username5889573
Badges: 1
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#1
Report Thread starter 4 months ago
#1
Originally posted here:

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4356654

> hi i asked my grandma how to say 'we are going' in french

> she said it was said - 'on s'en va'

> i dont understand how it works. can someone explain how the grammer works like as i cant work out how it means we are going.

> i thought you can do 'je vais aller' in we form - like 'nous avons aller' - does that make sense in french?

> can someone explain, thanks.

You should read the original discussion to understand the question now.

And the question is:

OK, folks, thanks for the answers, it was interesting to read. And yet none of you have explained neither 'se' nor 'en'.

I don't blame you, as it's even beyond the dictionaries I looked into.

If I understand it right, "on s'en va" is a generalization of: "on se va de object", and so "en" is a pronoun for the object.

Two questions arise:

-----

1) What is that object precisely?

Is it the current place, the source of the movement or it's more a situation from where we're going away?

And there is another way to express a similar thing: "on'y va" which is a generalization of: "on va à object".

Here, "à object" means a destination object, and "y" is a pronoun for that object (place).

Do you natives reckon these two - just the same, i.e. "on s'en va" and "on'y va"?

(I personally think they're different as "on'y va" suggests that we're moving to some known location.)

2) Why "se aller" is used here?

And is it the only case when "aller" is used as a reflexive verb?

-----

Can't we just say: "on va?"
0
reply
hannahjaayy
Badges: 9
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#2
Report 4 months ago
#2
You could also say nous allons, if you wanted to follow the way you know best. Depends on the context? As in, we are going (somewhere), or just we are (leaving)?
0
reply
Anna Schoon
Badges: 13
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#3
Report 4 months ago
#3
(Original post by username5889573)
Originally posted here:

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4356654

> hi i asked my grandma how to say 'we are going' in french

> she said it was said - 'on s'en va'

> i dont understand how it works. can someone explain how the grammer works like as i cant work out how it means we are going.

> i thought you can do 'je vais aller' in we form - like 'nous avons aller' - does that make sense in french?

> can someone explain, thanks.

You should read the original discussion to understand the question now.

And the question is:

OK, folks, thanks for the answers, it was interesting to read. And yet none of you have explained neither 'se' nor 'en'.

I don't blame you, as it's even beyond the dictionaries I looked into.

If I understand it right, "on s'en va" is a generalization of: "on se va de object", and so "en" is a pronoun for the object.

Two questions arise:

-----

1) What is that object precisely?

Is it the current place, the source of the movement or it's more a situation from where we're going away?

And there is another way to express a similar thing: "on'y va" which is a generalization of: "on va à object".

Here, "à object" means a destination object, and "y" is a pronoun for that object (place).

Do you natives reckon these two - just the same, i.e. "on s'en va" and "on'y va"?

(I personally think they're different as "on'y va" suggests that we're moving to some known location.)

2) Why "se aller" is used here?

And is it the only case when "aller" is used as a reflexive verb?

-----

Can't we just say: "on va?"
You've seen my reply of five years ago on the original thread.

To attempt to clarify the issues:

1) Firstly, you seem to be quite confused about the difference between a direct / indirect object and a complement of place. I suggest that you to go an excellent grammar book (not a dictionary!) to check this out as the explanation here would take up too much space. In a nutshell, a complement of place answers the question "where?". You can all any number of prepositions to the question (to where? from where? etc), but the answer will always be a complement of place.

This means that your en in the expression "s'en aller" is a pronoun for a complement of place, not an object. And yes, it matters... (please refer to that grammar book!)

2) s'en aller is an idiomatic expression which means "to go away". The verb aller must always be linked to a complement of place (unless, of course, it is used modally, in the expression aller + infinitive). So no, you cannot just say "on va" full stop. The reflexive from is simply one of usage - not everything is always logical in language! Do not please be tempted to think that the verb is *s'aller* because that simply does not exist. I think s'en aller is, indeed, the only reflexive structure with aller and the pronoun en is essential.

3) You are quite right that en is the pronoun for "de + noun". So in s'en aller, the en could be considered to mean "from a place" - hence its translation: to go away. The pronoun y is used for "à + noun" and therefore On y va translates as "going to a place". So you see that the two are not the same.

4) To add to the confusion: in familiar, oral French, On y va has taken on the meaning of "Let's go": the destination is y - à + an undefined complement of place. The implication is still that we're going somewhere - it's the destination that is the most important bit. By contrast, if you were to use the almost synonymous structure: On part, then it is the actual leaving that is the most important bit. You will find the same subtle difference of meaning in English: compare "Let's go" with "We're leaving".

I hope this helps to clear things up for you.
Last edited by Anna Schoon; 4 months ago
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

How did your AQA Combined Science - Biology Paper 1 go?

Loved the paper - Feeling positive (62)
34.83%
The paper was reasonable (70)
39.33%
Not feeling great about that exam... (28)
15.73%
It was TERRIBLE (18)
10.11%

Watched Threads

View All