In the following sentence on this question:

J'étudie l'Intelligence Artificielle et l'Apprentissage Automatique et j'aimerais traduire en français le mot technique "Bagging" aussi connu sous le nom de "Bootstrap Agregating" défini sur la page wikipédia suivante : Bootstrap Agregating. L'objectif de cette traduction est de pouvoir en parler dans un papier scientifique en français.

I think the verb after the pouvoir (or any auxiliary verbs) should be the infinitive of the verb, such as the following sentence:

Je peux courir dans l'océan.

I thought pouvoir here is a noun but then it should take de after that, no?

So why does the sentence above need en?

1 Answer 1


The function of the word "pouvoir" is that of a verb; it never takes "de" in its constructions; it is almost exclusively followed by a "proposition infinitive". There are exceptions as in "Qui peut le plus peut le moins.".

"Parler" really is the infinitive of the verb "parler", that is it is the word "parler" used as a verb form and not as a noun (as in "Le parler frank n'est pas son fort."). "En" is simply put for "Bootstrap Agregating"; the author wants to be able to use this term in French; without the pronoun he would have had to say "L'objectif de cette traduction est de pouvoir parler de (la technique du) « Bootstrap Agregating » dans un papier scientifique en français.".

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