The idea or action expressed by the verb may affect or be directed at a person or thing – the object of the verb. If the object follows the verb directly without a preposition, it is called a direct object. In French, direct objects may be either persons or things.
In the following sentences, the direct object is highlighted in bold.
- Je vois mon amie Aurélie. | I see my friend Aurélie.
- Tu connais notre collègue ? | Do you know our coworker?
- Où achetez-vous vos vêtements ? | Where do you buy your clothing?
- Elle finit le compte-rendu. | She finishes the report.
Indirect objects in French are usually animate nouns – nouns referring to living beings. Indirect objects are joined to the verb by the preposition à. In the following sentences, the indirect object is highlighted in bold. Note that the meaning in English often includes the notion of the English word to.
- Il téléphone à sa petite amie. | He phones his girlfriend.
- Vous écrivez à vos cousins. | You write to your cousins.
- Le vendeur répond au client. | The clerk answers the customer.
Indirect objects most often occur with an inanimate direct object. In the following sentences, the direct object is highlighted in bold, and the indirect object is underlined and bold.
- Il donne un cadeau à son frère. | He gives his brother a gift.
- Je montre les photos à mes amis. | I show my friends the pictures.
Enjoy your week, everyone!
Merci à vous !