Y = There (adverbial pronoun)

Look at these two examples:

J'vais
I'm going there

Nous y passons tous les soirs.
We pass there every night.

Notice that to refer to a place previously mentioned in French, you use the pronoun y ('there').

Note also that "y" is placed before the conjugated verb.


Look at how "y" can replace locations introduced by the following prepositions: à, sur, chez, dans :

Tu vas à l'école ? - Oui, j'y vais.
Are you going to school? - Yes, I'm going there.

Paul est arrivé à Paris hier ? - Oui, Paul y est arrivé hier.
Did Paul arrive in Paris yesterday? - Yes, Paul arrived there yesterday.

 

Elle a posé les clés sur la table ? - Oui, elle y a posé les clés.
Did she put the keys on the table? - Yes, she put the keys there.

Tu passeras par chez elle ? - Oui, j'y passerai plus tard.
Will you swing by her place ? - Yes, I'll swing by [there] later.

 

Qu'est-ce que tu mets dans cette boîte ? - J'y mets mes bijoux.
What do you put in that box? - I put my jewellery in there.

Depuis quand habite-t-il chez Laurent ? - Il y habite depuis janvier.
Since when has he lived at Laurent's place? - He's lived there since January.

 

BUT

You cannot replace the expression "de + a place" by "y". You will always use "en" instead:

Il vient de la piscine ? - Oui, il en vient.
Is he coming from the swimming pool? - Yes, he is coming from there.

  

See En can replace de + phrase (adverbial pronoun) 

and more advanced cases with Y can replace à + thing / object / location (adverbial pronoun) 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources


Tu passeras par chez elle ? - Oui, j'y passerai plus tard.
Will you swing by her place ? - Yes, I'll swing by [there] later.


Tu vas à l'école ? - Oui, j'y vais.
Are you going to school? - Yes, I'm going there.


Elle a posé les clés sur la table ? - Oui, elle y a posé les clés.
Did she put the keys on the table? - Yes, she put the keys there.


Nous y retournons demain.
We go back there tomorrow.


Il vient de la piscine ? - Oui, il en vient.
Is he coming from the swimming pool? - Yes, he is coming from there.


Il y travaille.
He works there.


Depuis quand habite-t-il chez Laurent ? - Il y habite depuis janvier.
Since when has he lived at Laurent's place? - He's lived there since January.


Nous y passons tous les soirs.
We pass there every night.


J'vais
I'm going there


Qu'est-ce que tu mets dans cette boîte ? - J'y mets mes bijoux.
What do you put in that box? - I put my jewellery in there.


Paul est arrivé à Paris hier ? - Oui, Paul y est arrivé hier.
Did Paul arrive in Paris yesterday? - Yes, Paul arrived there yesterday.


Q&A Forum 8 questions, 18 answers

Y not En

«Nous allons en France tous les ans» . Write "We go there every year": Nous ________ allons tous les ans. The correct answer is "Nous y allons tous les ans." Why does "y" replace "en france" instead of "en."Lesson states: "Y replaces places introduced with prepositions "à, sur, chez, dans."
Asked 7 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Drew, 

As stated below and taken from the lesson-

"Notice that to refer to a place previously mentioned in French, you use the pronoun y ('there')."

Hope this helps!

Y not En

«Nous allons en France tous les ans» . Write "We go there every year": Nous ________ allons tous les ans. The correct answer is "Nous y allons tous les ans." Why does "y" replace "en france" instead of "en."Lesson states: "Y replaces places introduced with prepositions "à, sur, chez, dans."

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How and why do I use “y” in this sentence

“Je vais y aller avec toi.” Instead of (my version) “J’y vais aller avec toi.”

Thanks.

Asked 9 months ago

The "y" comes before the infinitive, similar to other pronouns. In the absence of the infinitive, it comes before the conjugated verb.

Je vais les rencontrer.
Je dois lui en parler.

In a frequently asked question, I found out that when using the ‘futur proche’ the pronoun ‘y’ is placed between the verb and the infinitive. For example ‘Je vais y aller’.

Thanks Chris. 

How and why do I use “y” in this sentence

“Je vais y aller avec toi.” Instead of (my version) “J’y vais aller avec toi.”

Thanks.

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About it - "y"?

She'd been dreaming about it forever.   

The correct answer was "Elle en rêvait depuis toujours."  Why wouldn't this be "Elle y rêvait depuis toujours?

Wouldn't the words "about it"require "y"and "of it" - en?

Asked 10 months ago
SteveB2

Helen,

The short answer is that the verb rêver takes the preposition "de" when we want to say we dream about/of something, and "de" is replaced by the pronoun "en".

Elle rêve de son père -> Elle en rêve.

About it - "y"?

She'd been dreaming about it forever.   

The correct answer was "Elle en rêvait depuis toujours."  Why wouldn't this be "Elle y rêvait depuis toujours?

Wouldn't the words "about it"require "y"and "of it" - en?

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RobB1

Why is elle met les tasses là not accepted for she put the cups there?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq language super star

Hi Rob,

Are you talking about a specific quiz?

 

It's simply because the lesson is about the pronoun "y". You're supposed to practice its use. 

-- Chris. 

JamieA1

In general, you are doing something very tempting when learning a foreign language, but something you can never do: you can never take an English sentence, translate each word with a dictionary, and end up with a correct foreign-language sentence. That's just not how grammar works. Foreign languages not only have different lists of words--they have different ways of putting words together into sentences.

There is a famous book where someone tried to go the other way: he took French sentences and looked up the matching English words in a dictionary. The results were pretty comical:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_As_She_Is_Spoke

Why is elle met les tasses là not accepted for she put the cups there?

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what if both a and de are there in the sentence what am i supposed to use en or y ?

Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Susan ! You will never use both "y" and "en" together in the same sentence. In such a case, you will use either "en" or "y" to replace one of the groups, and keep the original other group. "Je veux des bonbons à la plage." (I want sweets at the beach.) -> "J'y veux des bonbons." (Not my favourite option, it doesn't sound great to my French ears!) -> "J'en veux à la plage." I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !
"You will never use both "y" and "en" together in the same sentence." - I often hear the phrase "Y en a." in response to a question like "Il y a des pommes dans ce magasin?", for example. Is it then wrong to use "y" and "en" together in the above sentence?

Hi Kalonde! It's more likely that you are hearing "Il en a" rather than "Y en a". They sound similar to our non-french ears when spoken fast, so it get us puzzled sometimes!

AurélieKwiziq language super star

Bonjour Kalonde!

The sentence you hear is "Il y en a" = there are some.

This would indeed be the only case where both are present in the same sentence, but only because "y" is part of the fixed expression "il y a" (there is/are).

Bonne journée!

what if both a and de are there in the sentence what am i supposed to use en or y ?

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à + a place?

I was under the impression that we replace "à + a place" with "y", but the quiz gives "Elle pose les tasses sur la table." So "y" can replace any preposition + a place? Thanks.
Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq language super star
Bonjour J, Yes, y can replace any preposition* that indicates a place: à, sur, dans, chez. *Except de, which is replaced by en.
Thanks, Laura. I think I'm clear on this, but is there a reason you single out "à + a place" in the lesson? Thanks.
LauraKwiziq language super star
Good point, I'll pass this on to Aurélie so she can add some other examples.
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour John ! The lesson has now been updated with new examples of cases with "sur, chez, dans". Merci et à bientôt !

à + a place?

I was under the impression that we replace "à + a place" with "y", but the quiz gives "Elle pose les tasses sur la table." So "y" can replace any preposition + a place? Thanks.

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Is it correct..j'y peux venir ce soir.

Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star

Bonjour Dipika !

Technically, this sentence "J'y peux venir ce soir" is correct to say "I can come there tonight".
However, no one French would actually use this formulation.

We'd rather say:
Je peux venir ce soir.   or
Je peux venir ici (here)/ (there)/là-bas (over there) ce soir.

I hope that's helpful!

Is it correct..j'y peux venir ce soir.

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Why is it 'je vais y reflechir' and not 'j'y vais reflechir?'

Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq language super star

Bonjour Diane,

Y precedes the verb it modifies, which is réfléchir. Putting y in front of vais would be like saying "I'm going about it to think."

Oh! Didn't know that. Merci!

Why is it 'je vais y reflechir' and not 'j'y vais reflechir?'

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