• Ou il s'imagine qu'il en est possesseur, répond le gouverneur.
  • Il y trouve cette note concernant Dantès.

Could anybody explain what "en" and "y" mean in the above sentences? Would it be grammatically correct if one drops these two words in the sentences?

  • 1
    en and y being pronouns you need to refer to what is written before and you do not give enough context. This detailed answer about the use of en and y will help you understand.
    – None
    Sep 12, 2016 at 6:08
  • 1
    Or else he imagines that the is the possesor [of that thing]. He finds [there] this note concerning Dantes.
    – hunter
    Sep 12, 2016 at 7:39
  • @hunter: thanks for your comment. Do you mean "...he is the possessor..." instead?
    – user6106
    Sep 12, 2016 at 12:28
  • @Laure: thank you for the helpful link!
    – user6106
    Sep 12, 2016 at 12:32
  • @Jack yes, sorry for the typo! I can't edit it because it's a comment.
    – hunter
    Sep 12, 2016 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


The answer is not in the posted lines but in Alexandre Dumas's book.

En is a pronoun with an antecedent which is quelque trésor and y is also a pronoun referring to le registre des prisonniers

Removing en would make the first sentence incomplete.

Removing y would just remove an explicit information.

  • Very informative and helpful. Thank you!
    – user6106
    Sep 12, 2016 at 12:31

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