Whay say "Il l'a fait exprès", not "Il en a fair exprès"?

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Kwiziq community member

12 May 2018

4 replies

Whay say "Il l'a fait exprès", not "Il en a fair exprès"?

This question relates to:
French lesson "Faire exprès = To do something on purpose"


Kwiziq community member

12 May 2018


Sorry that should have been.

Why say "Il l'a fait exprès", not "Il en a fait exprès"?


Kwiziq community member

12 May 2018


Why would you use "en" in this sentence. The pronoun "en" usually replaces a phrase introduced by "de". I don't see anything that could be replaced by "en".

-- Chris (not a native speaker).


Kwiziq community member

13 May 2018


Chris - it's "Faire exprès de" + infinitive = To (do something) on purpose Deborah - this is an interesting question. 
I think the answer might be that although de + noun can always be replaced by en, de + clause can only be replaced by en in certain cases. It can only be done when there is an equivalent construction with a noun.
For example: "j'ai besoin de boire quelque chose" can be expressed as "j'en ai besoin" because you can also say "j'ai besoin de quelque chose".
But you cannot say "il a fait exprès de quelque chose".
Maybe Aurélie or Cécile can explain this better. It might be useful to have a lesson on this.


Kwiziq language super star

14 May 2018


Hi Deborah,

In fact you will hear both 'il l'a fait exprès' and 'il en a fait exprès' in French meaning  the same thing,

He did it/this on purpose.

The more polite form is to use the definite article:

Il fait toujours l'imbécile ... Il le fait  exprès . (He always plays the fool, he does it /this on purpose)

You can use the 'en'  in spoken French here is an example :

If you are asking to be excused for something you have just done inadvertently, you can say- 

"Pardon, j'en ai pas fait exprès "


 "Pardon, je ne l'ai pas fait exprès" 

is better French for something you didn't do on purpose....

Not sure if this helps but hope it does!


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