*Please note: you may not see animations, interactions or images that are potentially on this page because you have not allowed Flash to run on S-cool. To do this, click here.*
Pronouns are words which replace nouns.
For example: The old man could be replaced by he or him.
Pronouns are used all the time to make language more fluent and to stop you having to repeat the same word or name over and over again.
Pronouns change depending if they represent the subject of the sentence, the direct object or the indirect object.
The old man gave his dog a bone.
Subject of the sentence (this was the person who did the 'giving'). 'The old man' in this context could be replaced by he, so he is a subject pronoun.
The subject pronouns are as follows:
These pronouns work in exactly the same way as the word(s) they have replaced - they go in the same place in the sentence and take exactly the same verb form.
For example: 'Anne déteste la science' will become 'Elle déteste la science'.
The only exception is 'on' which is used the represent 'we'. On is considered masculine singular.
For example: On va à la plage
The old man gave his dog a bone.
Direct object - the object of the 'giving' a bone could be replaced by 'it' so it is a direct object pronoun.
The direct object pronouns in English are:
Some of them may look familiar to the subject pronouns but remember they mean different things.
Direct object pronouns must go before the verb in French so:
|I hate Anne||Je déteste Anne|
|I hate her||Je la déteste|
In the perfect tense the pronoun goes before the form of avoir or être
|He saw George||il a vu Georges|
|He saw him||il l'a vu (l'a stands for le + a)|
The indirect object is the object that receives something. It sometimes has the word to or for attached to it but often in English this is left out.
- The old man gave a bone to his dog
- The old man gave his dog a bone
In the second example above, it is really to his dog so it is still the indirect object, as it would be in a sentence like:
Marie told John a story is the same as Mary told a story to John.
So even if the word to/for isn't actually mentioned but it is still implied, this is the indirect object.
Indirect objects can be replaced by pronouns too:
- The old man gave a bone to his dog = The old man gave a bone to him
- The old man gave the dog a bone = The old man gave him a bone
So him/to him are indirect object pronouns.
The indirect object pronouns are as follows:
|(to) you||te/ vous|
Like direct object pronouns, indirect object pronouns have to go before the verb:
|I'm talking to Anne||Je parle à Anne|
|I'm talking to her||Je lui parle|
Again in the perfect tense, the pronoun comes before the first verb:
|I talked to Anne||J'ai parlé à Anne|
|I talked to her||Je lui ai parlé|
Normally it's logical which verbs take an indirect object - talk (to), give (to), etc.
But some verbs take an indirect object in French but not in English.
|téléphoner à||to phone|
|conseiller à||to advise|
|demander à||to ask|
|obéir à||to obey|
|permettre à||to allow|
|plaîre à||to please|
|répondre à||to answer|
For example: I phoned them = Je leur ai téléphoné
If you have direct object pronouns and indirect object pronouns in the same sentence, they both have to go before the verb but the direct object pronoun goes first.
Re-type the following sentences replacing the underlined word(s) with the correct pronoun.
Log in here