Regarding position of the adverbial pronoun

AndreaB2Kwiziq community member

Regarding position of the adverbial pronoun

 Il désire retourner A LYON.  ….a)  Il y désire retourner OR  b) Il désire y retourner.         Generally the pronoun precedes the infinitive, but at the same time we are told it should precede the verb it modifies. Could you please explain whether a) or b) is correct and why?


Asked 5 months ago
CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Andrea,

Here is a way of finding it out:

Il désire retourner à Lyon = a. il y désire retourner or b. il désire y retourner

a. Il y désire retourner → Il désire à Lyon retourner

He wants there to go back → he wants to Lyon to go back

b. Il désire retourner à Lyon = il désire y retourner

He wants to go back to Lyon = he wants to go back there

retourner  ? = go back where? →  à Lyon / y = an adverbial phrase / pronoun of place linked to 'retourner' → y’ is placed before the infinitive verb to which it directly refers / links to

I hope this is helpful.

Bonne journée !

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

The infinitive rule is stronger: Il désire y retourner.

Regarding position of the adverbial pronoun

 Il désire retourner A LYON.  ….a)  Il y désire retourner OR  b) Il désire y retourner.         Generally the pronoun precedes the infinitive, but at the same time we are told it should precede the verb it modifies. Could you please explain whether a) or b) is correct and why?


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