Verbs of Perception

Verbs of perception, such as voirregarderentendre, and écouter, and the verb laisser (to leave, let) are followed directly by the infinitive. The direct object of these verbs is the subject of the infinitive. If it is a noun, it can be placed either before or after the infinitive.

Nous voyons les enfants jouer.

Nous voyons jouer les enfants.

We see the children play.


On va entendre les trains siffler.

On va entendre siffler les trains.

We’ll hear the trains whistle.


Elle a laissé les étudiants entrer.

Elle a laissé entrer les étudiants.

She let the students come in.


When a direct object noun is replaced by a direct object pronoun in sentences with verbs of perception laisser, it must stand before the verb of perception or laisser.

Nous les voyons jouer. | We see them play.


On va les entendre siffler. | We’ll hear them whistle.


Elle les a laissé entrer. | She let them come in.


Verbs of perception and laisser may appear in sentences with two direct objects – a direct object of the verb of perception together with a direct object of the infinitive.

J’ai regardé les ouvriers construire le pont. | I saw the workers building the bridge.


Nous écoutons les musiciens jouer  le morceau. | We are listening to the musicians play  the piece.


J’ai laissé ma fille manger ce dessert. | I let my daughter eat that dessert.


In general, the past participles of verbs of perception and laisser agree with a preceding direct object pronoun.

Je les ai vus construire le pont. | I saw them build the bridge.


Je l‘ai laissé manger ce dessert. | I let her eat that dessert.


Have a great week, everyone!

A bientôt !

Courtney

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