Take the 2-minute tour ×
French Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the French language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I was solving a test on y vs. en, and there was a question:

Penses-tu à ton chien ?

  1. En penses-tu ?
  2. Y penses-tu ?
  3. Penses-en tu ?
  4. Penses-y tu ?

and I choose "Penses-y tu?" (I had no solid reason for that, but I remembered I saw verb-y formations before, so that “felt” right to me) but the right answer was "Y penses-tu?"

Can you explain to me why is "Y penses-tu?" a better choice?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Pronouns always come before the verb in French:

Tu y penses.
Tu me le donnes.

Except for two cases:

  • In a question with inversion, the subject pronoun goes after the verb and is attached to it with a hyphen:

    Y penses-tu ?
    Me le donnes-tu ?

  • In the imperative form, the verb comes first and the pronouns follow (also attached to it with one or more hyphens). Note that in the imperative there is no subject.

    Penses-y !
    Donne-le-moi !

share|improve this answer
    
@Alexis: Bien vu, il y a bien un s artificiel qui s'ajoute à l'impératif spécialement pour le pronom y, et qui sert juste à transcrire la liaison. (Et quand on y pense… quelle horreur !) –  Stéphane Gimenez Dec 16 '13 at 9:58
2  
Y a-t-il des sources pour "donne-moi-le !" ? J'ai toujours entendu dire aux enfants : on dit "donne-le moi !" –  cl-r Dec 16 '13 at 10:11
2  
Tout à fait en bon français on dirait « donne-le-moi », mais si on faisait des statistiques à l'oral… –  Stéphane Gimenez Dec 16 '13 at 10:27

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.