pregnant woman”
Femme enceinte [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Femme enceinte [natural native speed]
Envies soudaines [natural native speed]
Meaning “sudden cravings”
Envies soudaines [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Envies soudaines [natural native speed]
J’ai compris! [natural native speed]
Meaning “I got it”
J’ai compris! [slowly - broken down by syllable]
J’ai compris! [natural native speed]
Vas-y! [natural native speed]
Meaning “Go ahead”
Vas-y! [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Vas-y! [natural native speed]
Assez [natural native speed]
Meaning “Enough”
Assez [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Assez [natural native speed]
Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Jason: The first phrase we’ll look at is “Avoir envie de” which means “To want to” or also “to fancy something”.
Ingrid: Yes, in our conversation we had “J’ai envie de manger des fraises” which means “I want to eat strawberries!”
Jason: I guess this is very convenient and very widely used in daily conversations, no?
Ingrid: Yes you can use it with basically all words if you want to express that you want something. But be careful, “avoir envie” implies you want really want something, that you desire something.
Jason: Okay, so there is a kind of emotive connotation in this expression, can you give us an example?
Ingrid: Well, for example, you can say “J’ai envie de pleurer” which means “I want to cry” or “J’ai envie d’acheter cette voiture” which is “I want to buy a car”.
Jason: So it’s a kind of strong expression to express your wish. Can you tell us how it works?
Ingrid: Basically, it’s very simple – it always works with the verb “avoir” + “envie de” + verb and it works for all persons. For example “J’ai envie de partir” or “Il a envie de partir” that mean “I want to go” and “He wants to go”.
Jason: And you can only use a verb after this expression?
Ingrid: No, sometimes you can use a noun as in “Jai envie de fraises” that literally means “I want some strawberries”. Here the verb is omitted but it is implied of course.
Jason: Great so what about the next expression?
Ingrid: Yes, the next one is “Bien savoir,”
Jason: So what does it mean exactly? I guess it’s not very different from “savoir,” which means “to know” in French?
Ingrid: You’re right, « bien savoir » means « to know well », this is a way to say you are well aware of something, as in “Tu sais bien que les femmes enceintes ont des envies soudaines” that means “You know well that pregnant women have sudden cravings”.
Jason: So in fact Ingrid, “bien savoir” is used when talking about a well-known fact, something that everybody knows already?
Ingrid: Yes it is exactly that! For example you can say “Mais tu sais bien qu’il est ronchon” which means “but you know well that he is grouchy” In this case you insist on the fact that it’s not new, that the person is well-known for being grouchy.
Ingrid: [slowly] Bien savoir
Jason: Once again at natural speed
Ingrid: [natural speed] Bien savoir
Jason: Yes, so now, let’s begin this lesson’s grammar point, related to verbs “y” and “en” adverbs.

Lesson focus

Jason: So this lesson is dedicated to going over the adverbs “en” and “y” that are very useful for when you don't want to repeat the topic of the sentence several times.
Ingrid: Yes you’re right. First we will explain the role of “y” which means “there” and it is mainly used to replace a place name, as in “J’y vais” which means “I’m going there”
Jason: Could you give us some other examples so we can understand when exactly to use this adverb?
Ingrid: Yes, in fact you can use it if you have already mentioned the place name you’re talking about previously in the sentence. Here a concrete example is “Je vais à la piscine, est-ce que tu veux y aller avec moi?” This sentence means « I’m going to the swimming pool, do you want to go there with me ? »
Jason: Yes so “y” allows you to avoid the repetition of the place, “swimming pool”, is that right?
Ingrid: Exactly. In the sentence « Est-ce que tu veux y aller avec moi ? », « y » refers to « piscine » which means « swimming-pool »
Jason: Great! And what about the sentence “Vas-y” in our dialog?
Ingrid: This means “Go there”, it is an order and here “y” refers to the grocery store: “épicerie” in French.
Jason: So concerning the pattern here, how can you use correctly “y” in a sentence?
Ingrid: In affirmative sentences, you have to put it between the subject of the sentence and the verb as in “J’y vais,” you have “J’” which is “I”, “y” which is “there” and finally “vais” which is “go” in the present 1st person singular.
Jason: Nice! So this is very convenient if you don't want to be too repetitive!
Ingrid: So now, let’s have a look at the “en” adverb, which has basically the same function as “y” but is for replacing everything except places names. So for example in our dialogue we had “Je suis déjà allé à l’épicerie en acheter ce matin” which means “I have already been to the grocery store to buy some this morning”. So here « en » refers to the thing he has already bought, that is to say, strawberries.
Jason: So in fact, you can use “en” as we use “some” in English?
Ingrid: Yes, it’s the French equivalent. For example you can say “J’en veux” which means “I want some.” Here “en” refers to the thing you were talking about previously in the sentence. So please use “en” only after you have mentioned the topic of your sentence, otherwise people won’t understand what you are talking about!
Jason: Okay! So in fact when using “y” and “en” adverbs, the context is very important I guess?
Ingrid: Yes, exactly! And don’t forget that the usual pattern for these adverbs is subject + “y” or “en” + verb.
Jason: Could you give us a couple of final examples for each of these two adverbs please?
Ingrid: Of course, so with “y” you can say “J’y suis déjà allé” which means “I have already been there” and with “en” you can say “J’en ai jamais mangé” which means “I have never eaten some”.
Jason: Can you repeat these two examples one last time?
Ingrid: (Slowly) “ J’y suis déjà allé” and “J’en ai jamais mangé
Jason: Great so now you have no more excuses for repetition in French! You can now easily avoid them thanks to « en » and « y » adverbs !
Ingrid: That’s true! And please have a look at the lessons notes, where you will find many other sentences using these adverbs!


Jason: Please stay tuned and see you next time! A bientôt!
Ingrid: A bientôt!