Lesson 27 – Disjunctive Pronouns

Leçon 27 – Les Pronoms Disjoints

My last post I touched a little bit on the subject of disjunctive pronouns, and then I realised that I never actually made a full post on the subject. So here we are!

So what’s a disjunctive pronoun exactly? It’s a stressed form of a pronoun that emphasizes a noun or pronoun that refers to a person.

There is one form of the disjunctive pronoun corresponding to each subject pronoun:

Subject Pronoun

Disjunctive Pronoun

je

moi

tu

toi

il

lui

elle

elle

on

soi

nous

nous

vous

vous

ils

eux

elles

elles

The disjunctive pronoun soi also corresponds to the indefinite subject pronouns chacun, tout le monde, and personne.

The main circumstances in which the disjunctive pronouns are used to emphasize the subject of the verb (noun or conjunctive subject pronoun).

  • Moi, j’aime bien voyager, mais mon frère, lui, préfère rester à la maison.
  • Personally, I love travelling, but my brother prefers to stay at home.

It may occur for emphasis:

  • Immediately before the subject
  • Immediately after the subject if the subject is a noun
  • At the end of the clause if the subject is a pronoun
    • Tu vas souvent, toi?
    • Do you go there often?

The third person disjunctive forms – lui, elle, eux, elles – may stand before the verb in place of the conjunctive subject pronoun for emphasis. However, in the first and second person, the conjunctive pronoun must also be included.

  • Eux sont partis.
  • They’ve left
  • Vous, vous restez?
  • Are you staying?

The disjunctive pronoun must be used after a preposition, and after comme or que in a comparison.

  • Je suis parti avant eux.
  • I left before them.
  • Comme toi, je n’aurais pas pu le faire sans elle.
  • Like you, I couldn’t have done it without her.
  • Philippe est plus grand que lui.
  • Philippe is bigger than him.

When a pronoun is required to replace the prepositions à/de + noun, the conjunctive pronouns lui, leur, y, en should be used if possible. However, the construction de + animate noun (ex: person) is replaced by de + disjunctive pronoun.

  • Tu dois te méfier de Philippe / de lui.
  • You should beware of Philippe / of him.

The construction à + animate noun (ex: person) is replaced by à + disjunctive pronoun after a reflexive verb.

  • Vous pouvez faire appel à eux pour la musique.
  • You can call on them for the music.
  • On ne peut pas se fier à toi.
  • We can’t trust you. / You cannot be trusted.

The disjunctive pronoun is used when either two pronouns or a noun and a pronoun are the subject of a verb.

  • Lui et elle sont partis.
  • He and she have left.
  • Lui et ma sœur se connaissent déjà.
  • He and my sister already know each other.

The disjunctive pronoun is joined to même(s) by a hyphen to give the forms “myself”, “yourself”, etc.

  • moi-même – myself
  • toi-même – yourself
  • soi-même – oneself
  • nous-mêmes – ourselves
  • vous-mêmes – yourselves
  • eux-mêmes – themselves
  • elles-mêmes – themselves

Ils l’ont fait eux-mêmes – They did it to themselves.


Next week I will cover a topic I touched a bit in this lesson. So if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to comment and ask.

Have a great week, everyone!

À bientôt !

Courtney

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5 thoughts on “Lesson 27 – Disjunctive Pronouns

  1. Pingback: Lesson 28 – Conjunctive Personal Pronouns | Learn French Avec Moi

    • You’re welcome! “On va chez soi.” Everyone is going home. “Confiance en soi.” Self confident. “La conscience du soi.” Self awareness.
      I hope that helps!

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