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Les pronoms. Introduction. We use pronouns to replace nouns in sentences so that our speech is less repetitive. Example: The dog is called Marta. John likes the dog . John gives a biscuit to the dog .

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introduction
Introduction
  • We use pronouns to replace nouns in sentences so that our speech is less repetitive.

Example:

The dog is called Marta.

John likes the dog.

John gives a biscuit to the dog.

These 3 sentences repeat the word ‘dog’ and ‘John’ several times: this sounds too heavy.

We can use pronouns to make it less heavy.

slide3

Let’s replace the repetitions with pronouns!

The 3 sentences above then become:

The dog is called Marta.

John likes her.

He gives her a biscuit.

In these sentences, the pronoun he replaces John and the pronoun her replaces the noun the dog.

the different kinds of pronouns
The different kinds of pronouns

There are several kinds of pronouns: for now, we will discuss subject pronouns and object pronouns.

  • Subject pronouns: they replace nouns that are used as subjects (the ones that do the action) in a sentence.

You already know these very well:

Je, tu , il/elle/on, nous, vous, ils, elles

In the previous example, John was replaced by the subject pronoun he which is il in French:

Johnaime la chienne, illuidonne un biscuit.

slide5

2) Object pronouns: they replace nouns that are used as objects in a sentence.

Let’s see again our previous example:

John likes the dog. John gives a biscuit tothe dog.

‘the dog’ is the object of the sentence and can then be replaced by the object pronoun ‘her’:

John likes her. John gives her a biscuit.

slide6

Her (and him in the masculine) has two equivalents in French.

  • Which one you use depends on whether it is a direct object pronoun or an indirect object pronoun:

a) indirect object pronouns in French are: me/te/nous/vous(me/you/us/you in English)

and

lui/leur(him/her/them in English)

b) direct object pronouns are:

me/te/nous/vous(also me/you/us/you in English)

and

le/la/l’/les (also him/her/them in English)

indirect object pronouns
INDIRECT OBJECT PRONOUNS
  • Indirect object pronouns replace indirect object nouns. An indirect object consists of the preposition to + animate noun which in French is à + animate noun (a noun referring to a person/a living being).

Let’s take again our previous example, but in French this time:

John likes the dog.

John aimela chienne.

In this sentence, there is no à (no to in English) so ‘the dog’ cannot be an indirect object.

slide8

Now let’s see our other sentence:

John gives a biscuit tothe dog.

John donne un biscuit àla chienne.

In this sentence, the object la chienne is preceded by à so à la chienneis an indirect object and can be replaced by lui(both for feminine and masculine nouns):

John luidonne un biscuit.

slide9

Lui is then used to replace to him/to her.

Leur is used to replace to them.

slide10

Position of the pronouns:

Please note the position of the pronoun:

John luidonne un biscuit.

It is always placed just before the verb. (Note: donne is the verb donner conjugated at the present tense).

slide11

Attention!

1) àin front of a masculine noun becomes au

Example:

à + le chien = auchien

Let’s look at the following sentence:

John donne un biscuit au chien.

Here, au chienis an indirect object noun as à is included in au. We can then replace au chienwith lui:

John luidonne un biscuit.

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2) àin front of a plural noun becomes aux

Example:

à + les chiens = auxchiens

So aux chiens is an indirect object noun. As it is a plural noun, it can be replaced with leur:

John donne un biscuit aux chiens= John leurdonne un biscuit.

entrainons nous ensemble let s practice together
Entrainons-nous ensemble(Let’s practice together)

Replace the Indirect Object Pronounswith LUI or LEUR

1. Le week-end, je rends visite à mon copain.

Remember!: The Indirect Object pronouns (LUI/LEUR) replace

à + nounsrepesenting PEOPLE

lui or leur
LUI or LEUR

1. 1. Le week-end, je rends visite à mon copain.

issingular

Réponse: Le week-end, je lui rends visite.

à mon copain

lui or leur1
LUI or LEUR

2. Pendant les vacances, je rends visite à mes cousins.

is plural

Réponse: Pendant les vacances, je leur rends visite.

à mes cousins

lui or leur2
LUI or LEUR

3. Tu écris souvent à tes grands-parents.

is plural

Réponse: Tu leur écris souvent.

àtes grands-parents

lui or leur3
LUI or LEUR

4. Nous demandons des conseils

(advice) à notre mère.

issingular

Réponse: nous lui demandons des conseils.

à notre mère

vous avez compris
Vous avez-compris?
  • À vous de faire les exercices! (Nowitisyourturn to do the exercises on yourown): seeFinalsite for yourhomework instructions and exercisesheet.
  • Bonne chance
more indirect object pronouns me te nous vous
MORE INDIRECT OBJECT PRONOUNS: ME/TE/NOUS/VOUS
  • Whilst lui/leur are used to replace to him/to her (third person pronouns), me/te/nous/vous are used to replace:

me to me (1st person singular pronoun)

te to you (2nd pers. singular pronoun)

nous to us (1st person plural pronoun)

vous to you (2nd person plural pronoun)

examples
EXAMPLES
  • He is speaking to me.

Il meparle.

  • He is speaking to you.

Il teparle.

  • He is speaking to us.

Il nousparle.

  • He is speaking to you (plural).

Il vousparle

position
POSITION
  • You can notice from the previous examples that the 1st and 2nd person pronouns me/te/nous/vous are also placed before the verb (here the verb ‘parler’) like the pronouns lui/leur.
  • Now let’s see where the pronouns are placed when there is more than one part to the verb in a sentence. How do you know before which part of the verb to place the pronoun?
position of pronouns in the future proche
POSITION OF PRONOUNS IN THE ‘FUTURE PROCHE’
  • In the ‘future proche’, the verb looks like this:

verb ‘aller’ (present tense) + infinitive

(first part of the verb) (second part)

In this case, the OBJECT pronoun will be placed in front of the INFINITIVE part of the verb. (This is not true for subject pronouns which always come before the conjugated part of the verb)!

Example: Here is the verb ‘parler’ conjugated in the futurproche

Il vaparler Il vateparler

slide23

The rule is:

When there is an infinitive in a sentence, the pronoun is placed BEFORE theinfinitive

This is also true when the verb is not conjugated in the ‘futurproche’ but is using an infinitive structure:

Example: with the verb ‘aimer’ in the construction ‘aimer + infinitive’

Il aimeparler Il aimemeparler

(He likes to speak) (He likes to speak to me)

entrainons nous
ENTRAINONS-NOUS!
  • Est-ce que tu vas nous téléphoner ce soir?Oui, . . . .

je vais voustéléphoner.

  • Est-ce que les étudiants m'écoutent?Oui, . . . .

ils t’écoutent.

  • Est-ce que nous te rencontrons à midi?Non, . . . .

vous ne merencontrez pas.

vous avez compris1
Vous avez-compris?
  • À vous de faire les exercices! (Nowitisyourturn to do the exercises on yourown): seeFinalsite for yourhomework instructions and exercisesheet.
  • Bonne chance
position of pronouns in the imperative
POSITION OF PRONOUNS IN THE IMPERATIVE
  • In the imperative, the pronoun is not placed before but AFTER THE VERB.

Example:

Envoieun message à Paul!

Envoielui un message!

  • However, in the negative, the pronoun is placed BEFORE THE VERB.

Example:

N’envoie pas de message à Paul!

Ne luienvoie pas de message!

position of pronouns in the passe compose
POSITION OF PRONOUNS IN THE PASSE COMPOSE
  • In the passé composé, the pronoun is placed BEFORE THE CONJUGATED PART OF THE VERB, that is, the auxiliary verb ‘avoir’ or ‘être’.

Example:

1) J’aienvoyé un message à Paul.

Je luiaienvoyé un message.

2) Je n’ai pas envoyé de message à Paul.

Je ne luiai pas envoyé de message.