In this sentence "elle a déjà un livre mais elle en veut un nouveau", why is there "en" between "elle" and "veut"? "Elle en veut un nouveau" translates to "She wants a new one". So why not "Elle veut un nouveau"?

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    For the same reason the english sentence is not "She wants a new". "one" in English and "en" in French both refer to the book you spoke of before. Commented May 20, 2016 at 7:58

1 Answer 1


In this context, en, just like the English "one" you used, is a nicer way to repeat "the book".

You could totally say "elle a déjà un livre, mais elle veut un nouveau livre", which is correct grammatically and very understandable.

However, the repetition is something one would like to avoid, for it is clearly not subtle. That is why, just like other groupes pronominaux can be replaced by le, la or les, you can replace un nouveau livre by en.

In case you are interested by further information about the use of en and its "grammatical properties" (in this context - please note en is a very used word in French and has a lot of meanings and uses for it covers a wide range of roles in the sentence) :

Hope I could help !

  • Thanks! I only started learning so I am only familiar with the form that is more understandable. Commented May 21, 2016 at 1:08
  • thta is why i thought I would give you further info ! You are welcome
    – tlombart
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 11:00

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