Leçon 9 – French Pronouns – Les Pronoms
French pronouns is a very broad topic in French, and it can be rather overwhelming and confusing for the student to grasp all that is being presented to them. In this lesson I will be discussing the basics on pronouns. Since this subject is quite large, I will more than likely be splitting this into multiple blog posts.
Pronouns stand in place of a noun. One of their main functions is to allow the speaker to avoid repeating a noun which has already been used. Pronouns usually occur as the subject, object, or indirect object of a verb, or after a preposition.
Conjunctive pronouns can act as the subject, direct object, or indirect object of a verb.
➡ Il va arriver. (Il = subject of verb)
➡ Je vous verrai ce soir. (Vous = direct object of verb)
➡ Elle doit leur parler. (Leur = indirect object of verb; i.e. to them)
The form of the subject pronoun is different from that of the object pronoun in all persons except nous & vous. The forms of the direct object and indirect object pronouns differ only in the third person singular and plural.
Je – I
Tu – You
Il – He/It
Elle – She/It
Nous – We
Vous – You
Ils – They (masculine)
Elles – They (feminine)
Me – Me
Te – You
Le – Him/It
La – Her/It
Nous – Us
Vous – You
Les – Them (masculine & feminine)
Me – To me
Te – To you
Lui – To him/her / To it
Nous – To us
Vous – To you
Leur – To them (masculine & feminine)
Order and position of conjunctive pronouns
➡ Conjunctive subject pronouns always precede the verb
– Nous connaissons ton père.
➡ Conjunctive object pronouns always immediately precede the verb
– Ils vous les enverront.
Use of the pronoun Y.
Y is a pronoun which only refers to inanimate concrete nouns (i.e. things, places), or abstract nouns. It is never used to refer to people.
Y replaces the preposition à + inanimate concrete / abstract noun.
Y is used whatever the gender or number of the noun replaced.
➡ Tu vas à Paris ? -Oui, j’y vais demain.
– Y replaces Paris.
➡ J’ai entendu le téléphone, mais je n’ai pas eu le temps d’y répondre.
– Y répondre = répondre au téléphone