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  5. "We just told her."

"We just told her."

Translation:Nous venons de le lui dire.

April 14, 2018



Why is "nous venons de la dire" incorrect? Doesn't "la" already refer to "her", making "lui" unnecessary?


We say "dire à quelqu'un" , and in COI "lui dire", or "leur dire" for plural. The le in this case I think stands for 'it', to make the sentence something like We just said it to her.


Apparently the two meanings/translations need to be clarified.

We just SAID it. ..... Nous venons de la dire. ...... Here, "la" is "it".

We just TOLD it to her/him. ...... Nous venons de le lui dire. ...... Here "le" is "it" and "lui" is "to him/her".

It's useful to know the preferred forms. Merci !

The imprecision of "lui" still bugs me. It it "to her" or "to him"?


me too. I have this problem. I think we were taught for indirect objects "elle: her" and "lui: him". But here the sentence used lui for her. So confusing!!!


The indirect object "lui" stands for "à+il" or "à+elle", so it can refer to "him" or "her".

This is an extract of the Tips & Notes about indirect pronouns, from Tree3:

French has three sets of personal object pronouns: direct object pronouns (from "Pronouns 1"), indirect object pronouns, and disjunctive pronouns.

English Direct Object Indirect Object Disjunctive
me me me moi
you (familiar sing.) te te toi
him le lui lui
her la lui elle
us nous nous nous
you (formal sing. or plur.) vous vous vous
them (masc.) les leur eux
them (fem.) les leur elles

Notice that only the third-person pronouns differ between direct and indirect objects.

Indirect Objects

As you learned in "Verbs: Present 2", indirect objects are nouns that are indirectly affected by a verb; they are usually introduced by a preposition.

  • Il écrit une lettre à Mireille. — He is writing a letter to Mireille.
  • Vous pouvez parler aux juges. — You can talk to the judges.
  • Elle parle de son amie. — She is talking about her friend.

A personal indirect object pronoun can replace à + indirect object. For instance, the first two examples above could be changed to the following:

  • Il lui écrit une lettre. — He is writing a letter to her.
  • Vous pouvez leur parler. — You can talk to them.

Also, il faut can take an indirect object pronoun to specify where the burden falls.

  • Il lui faut manger. — He has to eat. / She has to eat.
  • Il nous faut le croire. — We have to believe it/him. / It is necessary for us to believe it/him.


Complément d’Objet Indirect = indirect object


There is no "la", only "le", referring to what was said to her (lui). What I would like to know is do we need to use "le" since it doesn't appear in the English sentence ("We just told her" - my answer "Nous venons de lui dire" was marked as incorrect)


It now accepts all of

  • Nous venons de le lui dire
  • Nous venons de la lui dire
  • Nous venons de lui dire

"lui" is "her" and "le"/"la" is "it.


Merci . Vous m'aidez. Ici est une lingo pour vous.


Hmm, it did mark "Nous venos de la lui dire" as correct for me. So I'm assuming "la" then refers to whatever it is we told her (which can thus be both feminine or masculine)? Which then would indeed imply that "Nous venons de lui dire" should be correct, I think, but maybe you can't say it like that in French?


Yes, you can.

The important object is the indirect object "her/lui" in this sentence, and the direct object "it = le/la" is secondary.


Dear Sitesurf - regarding your reply to Vinnl's query about "Nous venons de lui dire" - I tried this but it was marked incorrect - did I misunderstand your post?


We usually add an object with the verb "dire": "Nous venons de le lui dire". However, in spoken French, you can omit it and that was my message to Vinnl.


Because in French we say "dire à" = to say to someone. And "à (someone)" is always replaced with lui. It's just one of those verbs.. Here's a good site with more verbs that do this... https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/verbs-with-a/


Aaah, merci. C'est une bonne réponse.


"Nous venons de lui dire..." pourquoi est-ce refusé en traduction de "We just told her " ? Merci.


French is remarkably imprecise, and using "lui" for "to him", "to her", or "to it" is one of those. Similarly, using "le" for "he" or "it" is another.


I am often inclined to agree. I wonder if deeper study should rid us of this impression


The same question, i don't see "it" in English sentence, but then it magically appears in French


So there's no it in this sentence


Having some better "help" on the expections for this would be of value.


"Nous venons de le lui dire"

"We come from telling/saying it to her/him"

(The telling action just/ already took place).

is a more word by word, understandable and not too ackward translation.

It also reflects the present/immediate past tense we are learning on this lesson.


Jan 16th. 2019.

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