Categories: French Grammar

Direct, Indirect Object Pronouns in French

Direct, Indirect Object Pronouns: Video here

In English: me, you, him, her, it, us, you, them


it: le, la
them: les

I am reading the email: I am reading it
Je lis l’email: je le lis (the pronoun before the verb)
Je lis la carte: je la lis
J’ai reçu la lettre: je l’ai reçue
J’ai reçu les lettres: je les ai reçues

2-PEOPLE and GROUP of PEOPLE (Board, comity…)

There are 3 sub-categories for people for Direct, Indirect, Reflexive Objects

Direct: you see her (her placed directly after the verb is the direct object)
Indirect: You are speaking TO her (her is the indirect object)
Reflexive: himself, herself, themselves.

However for these 3 subcategories, the first and the second persons are the same:

Me: me, m’
You: te, t’
Us: nous
You: vous

I am talking to you: je te parle
You can see me: tu me vois
You are reading the book to us: tu nous lis un livre

3rd Person Direct Object:

him: le, l’
her: la, l’
them: les
I invite them: je les invite
I see her: je la vois
I am calling him: je l’appelle

3rd Person Indirect Object:

Him, her: lui
Them: leur

He is writing to them: il leur écrit
I am talking to her: je lui parle

3rd Person Reflexive Object:

Himself, herself, themselves: se, s’

He kills himself: il se tue
He is sending the letters to himself: il s’envoie des lettres
He is washing his hands: il se lave les mains


I am sending the letter to Peter: I am sending it to him
J’envoie l’email à Pierre: je le lui envoie
J’envoie la fleur à Sophie: je la lui envoie

As you can see, the direct object is before the indirect one, however it only works with the 3r person, with the 1st and the 2nd it is the opposite:

Il m’envoie l’email: il me l’envoie
Il te lit le livre: il te le lit
Il s’envoie les lettres: il se les envoie

Je ne le lui envoie pas
Il ne me l’envoie pas
Il ne te le lit pas
Il ne se les envoie pas


Some verbs do not accept the pronoun before the verb:
penser, aller, avoir affaire à, être à quelqu’un, prendre garde, rêver, recourir, songer, renoncer, tenir, se fier, s’adresser et présenter quelqu’un.
You can’t say: je lui pense, but only je pense à lui, etc.

Pascal Dherve

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Pascal Dherve

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