In part three of "Le Jour où tout a basculé - Nos bébés ont été échangés," one of our new videos this week, Anne-Sophie and Frédéric receive some shocking paternity test results that throw a wrench into their already troubled marriage. Less scandalously, the video also features three common set phrases featuring the pronoun en. Though en usually replaces de + a noun, it doesn't really translate to anything in these three idioms. It's just along for the ride.
Anne-Sophie uses the first expression, ne pas en croire ses yeux (to not believe one's eyes), when describing her reaction to the unbelievable test results:
Je n'en croyais pas mes yeux.
I couldn't believe my eyes.Play Caption
Later, when she calls Frédéric to tell him the news, she says:
Rappelle-moi de toute urgence. Je t'en supplie!
Call me back urgently. I beg you!Play Caption
Je t'en supplie (or je vous en supplie in formal speech) is an impassioned, urgent way of saying "please" (just like "I beg you" or "I implore you" in English). It's very similar to another en idiom, je t'en prie, which can mean the same thing:
Je t'en prie, arrête, arrête
I'm begging you, stop, stop
Caption 30, Indila - Love StoryPlay Caption
But unlike je t'en supplie, je t'en prie can also mean "you're welcome":
Oh, je t'en prie, y a pas de quoi, hein.
Oh, you're welcome. Don't mention it, OK?
The narrator uses the most idiomatic of these expressions when describing Frédéric's state of mind:
Il lui en veut toujours mais la donne va bientôt changer.
He is still mad at her, but the situation will soon change.Play Caption
Vouloir means "to want," but en vouloir à means "to be mad at." The en makes quite a difference here! Note the indirect object pronoun lui in this example, which stands for à + elle, as we mentioned in a previous lesson.
When you make this expression reflexive (s'en vouloir), it doesn't mean "to be mad at oneself," but rather "to feel guilty":
Je m'en veux vraiment de ne pas t'avoir cru; je suis vraiment désolée.
I feel really guilty for not having believed you; I'm really sorry.