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Tout sur en
It consists of just two letters, yet the French word en has three distinct areas of meaning/usage and four different pronunciations. Here’s everything you need to know about en.
En fits into three different grammatical categories – click the links for detailed lessons.
As a preposition, en has many meanings related to space, time and more.
|Je suis en Europe.||I’m in Europe.|
|Il fait les petits gâteaux en 20 minutes.||He makes cupcakes in 20 minutes. (It takes him 20 minutes)|
I suppose en could be considered a preposition here as well, but it’s a pretty distinct usage: en + present participle = gerund.
|Je suis tombé en grimpant l’arbre.||I fell while climbing the tree.|
|Il les mange en marchant.||He eats them while walking.|
Perhaps the trickiest usage of en is as an adverbial pronoun, when it replaces a quantity, place, or object of the preposition de.
|J’en suis revenu hier.||I came back from there yesterday.|
|Il en fait une douzaine.||He makes a dozen of them.|
En has four different pronunciations:
Just to make this lesson really complete, I’ll add that EN is the abbreviation for Éducation nationale, meaning "state education" or the Ministry / Department of Education.