"I do not have the hats. I returned them to you."
Translation:Je n'ai pas les chapeaux. Je vous les ai rendus.
Well, for anyone who has the same problem organizing the order of pronouns like I:
me, te, nous, vous, (me, te, nous, vous)
le, la, les, (le, la, les)
lui et leur (lui et leur)
y et en (y et en)
Omigosh, I never actually realized that the direct and indirect objects swap around like that, depending on which person is referred to. I have heard/read enough French that I do hear the "rightness" of the correct order, but when I start actually thinking about this stuff, I stop being able to tell. Whew.
Does this mean that when an indirect object is a pronoun we can't use the à + indirect object form to mean "to me/you/him/her/us/them"?
I may have found an answer: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/indirectobjects_2.htm
When the direct object, here "les", is before the verb, the verb changes endings to match the gender and number of the direct object. "Rendus" has an "s" because "les" is plural and is before the verb. In the sentence "J'ai rendu les chapeaux", the direct object ("les chapeaux") is after the verb, so "rendu" does not change to match. In the sentence "Je les ai rendus", the direct object ("les") is before the verb so the verb changes to match. Even in the sentence "Les chapeaux que j'ai rendus", the direct object ("les chapeaux") is before the verb so the verb changes to match.
Uhmm...Sitesurf, who is a moderator, just said there was nothing wrong with the answer tpamm gave. She said it is indeed an accepted answer and suggested that maybe there may have been something else wrong with what tpamm wrote previously since there is nothing wrong with the proposed answer above. I am confused about your question since it follows Sitesurf's very post that was a response to tpamm on this matter.
Since the verb is constructed with the preposition "à", the indirect object (vous) must be placed between the subject and the direct object (les): je vous les ai retournés.
Also, the past participle has to agree with the direct object, as it is placed before the verb: "les" is masculine plural, and so is the past participle: retournés.
Please help! The correct answer was -- Je n'ai pas les chapeaux. Je vous les ai retournés. But I thought retourner used être in the passé composé?
I tried looking it up on the internet, but found it conjugated both ways. Les-verbes.com says: * Passé composé: j'ai retourné, tu as retourné, il a retourné, . . .* But another site -- leconjugueur.lefigaro.fr -- says: * Passé composé: je suis retourné, tu es retourné, il est retourné, . . . *
I'm confused. If either construction can be correct, how is it decided which one to use? Does it reflect a change in meaning?
"Retourner" has 2 main meanings:
- to turn something upside down/sideways: auxiliary "avoir"
- to come/go back to a place: auxiliary "être"
To return something (to someone/to a place) = rendre, renvoyer, rapporter
To return to a place = rentrer, retourner, revenir
"I returned them to you" is best translated to "je vous/te les ai rendus/renvoyés/rapportés".
"je vous/te les ai retournés" is very rarely used to mean "I returned them to you" because the 3 other verbs are unambiguous.
This is passé composé: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/passecompose.htm
In a negative sentence, "de" replaces the indefinite or partitive article:
- j'ai un chapeau -- je n'ai pas de chapeau
- j'ai des chapeaux -- je n'ai pas de chapeaux
- j'ai du pain -- je n'ai pas de pain
But this does not apply to definite articles, because the object has to remain specific:
- j'ai le chapeau -- je n'ai pas le chapeau
- j'ai les chapeaux -- je n'ai pas les chapeaux