2

J'ai un ordinateur et des jeux mais c'est mon petit frère qui y joue toujours.

I don't understand the way the word 'y'is used in this sentence.

  • How familiar are you with the pronoun y in general ? Does it solve your question to know that "to play a game" is "jouer à un jeu" in French ? – Teleporting Goat Jan 20 '17 at 14:06
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Y in this case is replacing the use of "un ordinateur", effectively making the statement less verbose.

For example, you could phrase it as:

"J'ai un ordinateur et des jeux mais c'est mon petit frère qui joue toujours a l'ordinateur"

and it would make just as much sense.

It would be the same in English as contracting the sentence:

"I have a computer and some games, but my little brother plays on the computer all the time"

To:

"I have a computer and some games, but my little brother plays on it all the time."

  • 1
    Actually, "y" stands in for the whole "un ordinateur et des jeux", IMHO. But small detail :-) – Frank Jan 18 '17 at 18:08
  • Couldn't you say- J'ai un ordinateur et des jeux mais c'est mon petit frère qui le joue toujours. – Rishi Malhotra Jan 18 '17 at 18:23
  • Nope - that would now not be correct, because the verb "jouer" is not transitive. We say "jouer a qqchose", not "jouer qqchose" in this case, although we do say "jouer <un personnage de théâtre>" and "jouer une symphonie", "jouer une mélodie", "jouer un morceau". – Frank Jan 19 '17 at 0:21

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