Ne vous en préoccupez pas !

Ne vous en préoccupez pas !

nuh voo zah pray-oh-kew-pay PAH!  Click below to hear this! 

Don’t worry about it!

Or, if your are speaking to your best friend: Ne t’en préoccupe pas ! Or even more simply: T’en préoccupe pas !

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you will recognize the ne shortcut. Simply don’t say it. Or start with your tongue in the position to say /n/, but before the /n/ really gets anywhere, switch to the /t/ sound. Not difficult once you try it out, since the two positions are nearly identical.

But what about all that stuff between the ne and the pas? Seems like a lot of syllables!

Let’s take it apart. First off, the basic verb is se préoccuper de: to worry about. It’s a regular -er verb, but it’s reflexive, so you need that se before the verb itself. It’s like saying to worry one’s self about.

Next, we need to specify who or what we are worrying about. In today’s phrase, we are worrying (or rather, not worrying) about it, something that has already been mentioned. En is a pronoun, even though it doesn’t look much like one. It replaces the combination de + a noun.

BUT…(there’s always a BUT, isn’t there?) if you are worrying (or not worrying) about a person, you can’t use en. En doesn’t refer to persons, in most cases. (Another BUT.) So you will have to use de + the pronoun that refers to that person, and you will have to change the sentence order!

So: Ne vous préoccupez pas de lui. Don’t worry about him.
Ne vous préoccupez pas d’elle. Don’t worry about her.
Ne te préoccupe pas de moi. Don’t worry about me.
Te préoccupe pas d’eux, d’elles. Don’t worry about them (masculine form, then feminine).

By the way, watch out for the pronunciation of the /u/ in préoccupez. Don’t turn it into a cue or a queue! See this post for detailed instructions on how to successfully deal with this challenging sound.

And if you still don’t get it, ne vous en préoccupez pas. You will eventually!

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