What does the "y" stand for in "Je m'y attendais"? There's no À, and it certainly does not mention some place there. So why is there a "Y"?

  • Please provide context "Y" is a pronoun and stands for something but we cannot tell you what if you do not say what comes before.
    – None
    Apr 16, 2016 at 6:02
  • Could you rephrase that? I couldn't understand Apr 16, 2016 at 6:04
  • The answers to this post might help you.
    – None
    Apr 16, 2016 at 6:04
  • "Y" stands for something that is mentioned before so you must write more, not just the sentence you do not understand.
    – None
    Apr 16, 2016 at 6:06
  • Y stands for à ça, i.e. Je m'attendais à ça.
    – jlliagre
    Apr 16, 2016 at 16:57

1 Answer 1


Personal pronoun "y" can replace something that is indirect object to a verb whose indirect object is introduced by preposition "à".

A verb phrase :

A- Il pleut.
B- Je m'y attendais, il y avait de gros nuages noirs.

A noun :

A- Voilà la pluie.
B- Je m'y attendais, il y avait de gros nuages noirs.

The verb is "s'attendre à". We could react to "Il pleut" with:

Je m'attendais à ce qu'il pleuve.

and to "Voilà la pluie" with :

Je m'attendais à la pluie.

we will usually replace "à ce qu'il pleuve" or "à la pluie" by personal pronoun "y" placed just before the verb.

  • y can replace more than just verb phrases.
    – Vlammuh
    Apr 16, 2016 at 6:47
  • 3
    Obviously. And this is not a complete grammar course about the use of "y". This is an answer to OP's question.
    – None
    Apr 16, 2016 at 6:51
  • That may be true, but how can you be sure it replaced a verb phrase in this case without the OP having given context?
    – Vlammuh
    Apr 16, 2016 at 6:53
  • @Sander Read Laure's reply closer, she wrote "can replace" not "does replace".
    – jlliagre
    Apr 16, 2016 at 7:07
  • 1
    @Lambie: Just fix it if you're bothered. English grammar is not the topic here. Apr 16, 2016 at 14:57

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