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object pronoun or en adverbial pronoun and faire express de

Nicholas L.B1Kwiziq community member

object pronoun or en adverbial pronoun and faire express de

I noticed that an example given above " Elles ne l'ont fait expres" means They didnt do it on purpose. Im wondering why it isnt Elles n'en ont pas fait expres. Doesn't en replace phrases after de? 

Asked 1 month ago
CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour à tous,

Thank you all for your comments! This has certainly made us think and have a really long discussion ;-)

In fact, both are acceptable (Elles l'ont fait exprès / Elles l'en ont fait exprès) but there's a slight difference:

Elles l'ont fait exprès

 -> here, you're using "faire [quelque chose] exprès"

Elles l'en ont fait exprès

 -> here, you're using "faire exprès de faire ça"

In everyday conversations, both are interchangeable because this distinction is not done.

Take a look at a previous answer on a similar topic which Cécile posted a while ago:

Whay say "Il l'a fait exprès", not "Il en a fair exprès"?

I hope this is helpful.

Bonne journée !

Maarten K.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Nicholas, 

The answers from Chris and Céline previously to this question are helpful. Not always easy to find  older answers in QandA and this is from 2 years or so ago. I have added a couple of useful links below.

Chris

 “ It is faire exprés de + infinitive. It isn't a noun that's following, which may be substituted by "en", it is an action, which is substituted by "le" (it). “  

Céline 

“ To illustrate Chris's answer:

Il a fait exprès de casser le bol = he broke the bowl on purpose

-> Il l'a fait exprès = he did it on purpose (il fait exprès de quoi= de casser le bol -> verb)

Il a parlé de ton voyage = he spoke about your trip 

-> il en a parlé = he spoke about it (il a parlé de quoi = de ton voyage -> noun)

I hope this is helpful. “   

En can replace de + [phrase] (French Adverbial Pronouns) 

Using neuter pronouns le or l' to refer to previously mentioned ideas (French Direct Object Pronouns)

Alan G.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

The direct link to the question Maarten refers to is:

https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/questions/view/why-use-l-and-not-en

I'm not sure it really answers the question, however, since sometimes de + infinitive can be replaced by en. For example:

Est-il capable de faire ses devoirs?

Oui, il en est capable.

The difference is explained in the link below.

https://french.stackexchange.com/questions/22381/replacing-phrase-with-en

The point is that it's faire exprès quelque chose (without de).

So there isn't a general rule that only nouns can be replaced by en, and not verbs. However Chris's answer is not wrong, because in the specific case of faire exprès, it's only possible with nouns as in this example:

Il fait beaucoup de fautes, mais il le fait exprès. = He does it on purpose.

Il fait beaucoup de fautes, mais il en fait exprès. = He makes them deliberately.

https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/fr-en-le-faire-expr%C3%A8s.2433243/

Alan G.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

I think there's a small typo in your answer Céline; it should be "Elles en ont fait exprès" and not "Elles l'en ont fait exprès".

Although en may be acceptable with faire exprès, I think it's clear from Cécile's previous answer that she also considers le to be more precise (for the reasons given in the thread I linked to earlier).

By the way, there's a similar situation regarding replacing "à" + infinitive with "y" as discussed here:

https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/questions/view/commencer-a-does-not-work

object pronoun or en adverbial pronoun and faire express de

I noticed that an example given above " Elles ne l'ont fait expres" means They didnt do it on purpose. Im wondering why it isnt Elles n'en ont pas fait expres. Doesn't en replace phrases after de? 

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