5

I know that "en" can be the "des céréales" in "Je mange des céréales" "J'en mange" and I know it can stand for "one book" in "Je vais acheter un livre" "Je vais en acheter un". But I find it kind of weird in:

Personne n'a écrit un livre sur comment en lire.

(Nobody has written a book on how to read them [books])

It just doesn't look like it fits, because it's in a noun phrase. It's referring to the "livre", which I find very strange, since it feels like it's not referring to books, and instead something else. Does this mean I could say:

J'ai fait un film sur comment en faire

(I made a film on how to write films) (Sorry for similar example)

  • Is there by chance any context? – Stéphane Gimenez Jun 17 '16 at 14:11
  • I basically found it on reverso context while looking up "personne ne" – Oboark Jun 17 '16 at 14:14
  • I think the translation would be more precise like this: "Personne n'a écrit un livre sur comment en lire." -> "Nobody has written a book on how to read one" (rather than them). – Phil Jun 17 '16 at 14:36
  • Hmm yeah, but I find it strange how it's mentioning the noun when it's part of a noun phrase. – Oboark Jun 17 '16 at 14:37
  • To be factual, there are books that teach how to read (fast). – Kii Jun 17 '16 at 15:24
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You have correctly identified the usage of en in your cereal example, like in the following:

J'ai acheté des céréales car je mange beaucoup de céréales

becomes

J'ai acheté des céréales car j'en mange beaucoup

The sentence you're asking about follows a very similar logic:

Personne n'a écrit un livre sur comment lire un livre

becomes

Personne n'a écrit un livre sur comment en lire.

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