For example - « s'en aller, s'en ficher, s’en tirer, s’en prendre à, s’en branler, s'en falloir, s'en sortir, s’en battre l’œil, etc. »

Are these to be treated like any other pronominal verb? Is the « en » here playing a grammatical role as a preposition or as a pronoun? Would a construction like « j'en m'en verbe » be valid to replace « je m'en verbe [de COI] » or other such complements (e.g. partitive/indefinite) that « en » can replace?

I'm having a lot of trouble understanding the motivation behind the construction of these expressions and developing an intuition for their meaning. Obviously they are non-compositional, but is there anyway to get some kind of intuition about them at all without memorizing every one?


In all the examples you listed, "en" is the pronoun serving as the COI.

Example: Sa voiture? Elle s'en fiche. (her car? She doesn't care about it.) "en" = "sa voiture" (her car) is the COI.

You could have said: Elle se fiche de sa voiture.

So because "en" is the COI, it's incorrect to say "je m'en (verbe) de COI". Still it's used all the time, for example: Elle s'en fiche de sa voiture. In that case "en" still means "sa voiture". You can think of it as adding a precision after you've stated the main sentence with the pronoun: Elle s'en fiche. (de sa voiture)

J'en m'en (verbe) is never correct, and never used.


In your examples, we say: Je m'en fiche, je m'en vais,... The word "en" is a pronoun for the complement of the phrase.

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