1 : Vous en avez mis du temps pour/à changer d’avis, bande de macaques.

2 : Vous avez mis du temps à changer d’avis, mon cœur.

Am I correct in assuming that in the 1st sentence, the speaker is expressing his frustration at the sluggishness of it all? Whereas the 2nd sentence is a neutral statement of fact, spoken nonchalantly?

Also, regarding the preposition to use: I wonder if you can use both « pour » and « à » in the 1st sentence, but only « à » for the 2nd?

  • 1
    Note that "bande de macaques" is rude so it cannot be a "neutral statement"
    – Random
    Jan 11 '17 at 15:02

Here, using "en" adds an emphasis on what you're saying. And when you're putting an emphasis on how long people take, you're generally upset. But it doesn't always express frustration.

It's not just using "en", it's using both the pronoun and the nominal group. Here "en" acts as the pronoun, but it can be something else. I think it's better to add a comma.

Tu en as mis, du temps ! = "tu as mis du temps" + "tu en as mis"

In the same way, you can say:

Tu aimes ça, manger, hein ? = "Tu aimes manger" + "tu aimes ça"

I'd translate this sentence as : "You really like eating, don't you ?"(In the tone of a rhetorical question).


I would say that the language is a lot more familiar in the first sentence compared to the second one. I think the addition of "en" when you already have "du temps" makes the first sentence very familiar. If my primary school kids used the first sentence, I would correct them to remove "en" as unnecessary.

I disagree with @Teleporting Goat about the comma. That doesn't work for me at all (being a native French speaker).

For the prepositions to use, I think both could work even in the second sentence, with a preference for "à".

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