"I am going to ask them."

Translation:Je vais leur demander.

February 21, 2013

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i put "je vais les demander," but got it wrong Wouldn't this be the direct object, since I'm not asking TO or FOR them?


Only one possiblity with "I am going to ask them" => je vais LEUR demander (demander à = indirect object) = I am going to ask something TO them (leur/them = human beings able to answer the question)

The other possibility works differently: - je vais LES demander (demander + direct object) = I am going to ask FOR them (les/them = plural someone or something).


And what about eux? I don't understand the difference between eux, aux and leur! Especially eux and aux.


eux = them (masculin) --- versus --- elles = them (feminine)

however, aux = à les is another thing


Can't you say "Ils" for them (masculin), or is it always "eux"? And for them (feminine) do you just say "elles" or can you say "eux" also?


"ils" is exclusively used as single subject of the verb.

if the pronoun is placed after a preposition, it takes its "stressed" form "eux": pour eux, avec eux, sans eux...

"elles" has the same form as a single subject and as a stressed pronoun: pour elles, avec elles, sans elles...

Now, when the verb is constructed with preposition "à", the indirect object is placed in front of the verb and it takes its "indirect form":

  • I talk to them (lit. je parle à eux or je parle à elles ) = je leur parle (masc and fem)


Can there ever be: "Je vais demander a eux" ? & "Je vais demader a elles"?


Only in emphatic formulas, like "c'est à eux/elles que je vais demander".


How would you translate: " politicians don't like searching questions, BUT I AM GOING TO ASK THEM " (ie. questions )


"Les politiciens n'aiment pas les questions précises, mais je vais les leur poser"

Note: demander une question is not correct French.


Sitesurf, can you please explain to me all the different conjugations of leur? I would appreciate your help greatly


"Leur" can be a possessive adjective or an indirect object pronoun:

  • possessive adjective with two forms: singular or plural (same for masculine and feminine): Il/Elles voient leur frère / leurs frères / leur soeur / leurs soeurs

  • personal pronoun replacing "à + ils" or "à + elles", only in singular, and placed in front of verbs constructed with preposition "à": Je leur parle (I talk to them); je leur donne un biscuit (I give them a biscuit)


So leur refers to 'them' as well as 'their'?


leur can translate:

  • to them: "je leur parle" = I talk to them
  • their: "je vois leur chien et leurs chats"


So "leur" is the same as "eux"?


Pronoun "leur" is the form of "ils" or "elles" when the pronoun is placed in front of a verb constructed with preposition "à":

  • je leur parle (lit. je parle à eux/elles )= I am talking to them


If you ask someone about something you always use the construction "demander qc à qn". So the subject of your question is the direct object and the recipient is the indirect object.


For some reason, just seeing "demander qqch à qqn" made something in my brain click - thank you!


What is qc and qn? I need the help!


qc is an abbreviation of "quelque chose" and qn is an abbreviation of "quelqu'un". My teacher used them, I don't know if they're used elsewhere, but they're handy :)


"them" IS an indirect object here. The implied direct object in this sentence is "a question" and the preposition is "of". "I am going to ask them" is a shorter (and more common) way of saying "I am going to ask a question of them"


Why can't it be leurs demander if it's them?


"leurs" can only be a possessive pronoun. As an object pronoun, leur is invariable.


"leurs" can only be a possessive adjective (= their + plural noun)


Yes, of course, you're right!


What is wrong with 'Je leur vais demander'?


In futur proche (aller + infinitive), the object is to be placed between the conjugated form of aller and the infinitive.


Why can't I translate, I am going to ask them, to, Je vais demander elles?


"demander" is not transitive, which means that it needs a proposition: demander quelque chose à quelqu'un.

so when the "someone" is a pronoun, you have to place it in front of the verb and it has to adopt the variant of "ils" or "elles" as indirect objects:

je leur demande = I ask to them

in that case "leur" pronoun can mean "ils" or "elles" interchangeably (like them)


Why can't it be "Je vais demander à leur." ?


"leur" already contains "à" : à+ils = leur.


"leur" (when it is an object meaning "them"/"to them", and not the possessive meaning "their") is an indirect object pronoun, which is always placed before the verb. Some verbs and expressions don't allow object pronouns before the verb, in which case you have to use a stressed pronoun (the corresponding stressed pronoun to "leur" is "eux" except if there are only girls in the group in which case it's "elles"). http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/indirectobjects_2.htm http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/pronouns_stressed.htm Example from the links above: Fais attention à eux. But not "Je vais demander à eux".


Je vais demander eux?


With verbs constructed with preposition "à", the pronoun is placed in front of the verb.

In that case: je vais leur demander (leur being the indirect form of ils and elles)

With other prepositions, you will use "eux" for "ils" and "elles" for "elles":

je vais avec eux (with them - males or a mix of males & females) or je vais avec elles (all females).


Je vais eux demander?


shouldn't it be "Je vais le leur demander" I thought French would not allow an indirect object without a direct object.


You are right, it is better French to use "le" as well.


No, see above for explanations.


I said "Je vais démander aux eux" on the basis of démander à qq pluralised. Does that just not work?


The spelling is "demander à quelqu'un" (no acute accent on the 1st -e)

Je vais demander aux has to be followed by a plural noun:

  • Je vais demander aux (à+les = to the) garçons = I am going to ask the boys

When the "quelqu'un" is a pronoun and not a noun, the form is "leur" and the placement is in front of the verb:

  • Je vais leur demander = I am going to ask them.

"Eux" is a stressed pronoun that you can use only in specific cases:

  • short questions: Pourquoi eux ? (why them?)
  • short answers: Ce sont eux ! (It's them!)
  • as a multiple subject: Eux et moi sommes amis (They and I are friends)
  • after a preposition: Je pars avec eux, pour eux, malgré eux...
  • for emphasis: C'est à eux que je vais demander (It's them I am going to ask)


A very detailed and clear explanation. Many thanks.


No. And "aux" is a contraction of à + les so "aux eux" means something like "to the them".


None of the comments below address the option "je vais demander à eux", which is accepted by both Google and Bing translate. However, I gave that response and it was rejected.


You can't judge correctness based on a machine translation tool (except maybe if you are talking about Lojban), but if you google the phrase "demander à eux" you'll find that you can add "à eux" for additional emphasis, but you still need to have "leur" in the original sentence ("je vais leur demander [à eux]").


Tack. I am aware of the limitations of computerized translations, but it's the closest I can come to checking the accuracy of my translations. (By the way, what or who is "Lojban"?)


Of course. One alternative is googling the phrase you are unsure of in quotes. That will tell you if it is being used, although it has to be the simplest possible variation. Lojban is a constructed language built on predicate logic and easily parsable by a computer, you should check it out!


Would "Je vais les poser." be acceptable?

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