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A few weeks ago, I went to a bakery and I asked the baker for a bread. He said 'il n'y en a plus'. I didn't really understand the sentence, but it was clear that he didn't have one. It's really confusing to use 'y' and 'en' in one sentence. What does it mean?

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  • Both are pronouns. "en" is for "de" + whatever the object is (in this case bread), not to be confused with "en" the preposition as in "en France". "y" usually means "there" and here is part of the expression "Il y a", as guillaume notes below.
    – Luke Sawczak
    Mar 5 '17 at 20:11
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"There is":

Il y a

Negation ("there is not"):

Il n'y a pas

"There is not anymore":

Il n'y a plus

"There is no bread anymore":

Il n'y a plus de pain

You can replace "de pain" with the pronoun "en":

Il n'y en a plus

Translation: "There is none anymore" or "There is no more."

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More = PluS (pronunce the S) "Il y a pluS de monde or il y en a pluS (EN replaces Le monde (people)) No more = Plus (don't pronunce the S) and it's always negative : "Il N'y en a plus" (N shows the negative form)

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  • Hi and welcome to French Language Stack Exchange. Based on your explanation of "en", it would seem you are claiming that the baker was saying, "There are no more people". Are you certain about your explanation of "en"?
    – Tsundoku
    Dec 27 '20 at 15:01

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