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I came across this sentence and got confused. What is the pronoun en doing here? I thought it probably refers to the word temps. But temps is already there in the sentence, so is en redundant? Is this a grammatical mistake?

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    En would have referred to temps in: Je les recyclerai quand j'en aurai, du temps, but that implies time would already have been mentioned.
    – jlliagre
    Jul 27 at 21:34
  • Honestly it's just a fancier, more formal way of saying "quand j'aurai le temps". You see it more in written texts, it's a common pattern: "J'enleverai les petites roues lorsque j'en serai capable."
    – Simon
    Aug 3 at 19:48
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"En"» does not refer to "temps" but to the action expressed by the verb "recycler".

There are several ways to use a replacement for « en », and some do not result in a good style.

  • Il y a de vieux sweats dans l'armoire, et je les recyclerai quand j'aurai le temps de le faire.

  • Il y a de vieux sweats dans l'armoire, et je les recyclerai quand j'aurai le temps de les recycler. (not too good in reason of the repetition)

  • Il y a de vieux sweats dans l'armoire, et je les recyclerai quand j'aurai le temps de faire leur recyclage. (not too good)

You can, however, do away with "en", but the sentence does not mean exactly the same thing, although, in most cases the difference doesn't matter.

  • Il y a de vieux sweats dans l'armoire, et je les recyclerai quand j'aurai le temps. »
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    @Lambie What else could it be? what do you have in mind?
    – LPH
    Jul 27 at 15:54
  • @Lambie The antecedent can't be scattered over two clauses, and in fact it must be out of "quand j'en aurais le temps". According to your understanding, on top of that, you end up with twice the expression involving "temps" in the sentence where the replacement is made: "je les recyclerai quand j'en aurai le temps" → (rough replacement) "je les recyclerai quand j'[avoir le temps de recycler] aurai le temps" . It can't be that, can't you see?
    – LPH
    Jul 27 at 16:25
  • @Lambie Je les recyclerai quand j'aurai le temps d'avoir le temps de les recycler...
    – jlliagre
    Jul 27 at 16:29
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    @Lambie This correction changes piddling little to the nonsense.
    – LPH
    Jul 27 at 16:39
  • @Lambie I don't believe so, the addition of the pronoun "les" changes nothing to the awful redundancy your antecedent causes. Have you tried to construct the sentence using your replacement in full? Do that and let's see what you come up with. Can it be different from what another comment shows? Impossible…
    – LPH
    Jul 27 at 17:33

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