A Lesson About Direct/Indirect Object Pronouns

Hello everyone, I hope that you all are doing well today. I had nothing to do because I don't have any homework right now, so I tried to make you all a lesson about French direct/indirect object pronouns. This will be my first lesson that I have made and can surely be improved, but that is why I want to hear your opinions and thoughts on how to improve either by using certain words so as to be more understandable or by using a few examples that are clearer. I am happy to make this lesson for you all and wish that you will leave well informed by the time you have read it. Tell me if you see a fault in my spelling or grammar please :)

Indirect Object Pronouns

Starting off with the indirect object pronouns, they are "Lui/Leur/Te/Vous/Me/Nous" in French while they're "(to) Him/(to) Her/(to) Them/(to) You/(to) You all/(to) Me/(to) Us" in English.

Lui = (To) Him/(To) Her/(To) Them (Person of unknown sex)

Leur = (To) Them (A group of two or more people not including you)

Te/T' (Before a word that starts with a vowel or a mute "h") = (To) You (The person that you're speaking with)

Vous = (To) You/(To) You All (The person/people that you're speaking to)

Me/M' (Before a word that starts with a vowel or a mute "h") = (To) Me

Nous = (To) Us (A group of two or more people including you)

Placement of the indirect object pronoun: Unlike in English, there are certain orders in which you have to place these pronouns. Here is a list of the orders that you must follow. If you use two words that are in the same list, the order is optional. All of these words come before the words below them. For example, you cannot say "Je lui les ai servi;" you must say "Je les lui ai servi."

Pronoun Order

5: Me/Te/Se/Nous/Vous - Direct/Indirect Objects

4: Le/La/Les - Direct Objects

3: Lui/Leur - Indirect Objects

2: Y - Preposition replacement (other uses that I'll have to make a lesson on to be clearer)

1: En - "De" replacement (other uses that I'll have to make a lesson on to be clearer)

A Few Examples

I sent the letter to him = Je lui ai envoyé la lettre

I sent him the letter = Je lui ai envoyé la lettre

I gave the toy to her = Je lui ai donné le jouet

I gave her the toy = Je lui ai donné le jouet

I threw the ball to them = Je leur ai lancé le ballon

I threw them the ball = Je leur ai lancé le ballon

I serve you a fish = Je te/vous servis un poisson

I serve a fish to you = Je te/vous servis un poisson

That is very useful to me = Ça m'est très utile

Direct Object Pronouns

The pronouns are "Le/La/Les/Te/Vous/Me/Nous" in French while they're "It/That/Him/Her/Them/You/You All/Me/Us" in English. Just like the indirect object pronouns, these must be placed in a certain order. Refer to the list above titled "pronoun order" to see the rules.

Le (Masculine word)/La (Feminine word)= It/That

Le = Him/Them (Person of unknown sex)/Gerund replacement

La = Her

Les = Them (A group of two or more objects and/or people)

Te (Informal) = You (The person that you're speaking to)

Vous (Formal/You All) = You/You All (The person/People that you're speaking to)

Me = Me

Nous = Us (A group of two or more people including me)

A Few Examples

I love you all = Je vous aime

I know them = Je les connais

I knew that already = Je le savais déjà

I serve you = Je te/vous servis

He made us laugh = Il nous a fait rire

Reflexive Direct/Indirect Object Pronouns

When a direct/indirect object pronoun is reflexive, the word doesn't change unless it is "Lui/Leur/Le/La/Les." These become the reflexive direct/indirect object pronoun "se."

Reflexives pronouns can also mean "Each other" depending on the context of a sentence. The reflexive pronouns that can turn into "Each other" are "Vous/Nous/Se (When speaking about two or more people or when using the subject pronoun "on" to mean "us").

Se = Itself/Themself (Person of unknown sex)/Themselves/Each Other (Use explained above)/Himself/Herself

Te (Informal)/Vous (Formal/You all) = Yourself/Yourselves

Me = Myself

Nous = Ourselves (A group of two or more people including me)/Each Other (Use explained above)

A Few Examples

You should love yourself = Vous/Tu devriez/devrais vous/t'aimer

They love each other = Ils s'aiment

We wash ourselves = Nous nous lavons

They killed themselves = Ils se sont suicidés

Give yourselves a pat on the back = Donnez-vous une tape dans le dos

Giving Commands/Using the Imperative in French

When you give someone an order/request using an imperative clause, the direct and indirect object pronouns "Te/Me" change into their stressed forms, "Toi/Moi" unless they follow y or en, in which case they become "M'/T'." Similarly to English, the object pronouns in the imperative must come after the verb. You must space words in a written imperative with a hiphen, "-."

If you're using a negative imperative, the object pronouns should be placed in the same order as in the "Pronoun Order" chart above, but when using the affirmative imperative (not negative), there is a different set of word order rules. Like the other chart, all of these words come before the words below them; if you use two words on the same row of words, the placement is optional.

Affirmative Imperative Pronoun Order

5: Le/La/Les

4: Moi ou M'/Toi ou* T'/Lui

3: Nous/Vous/Leur

2: Y

1: En

A Few Examples

Don't send them to me = N'envoies-moi-les pas

Send them to me = Envoies-les-moi

Come to me = Viens-moi

Hand it to me = Transmets-le-moi

(You) Go away = Va-T'en

Negative Verbs in Conjunction With Object Pronouns

As you may have noticed, when using a negative verb with a direct/indirect object pronoun, the "ne + negative modifier" always encompasses/surrounds the object pronouns.

A Few Examples

I haven't finished it yet = Je ne l'ai pas encore fini

I never gave him the pencil = Je ne lui ai jamais donné le crayon

Past Tense Usage of Direct Object Pronouns: Agreement

As you all probably know, things have genders in French, and here we have yet another thing to worry about because of them, agreement with past participles. When you're using a direct object pronoun with a verb in the past tense (not including the imparfait or passé simple), you must add the appropriate letters to the past participle.

If the object/person is singular and masculine - fine as is

If the object/person is singular and feminine - add and "e" to the past participle

If the objects/people are masculine - add an "s" to the past participle (take note that a group with any number of girls and one male is still a masculine group of people)

If the objects/people are feminine - add an "es" to the past participle

The exception to this rule is when you use the word "on" to mean "us," using the word "se" to mean "each other." If you use it this way, no extra letters are needed. You also never add letters to the past participles "fait" or "laissé" if they come right before an infinitive

A Few Examples

I didn't eat them = Je ne les ai pas mangés (masculine group)

You had it = Tu l'as eue (feminine noun)

He threw it = Il l'a lancé() (masculine noun)

You ate them all = Vous les avez tout mangées (feminine group)

We washed ourselves = nous nous sommes lavés (masculilne group)

If any of you have any questions or concerns, feel free to ask! I hope this was helpful to you and that you have a nice day.

April 24, 2016


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