This passage is from Boris Vian's story Les Fourmis (1949):

Heureusement, ça s'éclaircissait. Il en débarquait maintenant de grosses fournées des bateaux.

I don't see clearly the rôle of the 'en'. Is it referring back to the previous sentence? If so, how?

1 Answer 1


Vian is referring to soldiers.

The hint is in an earlier sentence: Plus tard, on a été complétés.

New soldiers arrived from boats to reinforce them.

  • 1
    Thank you. Useful to know that 'en' can refer further back than the immediately preceding sentence.
    – Tom Adair
    Mar 27, 2022 at 18:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.