Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link and will create a new password via email.

What is the capital of Tunisia?

Please type your username.

Please type your E-Mail.

Please choose the appropriate section so the question can be searched easily.

Please choose suitable Keywords Ex: question, poll.

Type the description thoroughly and in details.

What is the capital of Tunisia?

“I’ll take care of it” = je m’y occupe / je m’en occupe ?

No, those are not equivalent; the difference is in the completeness of the concern with the task and in an idea of responsability which might be salient or not in the context, or even, that we choose to make salient or not. There appears to be, however, as I perceive the various nuances, a small merging of the two. I have tried below to provide examples for important cases but I do not hope to have rounded up all the possible contexts.

When you say “Je m’en occupe.” you are saying that you take it upon yourself to carry out the task, to perform whatever action is in question and you do that completely, according to what is needed, although you might use someone’s help doing so. If instead you say “Je m’y occupe.” you’re merely saying that you invest time in an activity or task; you say that some of your time if not all is spent in that activity.

If the responsability part is missing in the concept it’s very likely that “à” is used and vice versa.

(TLFi) S’occuper de + subst. ou inf. Consacrer son temps, ses soins à quelqu’un, à quelque chose, à faire quelque chose; se préoccuper, s’inquiéter de quelqu’un, de quelque chose.

  • Tu t’occupes de ton frère en fin de semaine ? Nous devons nous absenter.
    never “à” when the complément is not an activity

  • Tu t’occupe de laver le chien, il est encore boueux et couvert de bardanes.

  • Elle s’occupe de former les débutants à des pratiques de secourisme. D’autres spécialistes prennent ensuite le relai pour de nouvelles classes de formation.
    The activity is considered in the context of the distribution of tasks in the organisation, never “à”; her responsability, the part of the work that has been assigned to her is the beginners and rescue techniques.
  • Il s’est occupé de son jardin longtemps, puis il l’a laissé se transformer en friche.
    Here both are possible, but the meanings differ.

  • C’est un expert, il s’occupe d’affaires d’assurance difficiles.
    In this case the préposition is uniquely “de”, because the idea of responsability seems salient.

  • C’est une femme très active, elle s’occupe d’affaires d’assurance de grosses propriétés.
    It can be seen here that considering the particular case in an activity brings back this notion of reponsability. ref

  • C’est une femme très active, elle s’occupe à un travail d’assurance de grosses propriétés.
    The word “travail” is more general and this seems to be the reason the polarisation for the case of “affairs” disappears; both prepositions can be used as appears to confirm the following reference, at least for 30 years back. ref
    The difference is now much less tangible, the two prépositions conferring about the same idea, essentially that of “à” as initially made out.

(TLFi) S’occuper à + subst. ou inf. S’adonner, s’appliquer à quelque chose, à faire quelque chose

  • Il s’est occupé à son jardin durant quelques années, toujours aidé par un jardinier qui, lui, connaissait bien les fleurs.
    Here both are possible, but of course the idea commmunicated is not the same.

  • Après être rentrée, elle s’occupait à laver le chien, puis à remettre sa maison en ordre.
    As such, the person is not presented as having a particular duty, she might even have done what she did with the aim of passing the time away, instead of leaving the work to a maid. However, the other preposition can be used and then her action is presented as the consequence of a responsability; it’s up to the writer to decide which case he’d like to exploit.

The basic verb is s’occuper. This is « mots amis » with the English; the translation is transparent. In other words, “occupy oneself” (reflexive) or “be occupied” (passive). Synonymous phrases are fine too.

To this we can add an optional complement with « à + [inf.] », which answers the question: “Doing what?”

Il s’occupe à peindre la maison.

He’s busy painting the house.

This complement can be replaced by the pronoun y.

— Est-ce qu’il est en train de peindre la maison ?

— Oui, il s’y occupe.

The second group of meanings is with the particle de : s’occuper de. This is a « faux amis » in that the meaning is different enough that you have to gloss it. Specifically: “take care of” or “be responsible for”.

— Qui s’occupe des enfants ?

Who’s looking after the children?

— C’est moi, je m’en occupe.

So given that en replaces de but y replaces à, you can see that while they’re both correct, they’re not interchangeable.

“s’occuper de” et ” être occupé à” are two different forms of the verb ” occuper”, and they mean different things.

When a verb takes a complement beginning by the preposition ” de” , the complement is referred to using the pronoun ” en”.

  • S’occuper de quelque chose –> s’en occuper.

  • Se soucier de quelque chose –> s’en soucier

When a verb takes a complement beginning by the preposition ” à ” , the complement is referred to using a different pronoun ( such as : ” y “)

  • il est occupé à cette affaire depuis plusieurs jours –> il y est occupé depuis plusieurs jours.

  • “Tu penseras à cette affaire?” –> ” Oui, j’ y penserai.”

  • “Tu vas à Paris cette semaine?” –> ” Oui, j’y vais”.

Remark. Sometimes, referring to the complement using a pronoun is impossible due to phonetic reasons. One could not say ” Oui, j’y irai cette semaine .” In that particular case, one has to say ” oui, j’irai là-bas cette semaine”, or , better ” oui, je m’y rendrai cette semaine’.

Exception :

  • ” Tu crois en Dieu?” –> ” oui, j’y crois”.

But here ” en ” does not mean ” de ( cette chose) “(something) but “dans (cette chose) “.


Leave a comment

What is the capital of Tunisia?