In this article, you will:

  • learn how to use the pronoun Y in French
  • see examples of how to use the pronoun Y in French
  • do exercises on the French pronoun Y

   This article will help you answer the following questions:

  • How do I use the pronoun Y in French?
  • How to use the pronoun Y in French?


The pronoun y replaces a place complement :


  • I live in Marseille. (J’habite à Marseille.) → I have been living there for 2 years. (J’y habite depuis 2 ans.)
    (Notice that "je" before "y" becomes "j’y". The "e" is omitted.)


  • I like Milan. (J’aime Milan.) → I like to go there in the spring. (J’aime bien y aller au printemps.)

Be careful, the pronoun y does not always replace a place introduced by the preposition “à”. Look at this example: 

  • She came to my place. (Elle est venue chez moi.) → She has been there for 30 minutes. (Elle y est depuis 30 minutes.)

"At my place" is a location that I can replace with "y". 

Often the place is introduced by a preposition “à”, “chez”, “dans”, etc. We find the place by asking a question with “Where” (Où). 

  • Where do I like to go? (Où j’aime bien aller ?)  →  To Milan. I like to go there. (À Milan. J’aime bien y aller.)


💡 A quick reminder about pronouns. A pronoun is a small word that functions to replace a noun. It is used to avoid repeating a word, to make sentences shorter. It’s not mandatory to use a pronoun. But, if you want to speak in a more natural way, it’s necessary. French speakers use pronouns a lot. 

If you ask someone:
- “Do you like going to Milan?” (Tu aimes bien aller à Milan ?).

They won’t answer:
- “Yes, I like going to Milan.” (Oui, j’aime bien aller à Milan).

That’s correct, but it’s long and not natural. Most often, they will answer:

- “Yes, I like going there.” (Oui, j’aime bien y aller).