Consider the following sentence:

Léna pense qu'elle en a rencontré un.

I think it's saying that "Lena thinks she's met one". But what's the purpose of "en" here? Why not just say:

Léna pense qu'elle a rencontré un.


In this case, "en" is called a "partitive" because it singles out a part (that is an entity) of a larger set as in "she believes aliens exist and thinks she met one (of them)".

  • Thanks. Do you happen to know what's the role of "en" in this one: J'en faisais des cauchemars horrible
    – Ali
    Feb 2 '20 at 9:14
  • Could you please provide a larger context (for example the one you quote this sentence from)?
    – user22700
    Feb 2 '20 at 9:16
  • Sure. Here's a link to the clip: youtu.be/-6lSl88KE5g (sorry the story is a bit disturbing :( ) Here's what I hear: Vous êtes au courant pour Lucy Clarsen ? Qui ça ? Une fille qui travaillait dans ce bar, là, le Lake Pub. Bref, elle rentrait chez elle, et un type l'a sauvagement agressée dans le tunnel. Il lui a bouffé l'estomac. Ça recommence, on dirait, comme il y a sept ans. (something?????) J'en faisais des cauchemars horribles... She says something before "j'en" that I don't understand.
    – Ali
    Feb 2 '20 at 11:10
  • In this case, "en" refers back to the content of the nightmares without mentioning it again (something like "I had horrible nightmares (ABOUT the attack in the tunnel").
    – user22700
    Feb 2 '20 at 11:15
  • Awesome, thanks.
    – Ali
    Feb 2 '20 at 11:34

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