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It depends on what "le" is. Before a noun, "le" is an article, you can contract to "du". Before a verb, "le" is a pronoun, you can't contrat : it's "de le". Example : Je voulais remplir la gamelle du chien, mais j'ai oublié de le faire. Translated literally: I wanted to fill the (article) dog's dish, but I forgot to do it (pronoun).
"En" is a pronoun and its use is essential to the meaning of the sentence. If we chose not to use "en", the sentence would read as: "Un jour, elle lui offrit un petit bonnet de velours rouge, qui lui allait si bien qu'elle ne voulut plus porter d'autre bonnet que celui-ci". If we omit "en" altogether, the sentence is incomplete and does not make sense: ...
If you analyse this sentence you'll notice that “le briquet” is the subject of “servir” and “les cigarettes” is the (direct) object of “allumer”. All pronouns come before the verb they relate to and the right answer is therefore: Il sert à les allumer.
En is a complicated word. In this form, it is a pronoun with no antecedent, which is a bit of a strange concept (I think some grammars classify it as a particle, i.e. a word that doesn't fall into any neat classification). This happens in a number of idioms. En être à means “to have reached the stage when”. Nous n’en sommes pas encore à évoquer une ...
The second sentence is incorrect ; it should be Il le leur lit. I found a diagram that sums up the order of the pronouns in French : http://users.telenet.be/palm-mar/Taal_FRA_cod_coi.htm. As far as I know, it is correct. This topic has probably been treated several times on this forum.
Yes, when "Le", "la", or "Les" is before a noun (Object, Place, Thing, etc.), it is an Article. However, when it is before a verb you can not contract and it is a pronoun or object of the verb. examples: Je les deteste. Je l'aime. Je le ferai.
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