Le/Les/Lui/Leur/Eux/Elles: Different Types of Object Pronouns
I got bogged down by the difference between le and lui, so I figured I'd share the difference to save others some time. Simply put, object pronouns are either for direct objects or for indirect objects.
- A direct object is the thing being acted upon. When you love Bob, Bob is the direct object.
- An indirect object is something you do the action to or for. When you throw a ball to Bob, Bob is the indirect object (and the ball is the direct object). Generally, in English, indirect objects need a preposition while direct objects don't.
It's pretty easy once you figure that out. Only the third-person object pronouns change between direct and indirect forms.
- Direct object pronouns: me | te | le/la | nous | vous | les
- Indirect object pronouns: me | te | lui | nous | vous | leur
For instance, in the case of les vs leur, les is a direct object, while leur is an indirect object.
- Direct: "Je les aime" = "I love them"
- Indirect: "Je leur donne la photo" = "I gave the photo to them"
- FYI, lui and leur should only be used for animate objects (people and animals). For anything else, use y.
There are also stressed pronouns (or disjunctive pronouns). These emphasize a pronoun or follow prepositions.
- Stressed pronouns: moi | toi | lui/elle | soi (oneself) | nous | vous | eux/elles.
- Lui/eux are masculine and elle/elles are feminine.
These are more complicated, but are usually used in the following situations:
- Emphasizing a pronoun.
- Affirmative imperative sentences. "Show me" = "montrez-moi".
- When asking or answering questions.
- After prepositions. "In/to her house" is "chez elle" because chez is a special preposition.
- With emphatic words like aussi. Moi aussi.
There's just one more object pronoun: the reflexive pronoun, se. This is used with all third-person pronominal verbs (see link). Reflexive pronouns are the same as direct object pronouns except in the third-person.
- Reflexive pronouns: me / te / se / nous / vous / se
- Se becomes s' in front of vowels and mute H's.
Merci beaucoup! This helped so much. :D I tried googling the difference between these pronouns but all the explanations were so confusing. But this explains everything really clearly and simply. I finally know when to use these pronouns, and the difference between a direct and indirect object. Thanks again :)
@sitesurf, Does Duolingo have a lesson on stressed pronouns? I find the content at the link that you shared (https://www.thoughtco.com/french-stressed-pronouns-1368932) too complex too understand.
Für alle Deutschsprachigen:
Versucht einfach, dieses Konzept vom Deutschen aus zu begreifen, die Englischsprachler haben in ihrer Grammatik keine Unterscheidung dieser Objekte, wir schon ;D
Das direkte Objekt ist das Akkusativobjekt. Wen oder was liebe / werfe ich? // 4. Fall
Das indirekte Objekt ist das Dativobjekt. Wem werfe ich etwas zu? // 3. Fall
Wenn man also im Deutschen den Dativ / den 3. Fall nutzen würde, verwendet man lui und leur, nutzte man hingegen im Deutschen den Akkusativ / den 4. Fall, so sind le, la oder les notwendig.
LG René =)
I am native Spanish speaker, and thanks to Duolingo, I could not just understand what you wrote, but also I know that this part of the grammar is easier to learn to german speakers because of the for cases and you have them very well identified. Merci pour cette information, und danke dir Mein Herr.
I have the impression that this is wrong: Affirmative imperative sentences. "Show me" = "montrez-moi". If it was elle, it would be "montrez-lui", not "montrez-elle". Those are still indirect object pronouns, but me becomes moi and te becomes toi in imperative sentences.