Did you read last week’s blog post? Starting with: “French Pronouns give you nightmares.”?
Bonne nouvelle. This is part 2. So if you often find yourself wondering “Do I say ‘Je la comprends’ or ‘Je lui comprends’??? Today you have your full answer woohoo!
French pronouns made easy part 1 & 2 not only cover French pronouns but make them easy. Oui oui facile.
Today I’m going to share with you my 2nd trick that French schools teach to French children but that I’ve never heard anywhere here in the US! With just one little question, you will get all your answers…
Don’t believe me? Watch this video!
This is a 2 part episode. This episode 2 is indirect pronouns and episode 1 was direct pronouns.
Now let’s pretend you are a French little one learning these rules in France, just like I did!
We call it COI which stands for Complément d’Objet Indirect. It sounds complicated but it’s so easy. Here’s an example in English so you follow me:
I write to my sister. my sister is the COI, it is the indirect object.
Now how do you know for sure whether you are dealing with a direct object, like “an apple” in episode 1, or an indirect object, like “my sister”?
Easy. I learned that when I was 7 years old and it stuck with me all these years. If you can ask the questions “To who?” then it’s a indirect object. (“À qui?” in French)
I write to my sister. I write to who? my sister, my sister is your indirect object.
She sends an email to her parents. She sends an email to who? her parents, her parents is your indirect object.
Now you want to replace this object by a pronoun so you avoid repeating yourself.
I write to my sister. I write to her. her is your pronoun
She sends an email to her parents. She sends an email to them. them is your pronoun
The list of indirect pronouns in French is:
me = me
te = you
lui = her, him
nous = us
vous = you
leur = them
Do you notice something? Most of the direct and indirect pronouns are the same. Only the 3rd person of the singular and the plural change. me, te, nous, vous rain the same.
Now I’m going to give you one example for each pronoun.
Michel me parle. Michel speaks to me. Michel speaks to who? Indirect = me
Ils t’envoient un cadeau. They send you a present. They send a present to who? Indirect = te
Je lui écris (ma soeur). I write to her. I write to who? Indirect = lui
Vous lui répondez (le professeur). You respond to him. You respond to who? Indirect = lui
Les chansons nous plaisent. The songs are pleasing to us. The songs are pleasing to who? Indirect = nous
Comment est-ce je vous téléphone? How do I make a phone call to you? How do I make a phone call to who? Indirect = vous.
Tu leur parles en français (les enfants). You speak in French to them. You speak in French to who? Indirect = leur
Once again, that was a lot of information so watch this video as many times as needed and don’t forget to back to part 1 to make sure you grasp the crucial difference between direct & indirect. Here it is again:
And now you are officially a French Pronoun Professional!