B asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 3 weeks ago

I understand that the french word "EN" means 'IN", but can "EN" also mean "in the"?

for example according to Duolingo " Il neigh beaucoup en l'hiver" is wrong.

it only accepts "en hiver"


Il neige*  I mean,  my apologies

3 Answers

  • 3 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    in English, we say "in THE winter."  In French, it is just "in winter/en hiver."  The "en" takes the place of the article "the" used in English.

    En is a stronger word than the English in  It has connotations of belonging, or of, as well as in.  So, the article "l" is not needed.

  • Pontus
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    You have got two good answers.  I have nothing to add to those.

    However, I do not want to warn you, "in" is sometimes translated by different words in French (or not all all). 

    en - is a specific kind of "in".  

    Warning #2. en - also has a completely unrelated meaning as a pronoun, but is pronounced and spelled the same. 

    Prepositions don't have to exist.  There are languages without them or a similar word class.  Consequently, prepositions are notorious for not translating easily to other languages that have them, since they are creations of the human mind and not based in anything concrete. 

    warning #3 -- some of the French words for "in" have very specific meanings when used with time words.  For example:  en cinq minutes -- means -- within 5 minutes (not - in 5 minutes/ not 5 minutes from now).  

    en - as a preposition, is rarely used with the equivalent of the THE (there are exceptions, but "en hiver", is not one of them.  The French literally say: in winter, not "in the winter".   But "en" does not include the idea of THE in it. 

    Source(s): taught French; native English speaker
  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    English tends to use articles more than other languages but even in English you can say "it snows a lot in winter" without "the." Prepositions tend to have all kinds of meanings that differ from language to language so "en" isn't always translated as "in" though it is in this case. For instance "en cuir" means "[made] of leather" and "en avion" can mean "on a plane" or "by plane."

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