I have seen that "en" is placed between "Us/We,You,They" and a verb sometimes. Example:

Nous en avons discuté

I know what it means, but I don't understand what "en" is doing there. Why not

Nous avons discuté


We have discussed


We in have discussed

I assume that "en" means "in" in this case?

1 Answer 1


For instance

Nous avons discuté de la situation. => Nous en avons discuté.

En is a pronoun that replaces de la situation. It is not a preposition.

In English it would be conveyed by:

We have discussed about it.

Usually in English one can omit about it. In French, it isn't so.

Other example:

Il en avait compris l'importance => He had realized the importance (of it).

As a side remark, note that en as preposition is not always translated by in. E.g.

En allant à l’université, j’ai rencontré une belle fille = While going to college I met a beautiful girl.

Aller en Amérique = Go to America.

See https://www.francaisfacile.com/exercices/exercice-francais-2/exercice-francais-105600.php

  • You can actually omit it in French too, losing the same thing as in English (the reference to "the situation")... which will probably be implied anyway by the context
    – Laurent S.
    Commented Feb 12, 2021 at 16:44

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