In #1060, we started looking at how en is used in French. From that series of posts, you’ll remember that, loosely speaking, en means some, (some) of it, (some) of them.
I want some.
J’en veux un.
I want one of them.
The meaning of donne-moi-z-en, then, isn’t too hard to figure out:
Give me some.
Give me some of it.
Give me some of them, etc.
Give me two of them.
But what’s that zed doing in there?
It’s there because it’s providing a buffer between the words moi and en, to avoid saying donne-moi en.
Although you’ll hear donne-moi-z-en, it’s important to remember that this is considered an informal usage heard in spoken language. It’s okay to use it with friends during conversations, but don’t use it on your French exam if you’re expected to use standard written grammar. In this case, use m’en instead of moi-z-en. Donne-m’en deux. Give me two of them.
Inspiration for this post: Donne-moi-z’en, Bernard Adamus