Tag Archive | French Phrases

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

Voir vs. Regarder

New round of versus! This round we will be comparing two verbs that essentially both mean to see or to look, but with some obvious differences.

So what exactly is the difference between the two? It’s simple actually, voir is passive (to see), while regarder (to look at) is active.


Voir – to see, view, witness, understand

Voir quelque chose/quelqu’un + infinitive – to see, understand something/someone, to see something/someone +infinitive

  • Tu vois ce mec là-bas ? C’est notre nouveau collègue.
  • Do you see that guy over there? He’s our new colleague.
  • Nous espérons la voir quand elle viendra en France.
  • We hope to see her when she comes to France.
  • Vous devriez aller voir un médecin.
  • You should go see a doctor.
  • Christelle et moi, nous ne voyons pas les choses de la même façon.
  • Christelle and I do not see eye to eye.

Voir à ce que + subj./à + infinitive – to make sure, to see to it that

  • Il faudrait voir à respecter la limite de vitesse.
  • You should obey the speed limit.
  • Voyez à ne pas arriver en retard.
  • See to it that you are not late.

Regarder – to look at, to watch, to gaze, to observe

Regarder quelque chose/quelqu’un – to look at something/someone, look up something

  • Regardez où vous mettez les pieds.
  • Watch where you are walking.
  • Est-ce que tu as regardé le film hier soir ?
  • Did you see the movie last night?
  • Regarde son numéro dans le mobile.
  • Look up his number in your phone.
  • Cela ne nous regarde pas.
  • It is none of our business.

Regarder + infinitive – to watch + infinitive

  • Il a passé une heure à regarder tomber la neige.
  • He spent an hour watching snow fall.

Regarder à quelque chose/à + infinitive – to hesitate to + infinitive

  • Mes parents ne regardent pas à la dépense.
  • My parents spend freely.
  • Ils ne regardent pas à dépenser mille euros en une soirée.
  • They do not hesitate to spend a thousand Euros in an evening.

Regarder quelque chose/quelqu’um comme – to consider something/someone as

  • Ses collègues le regardaient comme un génie.
  • His colleagues considered him a genius.
  • On regarde généralement sa politique comme un échec.
  • His politics are generally considered to have failed.

Two similar verbs that can have very different meanings when the context has changed. I hope this clears up any confusion between these two verbs!

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Merci à vous !

Courtney

Comparative Forms of Adjectives

In French, the comparative form of adjectives requires plus/moins before the regular form.

  • Cette rue est plus longue que l’autre.
  • This road is longer than the other.
  • Cette ville est moins propre que la nôtre.
  • This city is less clean/not as clean as ours.

If the comparison uses “so much more/less (adjective)… than”, use tellement plus/moins (adjective)… que.

  • Ce nouveau bâtiment est tellement plus joli que l’ancien.
  • This new building is so much prettier than the old one.
  • Mon jardin est tellement moins bien organisé que le tien.
  • My garden is so much less well organised than yours.

There are several adjectives that have irregular comparatives.

The comparative form of bon is irregular: meilleur.

  • Ce vin est meilleur que celui de l’année dernière.
  • This wine is better than last year’s.

The adjective mauvais has the regular comparative form plus mauvais, and also an irregular form: pire.

  • Cet album est plus mauvais que le dernier.
  • This album is worse than the last.
  • Le comportement du nouvel élève était encore pire.
  • The new student’s behaviour was even worse.
  • Vous avez entendu la dernière nouvelle ? C’est pire.
  • Did you hear the latest news? It’s worse.

Petit has the regular comparative form plus petit, which is always used for references to physical size.

  • Anne est plus petite qu’Estelle.
  • Anne is smaller than Estelle.

There is also the irregular comparative form moindre, which is rarely used, used normally  in literary style.

  • Ce détail est d’un moindre intérêt.
  • This detail is of less interest.

I hope everyone is well. Stay safe!

Merci à vous !

Courtney

Negation of Adjectives

For adjectives occurring after the noun they qualify, there may exist an antonym, or a negative form.

  • les cheveux courts/longs – short/long hair
  • une réponse admissible/inadmissible – an acceptable/unacceptable reply
  • une personne contente/mécontente – a happy/unhappy person

If such a form doesn’t exist, the adjective can be negated by peu, especially in formal usage:

  • une proposition peu rentable (formal) – an unprofitable proposal
  • un employé peu disposé à s’adapter (formal) – an employee unwilling to adapt

In a less formal usage, it would be more common to negate the verb:

  • Cette proposition n’est pas rentable. – This proposal isn’t profitable.

I hope everyone is doing well this week. As always, feel free to ask questions or request a lesson. Have a great week!

A la prochaine…

Courtney

Reflexive Verbs with Reciprocal Meaning

In the plural, reflexive verbs may convey a reciprocal meaning equivalent to “each other” in English.

  • Vous vous contactez souvent ?
  • Do you contact each other often?
  • Oui, nous nous téléphonons toutes les semaines.
  • Yes, we phone each other every week.
  • Le chef et les employés vont se parler aujourd’hui ?
  • Are the boss and the employees going to talk to each other today?
  • Oui, ils se sont donné rendez-vous à 14h00.
  • Yes, they have made an appointment (to see each other) at 2 o’clock.

In my last example, ils se sont donné rendez-vous there is no agreement of the past participle because the reflexive pronoun se is an indirect object. To determine whether or not the past participle agrees with passé composé, determine if the non-reflexive verb takes a direct or an indirect object. In this case, donner takes an indirect object of the person (donner quelque chose à quelqu’un), so se is an indirect object.

More examples:

  • voir quelqu’un – ils se sont vus.
    • Quelqu’un is a direct object; the past participle agrees with the preceding direct object se.
  • écrire à quelqu’un – ils se sont écrit.
    • Quelqu’un is an indirect object; there is no agreement of the past participle because se is an indirect object.

In the colloquial style where on replaces nouson se may have a reciprocal (“each other”) meaning:

  • On s’aime beaucoup.
  • We love each other very much.
  • On ne se ment pas.
  • We don’t lie to each other.

Below is a list of some reciprocal verbs. Note that anything marked with an asterisk * indicates that the reflexive pronoun is an indirect object.

  • *s’acheter des cadeaux – to buy gifts for each other
  • s’aider – to help each other
  • s’aimer – to love each other
  • se comprendre – to understand each other
  • se connaître – to know each other
  • se détester – to hate each other
  • *se donner rendez-vous – to make an appointment to see each other
  • *s’écrire – to write to each other
  • s’entraider – to help each other
  • *s’envoyer des courriels – to send each other emails
  • *se faire mal – to hurt each other
  • *se mentir – to lie to each other
  • *se parler – to speak to each other
  • *se poser des questions – to ask each other questions
  • se pousser – to push each other
  • se regarder – to look at each other
  • se rencontrer – to meet/run into each other
  • *se ressembler – to look alike
  • se retrouver – to meet (by appointment)
  • *se téléphoner – to phone each other
  • se voir – to see each other

Merci à vous ! A la prochaine…

Courtney

All About ‘Jouer’

Today we’ll be learning about the verb jouer. This verb means “to play” both transitively and intransitively. Read more below on this verb.

jouer – to play, gamble

  • Tu joues les durs, mais tu ne trompes personne.
  • You act tough, but you aren’t fooling anyone.
  • Emma a joué deux mille euros à la roulette.
  • Emma bet two thousand euros at roulette.
  • Clément a joué le rôle d’Hamlet des dizaines de fois.
  • Clément played the role of Hamlet dozens of times.

jouer à/avec quelque chose/quelqu’un – to play something/with something/someone

  • Elle joue au tennis tous les mardis matin.
  • She plays tennis every Tuesday morning.
  • Est-ce que vous jouez au poker ?
  • Do you play poker?
  • Pourquoi est-ce que tu ne vas pas jouer avec Caroline ?
  • Why don’t you go play with Caroline?
  • Olivier joue avec sa santé.
  • Olivier is gambling with his health.

jouer à + infinitif – to play at + infinitive

  • Patricia joue à impressionner ses amis.
  • Patricia plays at impressing her friends.

jouer de quelque chose – to play something, to make use of, use something

  • Il paraît qu’elle joue admirablement du violon.
  • Apparently she plays the violin beautifully.
  • Catherine joue de sa réputation pour arriver à ses fins.
  • Catherine is making use of her reputation to achieve her goals.

se jouer quelque chose – to make light of, to deceive somebody

  • Le bateau semblait se jouer de la tempête.
  • The boat seemed to be playing in the storm.
  • Tu crois que Michel s’est joué de nous ?
  • Do you think that Michel tricked us?

Have a great week, everyone!

Merci à vous !

Courtney