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Subject Pronouns

 

Subject pronouns in French are used just like English to represent the subject in a sentence. French subject pronouns are:

French Subject Pronouns

Singular

Plural

Je/ j' (I)
tu (you familiar)
il, elle (he, she)

nous (we)
vous (you people)
ils, elles (they)

 

j' (I) is only used when followed by a vowel or mute h.

There are two ways of saying (you) in French, tu (you familiar) to friends …and vous (you formal) to people you respect such as teachers… also “they” can be said in two ways, ils (they masculine), elles (they feminine).

 

Direct Object Pronouns

Direct object pronouns take the place of the direct object nouns. While the direct object noun follows the verb, the pronoun is placed in front of it, for example: tu prends l’avion (you take the airplane), tu le prends (you take it).

Direct object pronouns are:

French Direct Object Pronouns

Singular

Plural

me/ m' (me)
te (you familiar)
vous (you formal)
le (l’), la (l’) (him, her)

nous (us)
vous (you people)
les (them)

 

Direct object pronouns are used to replace nouns (people or things) that receive the action of the verb in a sentence, while indirect object pronouns are used to replace nouns (people or things) in a sentence to which the action of the verb occurs. The indirect object pronouns are used usually with the prepositions à (to) or pour (for).

Je le lui donne (I give it to him) the first pronoun is subject (I), the second pronoun is direct object (le), the third one is indirect object (lui) because it is the one to which the action is occurring.

Indirect object pronouns are:

 

French Indirect Object Pronouns

Singular

Plural

me/ m' (me)
te (you familiar)
vous (you formal)
lui (him, her)

nous (us)
vous (you people)
leur (them)

 

Disjunctive Pronouns

 

A disjunctive pronoun is widely used (after prepositions, to emphasize nouns or pronouns, after c'est and ce sont, to answer questions…):

-Avec eux = with them (because we have a preposition “avec/ with”)

-C’est moi = it’s me (because “c’est/ it’s” was placed before it)

-Qui a fait ça? -Moi = -Who did this? -Me!

 

French Disjunctive Pronouns

Singular

Plural

moi (me)
toi (you familiar)
vous (you formal)
lui, soi, elle (him, himself, her)

nous (us)
vous (you people)
eux, elles (them)

 

 

Reflexive Pronouns

 

As we have learned in the verbs section, reflexive verbs express an action that acts upon the subject, and with the reflexive verbs you will find reflexive pronouns, which are placed in front of the conjugated verb, for example: Je me lave (I wash myself).

French Reflexive Pronouns

Singular

Plural

me (myself)
te (yourself familiar)
vous (yourself formal)
se (himself, herself)

nous (ourselves)
vous (yourself)
se (themselves)

 

 

Possessive Pronouns

 

Possessive pronouns indicate ownership. They replace a noun just like English, but while in English you can use “mine” to the singular and plural, in French you have to use different form in the feminine and plural, for example: talking about son/ daughter/ sons/ daughters): He is mine = il est le mien, she is mine : elle est la mienne, they’re mine (children) = ils sont les miens, they’re mine (daughters) = elles sont les miennes

So it means that the possessive pronoun should agree in gender and number.

Note that the possessive pronoun should agree with the thing possessed, rather than with the possessor.

 

French Possessive Pronouns

Singular (Masculine, Feminine)

Plural (Masculine, Feminine)

le mien, la mienne (mine)
le tien, la tienne (yours familiar)
le vôtre, la vôtre (yours formal)
le sien, la sienne (his, hers)
le nôtre, la nôtre (ours)
le vôtre, la vôtre (yours)
le leur, la leur (theirs)

les miens les miennes (mine)
les tiens les tiennes (yours familiar)
les vôtres les vôtres (yours formal)
les siens les siennes (his, hers)
les nôtres les nôtres (ours)
les vôtres les vôtres (yours)
les leurs les leurs (theirs)

 

Just a reminder: possessive adjectives are:

French Possessive Adjectives

Masculine, Feminine, Plural (masc & fem)

mon, ma, mes (my)
ton, ta, tes (your familiar)
vôtre, vos (your formal)
son, sa, ses  (his, her, its)
nôtre, nos (our)
vôtre, vos (your)
leur, leur, leurs (their)

 


Demonstrative Pronouns

 

The demonstrative pronouns are:

 

French Demonstrative Pronouns

 

singular

plural

masculine

celui (that/ this)

ceux (those/ these)

feminine

celle (that/ this)

celles (those/ these)

 

They usually refer to a previously mentioned noun in a sentence, just like adjectives they must agree with the gender and number of the noun. If you wonder how would you distinguish between (this) and (that), well you can just add the suffixes -ci (here) and -là (there) to the above pronouns, which will give us: celui-ci (this here) and celui-là (that there), same thing with the feminine and plural, just add the same suffixes to them. Je veux acheter ceux-ci et ceux-là = I want to buy these and those.
(ce/ c'), (ceci, cela, ça) are invariable in form, for example: C'est moi (that's me), Ça me gêne (that bothers me) note that Ça is used very often, to refer to “it” or “that/ this”.

 

Relative Pronouns

 

In French as well as in English a relative pronoun links two clauses, the relative clause to a main clause. In French, relative pronouns are required, while in English they are sometimes optional. I think (that) you speak French very well = Je pense que tu parles le français très bien. As you have noticed the word (that) was optional, while in French you cannot go without “que”. Below are some examples of relative pronouns:

 

French Relative Pronouns

qui (who)

que (that)

ce que (that/ which),

lequel, laquelle, lesquelles (which),

(where, in which).

dont (of which),

 

 

Interrogative Pronouns

 

As it is well known that interrogative pronouns are used to ask a question: ? (where), qui? (who), quoi? (what), lequel? (which one?), quel? (which?). Note that quel and lequel should agree in gender and number with the noun they ask a question about just like adjectives.

The word order in a French interrogative phrases are almost the same as in English; however in English we use the auxiliary verb "do", in French that doesn’t happen. Check the interrogative page for more information about making questions.

 

French Interrogative Pronouns

Quel est votre nom?

What is your name?

sommes nous?

Where are we?

Qui est ton père?

Who is your father?

 

 

 

Indefinite Pronouns

 

Now we will go through something a little bit different. French indefinite pronouns are unspecific and are used in place of nouns. They can be the subject of a sentence, the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition, and they refer to persons/ objects that are not identified, also called affirmative indefinite pronouns. They can take many forms such as the subject of a sentence, the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition. The most common indefinite pronouns are:

on (one): on peut le faire = {one (or we) can do it}, (on is used to refer to an indefinite subject pronoun that speaks out for a general case).

tout le monde (everybody): tout le monde est heureux = everybody is happy.

tout (all), quelque chose (something), aucun (none), personne (nobody), plusieurs (several)…are also indefinite pronouns.

 

 

 

French Pronouns, Subject Pronouns, Direct Object Pronouns, Reflexive Pronouns, Disjunctive Pronouns, Possessive Pronouns, Demonstrative Pronouns, Relative Pronouns, Indefinite Pronouns, Interrogative Pronouns

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Adjectives
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Verbs
Present Tense
Past Tense
Future Tense
Imperfect
Imperative
Nouns
Pronouns
Conjunction
Negation
Subjunctive
Conditional
Comparative
Prepositions

 

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