"Je les aime" = "I love them", why "them"?

"Je les aime" = "I love them" why "them"?

Is it just a phrase or is there a (grammatical) reason why the translation "I love" is wrong and they leaf away "them" in the french?

June 20, 2012


Depends on the context and what "les" is refering to. Suppose you see flowers: "Je vois des fleurs. Je les aime." I see flowers. I like them.

Them is the flowers.

But just saying: "I love" doesn't make much sense, does it? You love something. Or maybe it would make sense in a literary or poetic sense, just wanting to stress the act of loving. But it's used pretty rarely in that sense. So you love something.

"J'aime la fille. Je l'aime." "J'aime les fleurs. Je les aime."

June 20, 2012

'les' can be both an article and a pronoun. In this case it means 'them'.

June 20, 2012

"L'", "Le", "La", "Les" are both "definite articles" (translated as THE) AND 3rd person direct object pronoun (translated as HER, HIM, IT or THEM). Example:

"Pourquoi préfères-tu les pommes cortland?" "Je les préfères parce qu'elles sont polyvalentes. On peux les manger cru ou cuite en tarte."

In the question the "Les" is the definite article. In the answer the "Les" is the pronouns.

In your question "Je les aime." the LES is a pronoun, and so it translates to "I love them." However, if I were to say "J'aime les pommes." it would translate to "I love apples." because LES in this case is the definite article.

I hope this makes sense...

June 20, 2012

The is the plural of the pronoun "the". If you love some set of things, you would refer to the set as "them". It also must be noted that French is, by nature, a completely separate language with a completely different set of rules both in grammar and understanding. There are a lot of things within the language that just don't make sense to us native english speakers but that are completely natural ot those fluent in French.

June 20, 2012

You would never say "Je écris". The contraction avoids the double sounded vowel. You'll see it with singular definite articles (Le, La become L' - note that Les does not contract because you create a liaison between the s and the vowel so Les éléphants sounds like Les zéléphants... However if you were speaking in the singular, it would be L'éléphant.).

You'll also see it with pronouns like Je, Me/Ma, Te/Ta, Se/Sa. So Je suis is not Je ai but J'ai; Tu me donnes is not Tu me apportes but Tu m'apportes...

(And YES! We can very much so hear the difference.)

I hope this helps.

June 20, 2012

Les is most commonly used as an article, but it can be used as a pronoun. Just saying "I love" might make sense in poetry, to stress the act. however, it does not make sense in literature or the spoken word.

October 11, 2013

Offcourse it doesn't make a lot of sense. I am just trying to understand the language. According to duolingo "les" doesn't mean "them" but "the" that is what confuses me. It seems like the "them"is droped in the french and instead there is an extra "the".

June 20, 2012

Je les aime (Very close to the Spanish form "Yo las amo") is using the plural form of "Le/La", so "les" refers to the plural of the particular object being used (example of that particular object can be anything like: "les femmes" or "them"). So basically it is "I love them (the women), like: I love the women. Hopefully you understand my explanation. Have a great day!

Note: Je l'aime - for singular objects (I love it/ I love that) Je les aime - for plural/ for groups (indicating "them") - Example: I love apples (Do you love the apples? Yes, I love them!)

June 20, 2012

Thanks a lot everybody. Your a great help.

Les can be a pronoun and an article. Got it. :)

Maybe you can help me with another question.

it is a "Listen and type in French" task: The answer: "J'écris une lettre."

I got it wrong becasue i wrote: "Je écris une lettre"

I think i hear that the "é" of "écris" is droped when saying: "J'écris une lettre."

But i wonder if you could say "Je écris une lettre" as well. Wouldn't that be wrong? If not, can you hear a differnce between "Je écris" and "J'écris".

June 20, 2012

they never say "Je écris" it's always "J'écris" don't ask me why, it just is, but I think it is because it's more fluent...

December 19, 2013

Joli7211 it does help. Thank you.

June 21, 2012

In French, pronouns almost always precede verbs, except for the case of Imperative affirmative, for exp: "attendez moi" (await me!) , the pronoun follow the verb. But in negation, everything becomes normal: ne m'attendez pas (don't await me) .

June 22, 2012

"riche" is peaceful and wealthy how?

April 24, 2013

Quoi? Thumbs up for franc(c thingy underneath)aise!

October 11, 2013

Les replaces the direct object, aka "them" (whatever you're talking about). You place that before the auxiliary verb, and you have Je les aime.

May 14, 2013

yeah ur right

February 5, 2014
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