Y can replace à + thing / object / location (adverbial pronoun)

You've already learned that the pronoun y is used to mean there (See Y = There (adverbial pronoun)).

Now here is another usage of y. 

Look at these sentences:

Elle répond à une lettre. Elle y répond.She's answering a letter. She's answering it.

Nous nous intéressons au sport. Nous nous y intéressons. We're interested in sport. We're interested in it.

Il pense à ses vacances. Il y pense.He's thinking of his holidays.  He's thinking of it.
-> Note that y can replace plural things.

 

Nous pensons à faire nos devoirs. Nous y pensons.We're thinking about doing our homework. We're thinking about it.

In French, adverbial pronoun y can replace a group introduced by the preposition à + [thing(s)/object(s)/location(s)] - except people - particularly with verbs that require the preposition à.  

In such cases, remember that y replaces the whole à + [noun group].

 

Case of people

The group à + [people] becomes simply their matching indirect pronoun, as follows:

Nous avons répondu à Sabrina. Nous lui avons répondu oui.We replied to Sabrina. We replied yes to her.

J'écrirai à mes cousines. Je leur écrirai bientôt.I'll write to my cousins. I'll write to them soon.
 

See also  En can replace de + phrase (adverbial pronoun)

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Examples and resources

J'écrirai à mes cousines. Je leur écrirai bientôt.I'll write to my cousins. I'll write to them soon.
Je réfléchis à sa proposition. Et elle y réfléchit aussi.I'm thinking his proposal over. And she's thinking it over too. 
Nous avons répondu à Sabrina. Nous lui avons répondu oui.We replied to Sabrina. We replied yes to her.

penser à


Nous pensons à faire nos devoirs. Nous y pensons.We're thinking about doing our homework. We're thinking about it.
Il pense à ses vacances. Il y pense.He's thinking of his holidays.  He's thinking of it.

répondre à


Elle répond à une lettre. Elle y répond.She's answering a letter. She's answering it.

s'intéresser à


Nous nous intéressons au sport. Nous nous y intéressons. We're interested in sport. We're interested in it.
Thinking...