Archive | May 2017

Object Pronouns – Indirect Object Pronouns

Welcome back to part two of object pronouns! You can find part one here.

An indirect object is the person to whom or for whom an action is done. It is connected to its verb by the preposition à.

J’écris à Jean. | I write (toJean.


Les élèves parlent au professeur. | The students talk to the professor.


Nous donnons des cadeaux à nos amis. | We give gifts to our friends.


The French indirect object pronouns refer only to people. Lui may mean either to/for him or to/for her, depending on the context.

 

Indirect Object Pronouns

 
 

singular

plural

first person

me

nous

second person

te

vous

third person

lui

leur

The indirect object pronouns follow the same rules for position as the direct object pronouns.

Ce chapeau vous va très bien. | That hat looks very good on you.

Il vous plaît ? | Do you like it?


Et Marion ? Elle a faim ? | What about Marion? Is she hungry?

Oui, je lui prépare un sandwich. | Yes, I’m making a sandwich for her.


Je vais leur téléphoner ce soir. | I’m going to call them this evening.

S’ils ne sont pas là, te peux leur laisser un message au répondeur. | If they’re not there, you can leave them a message on the answering machine.


I hope everyone is having a good week!

Merci à vous !

Courtney

Object Pronouns – Direct Object Pronouns

A direct object is the person or thing that receives the action of a verb.

Je vois Camille. | I see Camille.


Nous ne voyons pas le magasin. | We don’t see the store.


Je lis mon livre. | I read my book.


Elle porte ses lunettes. | She’s wearing her glasses.

In order to prevent unnecessary repetition, direct object nouns are often replaced by direct object pronouns.

Direct Object Pronouns

Singular

Plural

First Person

me, m’  me

nous  us

Second Person

te, t’  you

vous  you

Third Person

le, l’  him, it

la, l’  her, it

les  them


Direct object pronouns precede the conjugated verb. Note that before a verb beginning with a vowel or muted hmetelela becomes m’t’l’.

Est-ce que tu achètes ce livre ? | Are you buying that book?

Non, je le regarde tout simplement. | No, I’m just looking at it.


Me retrouvez-vous en ville ? | Will you meet me in town?

Oui, nous t’attendons au café. | Yes, we’ll wait for you at the café.


Tu aimes ces nouvelles chansons ? | Do you lie these new song?

Pas du tout. Je les déteste. | Not at all. I hate them.


Direct object pronouns precede the auxiliary verb in compound tenses. Remember that the past participle agrees in gender and number with a direct object noun or pronoun that precedes it.

As-tu vu Michel ? | Have you seen Michel?

Je l’ai cherché, mais je ne l’ai pas trouvé. | I looked for him, but didn’t find him.


Je t’ai appelé, mais tu ne m’as pas entendu. | I called you, but you didn’t hear me.

Si, je t’ai salué, mais tu ne m’as pas vu. | Yes I did, I waved to you, but you didn’t see me.


Et les lettres ? Où est-ce que vous les avez mises ? | What about the letters? Where did you put them?

Je les ai jetées à la poubelle. Je croyais que vous les avez déjà lues. | I threw them in the garbage. I thought that you had already read them.


When a verb is followed by an infinitive, the direct object pronoun comes before the verb of which it is the direct object… usually the infinitive.

Vous pouvez nous déposer en ville ? | Can you drop us off downtown?

Je regrette, mais je ne peux pas vous prendre. | I’m sorry, but I can’t take you (give you a lift.)


Je peux t’aider ? | Can I help you?

Oui, merci. Tu vois cette chaise ? Tu peux la monter au deuxième étage. | Yes, thank you. Do you see this chair? You can take it up to the third floor.


Be sure to come back next week for part 2 of this post. I hope you all are having a great week!

A la prochaine…

Courtney

Degrees of Certainty – Impossibility, Doubt

This is the third and last in this 3 part series of French in Action. (Part 1; Part 2) Today we wrap this series up with the negative : Impossibility and Doubt.

Impossibility

The expressions used to denote possibility can be used in the negative to suggest impossibility.

La date nous est impossible.|The date’s impossible for us./We can’t make the date.


Mon fils a toujours tenté l’impossible.|My son’s always tried to do the impossible.


J’aimerais faire le tour du monde, mais c’est un rêve irréalisable.|I’d like to travel around the world, but it’s an impossible dream.


L’accord était voué à l’échec.|The agreement was impossible/bound to fail.


Il est impossible qu‘elle soit exclue de l’équipe.|She can’t possibly be excluded from the team.


Votre démarche a rendu impossible tout compromis.|Your action has made any compromise impossible.


Il est hors de question que vous le fassiez à sa place.|It’s out of the question for you to do it instead of him/her.


Doubt

French possesses the verb douter, the cognate of the English verb “to doubt”. The constructions in which it is used can confuse English speakers. Note that se douter de quelque chose means “to suspect that something is the case” (as in the opposite of doubt).

On peut douter de l’authenticité de la signature.|There is reason to doubt whether the signature is authentic.


Je doute qu‘il ait eu le temps de tout faire.|I doubt if/that he had time to do everything.


Il est parti ? Je m’en doutais.|Has he left? I thought as much.


Je me doutais de ses intentions.|I suspected those were his intentions.


J’ai hésité à vous réveiller.|I wasn’t sure whether I should wake you up.


Je me suis méfié de ce qu’il a dit.|I wasn’t sure whether to trust what he said.


On peut avoir des doutes sur ses capacités.|There’s reason to doubt his abilities.


Rien n’indique qu‘il ait décidé de revenir.|There’s nothing to suggest he’s decided to come back.

Here are some adverbial and adjectival constructions to express doubt:

Il ne sera pas forcément d’accord.|He won’t necessarily be in agreement.


Je serais difficilement convaincu.|It would be difficult to persuade me.


Ile est fort peu probable que le magasin soit ouvert dimanche.|It’s very unlikely that the shop is open on Sunday.


Il est douteux qu‘elle se représente aux prochaines élections.|It is doubtful whether/unlikely that she will stand again at the next election.


L’issue est incertaine.|The outcome is undecided/unsure.


Le verdict était contestable.|The verdict was debatable/open to question.


C’est une procédure tout à fait aléatoire.|It’s a completely random procedure./The procedure leaves everything to chance.


Have a great week, everyone!

A bientôt !

Courtney

Degrees of Certainty – Probability, Possibility

Continuing on from last week’s part 1 post, we’ll continue with probability and possibility.

Probability

The chance that something will happen. To convey that something is probable in a word or short phrase:

Tu assisteras au concert ? – Sans doute.|You’ll go to the concert? _ Most likely./Probably.


C’est Christine qui a téléphoné ? – Probablement.|Was it Christine who called? – Probably.


Christophe fait du théâtre maintenant ? – Paraît-il.|Christophe is doing some acting now? – So it seems.


Vous allez poser le tapis vous-même ? – En principe.|Are you going to lay the carpet yourself? – That’s the idea.

The combination of the verb pouvoir with the verb bien provides the basis for a number of expressions of probability:

Je peux bien prendre le train.|I may well take the train.


Ils pourraient bien téléphoner ce soir.|They’re likely to call this evening.

Other ways to form probability expressions:

Il est très/fort probable qu‘elle jouera le rôle de la reine.|It’s very/highly likely that she’ll play the role of the queen.


Il y a de fortes chances que j’obtiendrai une bourse.|There’s a very good chance that I’ll get/obtain a grant.


Ils sont censés arriver par le train de six heures.|They’re meant to arrive on the six o’clock train.


Ils devraient vous rembourser tout de suite.|They should reimburse you immediately.


Possibility

Most constructions expressing “the possibility that…” or “doubt that…” are followed by the subjunctive.

Brief responses to indicate that something is possible include:

Il est malade ? C’est possible.|Is he sick? – Possibly./Maybe.


Tu as besoin de la voiture ? – Ça se peut.|Will you need the car? – Possibly./I might.


Tu pourrais le remplacer ? – Oui, éventuellement.|Could you replace him? – Possibly.

More elaborate expressions often use the verb pouvoir:

Ils ont pu perdre leur chemin.|They may have lost their way.


Il se peut que la voiture soit tombée en panne.|It’s possible the car’s broken down.


A la limite, on pourrait croire qu‘il l’a fait exprès.|You might almost think he did it deliberately.

Possibility can also be expressed by idiomatic phrases:

Il est possible que je sois en mesure de vous aider.|It may be that I’m in a position to help you.


Nous vous soutiendrons dans la mesure du possible.|We shall support you as far as we can.


Ce que vous proposez, c’est très faisable.|What you’re suggesting is quite possible/do-able.


Tu crois que c’est un projet réalisable ?|Do you think the plan could work/is feasible?


Come back next week for the final installment of this three part topic. Have a great week, everyone!

A la prochaine…

Courtney