"I cannot forget them."

Translation:Je ne peux pas les oublier.

April 7, 2013

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I wrote "leur" instead of "les". How does one know when to use these two words for "them"?


I think the easiest way would be to ask yourself : What happens if you use the singular ?

  • "I cannot forgive them" >>> "I cannot forgive him/her" >>> "Je ne peux pas lui pardonner" >>> "leur"
  • "I cannot bite them" >>> "I cannot bite him/her/it" >>> "Je ne peux pas le/la mordre" (don't forget the "l' " if the verb starts with a vowel) >>> "les"


Thank you. I understand what you say but guess I need to know whether I would use lui or le for each verb.


HAHA ! I'm so dumb ! you're completely right, this doesn't help at all xD.

Well to make it short : it depends if "them" is the direct object in the sentence or not.

"I eat them." You eat what ? them = direct object = "je les mange."

"I tell them." You tell what ? something. You tell something to who ? them = indirect object = "Je leur dit".

I don't know if it covers everything, because there are a lot of exceptions in French, but I think it should do it for most cases. Please try it out and if you struggle with an example tell me, I'll try to explain it.


You are very kind, that makes a lot of sense. Thanks.


Possibly a dumb question, but could "eux" be appropriate instead of "les" in this sentence? I attempted it, and was denied, but wanted to check with the experts here first. Thank you in advance.


No it can't. In general "eux" and "les" are not interchangeable.

There is a table on this link that might help you.



Can it be 'Je ne peux pas les laisser tomber'?


No, "laisser tomber quelqu'un" in the figurative sense means "to let someone unassisted" or "to leave someone when he/she needs us".

"laisser tomber quelqu'un" in the literal sense means to drop someone that you're carrying.

"laisser tomber quelque chose" in the figurative sense means "to drop something" (a topic in a discussion for example).

"laisser tomber quelque chose" in the literal sense means to drop something that you're carrying.

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