"Elle lui lit un livre."
Translation:She reads him a book.
I'm lucky to see the text, because I'm 80% certain that 'lit' was never pronounced.
Since we say, "Elle lui lit un livre," why don't we say, "Elle moi lit un livre"? In another section, we were taught, "Elle me lit un livre." Or are both acceptable? Thank you.
Indirect object singular form: me, te, lui. Plural form nous, vous, leur.
Ordinarily, in English, the indirect object is preceded by a preposition. A more proper translation of this sentence would read She reads a book to him. The presence of me in its position in your sentence tells you that it is the first person singular indirect object which should be translated as... to me for accuracy.
Me also goes in front of the verb and is the first person singular direct object form as well as indirect. You have to look at the context to be sure whether it is direct or indirect. It is clear in these sentences the pronoun in front of the verb is indirect because the person must be reading a book not a another person.
In short, you don't use moi but must use me because the indirect object form is as described in the first sentence of this comment.
Any chance you could help explain when to use le/la to mean him/her as opposed to lui? Would this not work?: Elle la lit un livre?
Direct object = la - as in I saw her
Indirect object = lui - as in I read to her.
It is not necessary to actually include the to but it is grammatically present. Without the to physically present it becomes I read her the book. Either way her/lui is the indirect object.
If you wanted to say I read her like a book (referring to reading her state of mind or something) then her is the direct object and assumes the la form.
Elle lui lit un livre because she is reading a book tohim/her. You know it's to him/her because lui says that it is. (even though to isn't actually in the sentence)
First, make sure you have it straight in your mind about how it works in English before trying to suss it out in French.
Typical English construction:
Subject - verb - object.
Jim (subject) saw (verb) Tim (object). Jim saw Tom, Jim beat Don, Jim ignored Ron. The verbs and the objects changed but the subject did not. The subject is unaffected by the verb and the object. It's the same in French.
Now change the subjects and the objects to pronouns. He saw him, he saw her, he beat it, he ignored them. The subject stayed the same even though the verb and the object changed. It's the same in French.
He (subject) ignored (verb) Tom (direct object). Tom is the direct object. He spoke Tom doesn't make sense because some verbs in some situations can't take some direct objects. He can speak loudly, he can speak French (direct object) but he can't speak a person.
However, he can speak French to Tom. When he does French is the direct object and Tom is an indirect object. Tom is an object of the verb but only in an indirect way.
You probably knew all this but it helps to keep it very clear in the mind when looking for the differences in French.
One really big difference in French is that both direct and indirect object pronouns go in front of the verb. In English, pronouns keep the same position as the noun they replace which is usually after. In French, they are moved to in front of the verb. I like you becomes Je t'aime (the te is moved from after the verb to in front)
Another really big difference is that English pronouns keep their form regardless of whether they are direct or indirect objects. In English the subject form is he but both the direct and indirect object form is him.
In French, some of them change form, some do not. Direct object them/les becomes indirect object them/leur.
For this and a lot more see:
i am terrible at working out basics like subject/direct or indirect objects but if you wanted to say 'I read IT' would that mean it would be a direct object pronoun: je le lis OR je la lis? and the subject of it would be JE?
whereas I read TO her would be indirect - je lui lis is the subject still Je here?
Thanks again for taking the time to help! its true i am terrible at basic grammer in my own language so it is helpful when its broken down like that! hopefully it will click eventually I have copied what you wrote on to word to refer back to if I get confused again :)
I forgot to mention while the presence of a preceding preposition such as to or for is a big clue that it is an indirect object, it is not an absolute requirement. Sometimes you have to stop and think ...if I put a preposition in front of the noun or pronoun does it still makes sense. If so it is probably indirect.
Eg: I read a book to him. In this example to is waving a big flag saying indirect object.
Eg: I read him a book. You, in a moment of craziness, try putting to in front of him and discover that it means exactly the same thing. A not so obvious clue that him is an indirect object.
In both examples what you were reading was a book which makes it the direct object. In both examples you were reading a book to him (indirect object)
Enjoying the process of inserting to where it is not visible you place to in front of book eg: I read him to a book. That definitely changes the meaning of the sentence. Clearly, book can not be made into an indirect object in this simple example and still keep the meaning of the sentence.
Conclusion: book is the direct object and him is the indirect object of I read him a book. In French, him is moved to in front of the verb and assumes the indirect object form of lui. If a pronoun (it) was substituted for book it would go in front of the verb and assume the direct object masculine singular form le. (pronouns assume the gender and number of the noun they replace)
thanks again for the extra info I think your right i was getting confused when one came up where the word to/for wasn't necessarily present but with a little shuffle could be inserted to identify it was indirect! I was just realising that was the case but you have now provided some helpful confirmation! I think I am actually seeing the difference between direct and indirect now!
How about "le" and "la"? For example, is it "Il le comprend" or "Il lui comprend"? (He understands him.) Or "Il moi comprend" or "Il me comprend"? (He understands me.)
He understands him = Il le comprend (him/le = direct object)
He understands her = Il la comprend (her/la = direct object)
He understands me = Il me comprend (me/me = direct object; French 'me' can be both direct and indirect object, and in this context it is a direct object)
By the way, êtes-vous singapourienne?
I used 'she reads to herself a book' - any ideas as to why this was incorrect?