"I am going to send him the game."

Translation:Je vais lui envoyer le jeu.

November 8, 2017

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I still just don't get the word order rules.


The order is basically the same as in English [Subject + Modal verb + Infinitive verb + Direct Object]. The only difference is with the objects that are pronouns (him/her/them...). In English, it still follows the verb (I love my mother => I love her), while in French, it goes before the meaningful verb (J'aime ma mère => Je l'aime). It's the same here (I am going to send to my friend = I am going to send him) becomes (Je vais envoyer à mon ami = Je vais lui envoyer) since the meaningful verb here is 'send'= 'envoyer'.


Is it also acceptable to say 'Je vais l'envoyer ' in this case, using 'le' instead of 'lui'?


No, that doesn't work. Je vais l'envoyer means I'm going to (physically) send it. "Lui" replaces "à quelqu'un," it is the indirect object pronoun. You can send a package, je vais l'envoyer, (direct object pronoun) but you can't send your friend through the mail (indirect object pronoun). Instead you mail it to him. Je vais lui envoyer le jeu.

Use lui to replace à quelqu'un. Je parle à Robert. Je lui parle.

  • Note that lui as an indirect object pronoun means him or her.
    me, te, lui, leur, nous, vous are the indirect object pronouns

Lastly, English and French do not correlate perfectly with what is a direct object and what is an indirect object, so there will be times you just have to memorize which verbs take a preposition. Example: In English we look for someone. In French on cherche quelqu'un, no preposition. Therefore you write: je le cherche, not lui!


dam so we're just supposed to memorize when to use le,la,les instead of lui. and also in the case of elles,ils for leur?


Not just memorize it by rote but we do need to understand how object pronouns work and that there are some differences in French direct objects pronouns and indirect object pronouns. After all, we're way past the stage of "le chat est noir" here and there are really a lot of different things to remember.


I'm wondering this too. I was marked wrong for "je vais l'envoyer le jeu" and it says I must use 'lui'?


Yes, you must use lui here. For example: Je vais envoyer le jeu à mon ami. Je vais lui envoyer le jeu. Lui replaces à (quelqu'un), the indirect object.

What is being sent? le jeu = direct object
To whom? à mon ami = indirect object

"Je vais l'envoyer" means you are physically sending l' or "it" (whatever that pronoun happens to replace). l' can replace "le jeu". Je vais l'envoyer à mon ami. I am sending it to my friend.


How do you know what is a direct object and what is an indirect object in this sentence?


The thing or person that a verb is physically acting upon is the direct object. The verb here is "to send/envoyer." In this case the thing physically being sent is "the game/le jeu." The indirect object is the person (or thing) impacted by the direct object. Who is the game being sent to? Him/lui.


What about I am going to sent him home - would it be Je vais lui envoyer la maison?


If he is the one being physically sent home then he becomes the direct object. That is le or l'.

Je vais l'envoyer chez lui OR à la maison.

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