How To Use Object Pronouns In French

Pronouns in English are little words like I, he, him, they, etc. that can acheter du méthylone en ligne
substitute for objects or persons. In French there are various kinds of pronouns, and their usage can be complicated. If you want to speak French fluently, this is a key area of grammar. In this article, we’ll look at some of the most common forms, the direct and indirect object pronouns.

The direct object pronouns are those that accompany a verb that has a direct effect or action on the pronoun. Here is a list of these pronouns:



le/l’¬†(him, it)

la/l’¬†(her, it)

nous (us)

vous (you)

les (them)

A very important rule to remember here is that in French the pronoun always goes in front of the verb that it is associated with. This is very different from English and very confusing in the beginning. Here are some examples:

Je vous aime. (I love you.)

Elle le prend. (She takes it.)

Ils nous voient. (They see us.)

Vous l’appelez.¬†(You call her.)

Notice how the pronouns¬†le¬†and¬†la¬†become¬†l’¬†in front of verbs starting with a vowel.

Indirect object pronouns are those that associated with the idea of an action “to”, “with”, “for” or “from.” In the English “I’ll speak to him,” the “him” is an indirect object pronoun. In “I bought her a gift,” the “her” is an indirect object meaning “for her.” Of course, I can say “I bought it for her” where direct and indirect objects are combined.

In French, here are the indirect object pronouns:

me/m’¬†(to me)

te/t’¬†(to you)

lui (to him. to her, to it)

nous (to us)

vous (to you)

leur (to them)

Notice that in this list most of the pronouns are identical to the direct object pronouns, as in:

Je vous parle.¬†(I’m talking to you.)

Elle me dit tout. (She tells me all.)

Ils nous parlent souvent. (They speak to us often.)

The difficult pronouns are¬†lui¬†and¬†leur.¬†Lui¬†is a special problem because, unlike English, there is no difference between “to her” and “to him”. They are both¬†lui¬†in French.

Je lui donne la maison. (I give her/him the house.)

Je lui ai tout dit. (I told her/him everything.)

Elle leur pardonne tout. (She forgives them everything.)

The real difficulty in using object pronouns in French is determining what pronoun is required according to the meaning of the verb. Many verbs can take both kinds of pronouns.

Let’s take the example,¬†Je donne les cadeaux aux enfants.¬†(I give the gifts to the children.)

This can become:

Je les donne aux enfants. (I give them to the children.)

Je leur donne les cadeaux. (I give the gifts to them.)

English can be confusing because we say things like “I gave her the gift” where “her” really means “to her.” Also verbs like “look for” and “ask for” require direct object pronouns in Frenchwhen translated by¬†chercher¬†and¬†demander.

On vous demande au bureau. (You are requested at the office)

Tout le monde la cherche. (Everybody is looking for her.)

But be careful. One would use these two same verbs with indirect pronouns, as in:

Je vous demande l’heure.¬†(I’m asking you the time.)

On lui cherche une voiture. (We are looking for a car for her.)

Pay particular attention to the very common verb faire that will often use both kinds of pronouns.

Je le fais. (I make it.)

Je lui fais la cuisine. (I do the cooking for her.)

Pay particular attention to forms made with verbs like aller and pouvoir as in:

Je vais le voir.¬†(I’m going to see him.)

J’allais lui parler.¬†(I was going to speak to him)

Vous allez lui acheter un livre. (You are going to buy him a book.)

Elle va tout leur dire. (She is going to tell them everything.)

Nous allons leur montrer la maison. (We are going to show them the house.)

Je veux lui faire plaisir. (I want to be nice to him.)

Elle veut lui parler. (She wants to speak to him.)

Ils veulent leur dire bonjour. (They want to say hello to them.)

Notice how the pronoun comes in front of the associated verb and not in front of aller or vouloir.

Things can get a bit complicated when you have direct and indirect object pronouns in the same sentence. The rule here is that the indirect pronoun precedes the direct pronoun except for lui and leur. Here are some examples:

Je vous l’envoie demain.¬†(I’m sending it to you tomorrow.)

On te la donne. (We give it to you.)

Elle le leur montre. (She is showing it to them.)

Tu la lui envoies maintenant. (You send it to her now.)

In all of this remember that the problem area is the third person singular and plural indirect pronouns (lui and leur). Concentrate on them. If you master these, the others will fall into place.


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