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Elles or Ils

Struggling to differientiate the difference between Elles and ils, they are both used as "they" but do they just pertain to masculine and feminine subjects?

April 6, 2020



Yes. Elles is they and all female. Ils is they with at least one male.


Just use Elles when you are talking about ONLY women or girls in the sentence. Ils are use when there are only men or a mixed of women and men.

For example: -They (women) drink coffee (Elles boivent du café). -They (men) work in Paris (Ils travaillent à Paris). -They (mixed = women and men or men and a girl or girls and a guy) have a cat and a dog (Ils ont un chat et un chien).

[deactivated user]

    Which is all true, but misses the point - you are ignoring the fact that there is no neuter gender in French and that everything animate and inanimate has either male or female linguistic gender - not just people. So, talking about where the chairs are? Elles sont dans la salle à manger; want to talk about the cutlery? Le couteau et la fourchette? Ils sons dans le tiroir!

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