He read the books. He read them several times
Il a lu les livres. Il les a lus plusieurs fois
Recall that object pronouns should precede the verb (except in the affirmative imperative). Also recall that the past participle must agree in gender and number with the direct object pronoun when it is placed before the verb.
Don't forget to call Pierre. Don't forget to call him
N'oublie pas de téléphoner à Pierre. N'oublie pas de lui téléphoner
The indirect object pronoun lui is used here because the preposition à follows the verb téléphoner.
I spoke to Jean. I spoke to him
J'ai parlé à Jean. Je lui ai parlé
An indirect object pronoun is used here because the preposition à follows the verb parler.
When two (object, reflexive, or adverbial) pronouns are used in a sentence, both pronouns precede the verb in a particular order. What is the correct order for pronoun placement?
me/te/se/nous/vous then le/la/les then lui/leur then y then en
- The first group consists of pronouns that can function as reflexive pronouns. Four of them (me/te/nous/vous) can also be both direct and indirect object pronouns.
- The second group contains pronouns that are only direct object pronouns.
- The third group consists of pronouns that are only indirect object pronouns.
- Finally, the adverbial pronouns come last, with y coming first.
- ***Note that this order does not apply to the affirmative imperative.
I told it to him
Je le lui ai dit
Here, both a direct object pronoun and an indirect object pronoun are used. The subject comes first, followed by the direct object pronoun (le), then the indirect object pronoun (lui), then the verb.
She gives the flowers to her friends. She gives them to them
Elle donne les fleurs à ses amis. Elle les leur donne
In this sentence, both a direct object pronoun and an indirect object pronoun are used. Both precede the verb, with the direct object pronoun (les) coming first, followed by the indirect object pronoun (leur).
He recounted the story to his friend. He recounted it to him
Il a raconté l'histoire à son ami. Il la lui a racontée
Note the addition of an extra "e" to the past participle, since the feminine direct object pronoun la precedes the verb.
He asked his students the question. He asked them it
Il a posé la question à ses étudiants. Il la leur a posée
Note that in the second sentence, posée agrees with the preceding singular feminine direct object pronoun la.
The teacher showed the answers to her students. The teacher showed them to them
L'institutrice a montré les réponses à ses élèves. Elle les leur a montrées
The past participle in the second sentence is plural and feminine to agree with the feminine plural direct object pronoun that precedes it.
She gave me the shoe. She gave it to me
Elle m'a donné la chaussure. Elle me l'a donnée
Note how the indirect object pronoun (me) comes before the direct object pronoun (l', contracted from la). In a sentence with two pronouns, me/te/se/nous/vous are the first pronouns to precede a verb, followed by le/la/les.
Did they show them to you?
Est-ce qu'ils te les ont montrés?
When two pronouns are used, the pronouns me/te/se/nous/vous come first. This first group contains pronouns that can all function as reflexive pronouns. Four of them, me/te/nous/vous, can also function as both direct object pronouns and indirect object pronouns.
We remember the book. We remember it
Nous nous rappelons du livre. Nous nous en rappelons
Here, two pronouns are used: a reflexive pronoun (for the pronominal verb se rappeler) and the adverbial pronoun en (replacing du livre). Both precede the verb, with the reflexive pronoun coming first.
He put the shirt on the desk. He put the shirt there
Il a mis la chemise sur le bureau. Il y a mis la chemise
Recall that the adverbial pronoun y can replace prepositional phrases starting with any preposition other than de as long as they refer to things.
I ate some of the soup. I ate some of it
J'ai mangé de la soupe. J'en ai mangé
Recall that prepositional phrases beginning with de can be replaced by the adverbial pronoun en. Here, it takes on the meaning "some (of it)." Note how the past participle does not agree with en, even though it applies to a phrase with a feminine noun.
There is food. There is some
Il y a de la nourriture. Il y en a
There are two children. There are two (of them)
Il y a deux enfants. Il y en a deux
Recall that the pronoun en can be used with expressions of quantity. Note that en cannot replace deux in this sentence. The noun is replaced, but the quantity word always stays.
He's not buying any apples at the store. He's not buying any there
Il n'achète pas de pommes au magasin. Il n'y en achète pas
Here, the adverbial pronouns y and en are both used in the sentence. Y replaces a prepositional phrase referring to a place, while en replaces a phrase consisting of de + a noun.
I ate a lot of pizza at the restaurant. I ate a lot (of it) there
J'ai mangé beaucoup de pizza au restaurant. J'y en ai mangé beaucoup
If both y and en are used in the same sentence, both should precede the verb, but y should come first. Note how the quantity word, beaucoup, stays.
I will give some to you
Je t'en donnerai
Recall that in sentences with more than one pronoun, adverbial pronouns should come last (before the verb). Here, therefore, the object pronoun t' comes first.
She will talk to you guys about this. She will talk to you about it
Elle vous parlera de cela. Elle vous en parlera
Note how the object pronoun vous comes before the adverbial pronoun en.
He is going to meet us there
Il va nous y rencontrer
Note how both pronouns come before the infinitive here, not before the conjugated verb.
You guys did not give it to him
Vous ne le lui avez pas donné
In a negative sentence with two pronouns, the negative ne precedes the pronouns, which precede the main verb. The negative adverb (pas) still follows the main (conjugated) verb as always.
Did you guys send it to us?
Nous l'avez-vous envoyé? / Est-ce que vous nous l'avez envoyé?
In a question, the order of pronouns stays the same. Note the two ways of asking the question, one with inversion and the other with est-ce que.
Do not talk to them about this! Do not talk to them about it!
Ne leur parle pas de cela! Ne leur en parle pas!
In a negative command with two pronouns, the placement of the pronouns and the negative ne is the same as it is for all other tenses: they come before the verb.
Do not tell it to him!
Ne le lui dis pas!
Talk to the professor. Talk to him
Parlez au professeur. Parlez-lui
Recall that in affirmative commands, the pronouns follow the verb and are attached to it with a hyphen.
Go to the park. Go there
Va au parc. Vas-y
Recall that in the imperative, a verb ending in a vowel takes an "s" when followed by y or en.
When two pronouns are used with the affirmative imperative, the word order of the pronouns differs than that for all other tenses. What is the correct order?
le/la/les then moi/toi/lui then nous/vous/leur then y then en
(formal) Give some food to the boy. Give him some
Donnez de la nourriture au garçon. Donnez-lui-en
Note how the affirmative imperative is used here with more than one object pronoun. When there are two pronouns in an affirmative command, the pronouns follow the verb and are joined to it and to each other with hyphens.
You have my computer? Give it to me!
Tu as mon ordinateur? Donne-le-moi!
In the affirmative imperative, me and te become moi and toi (unless they are followed by y or en, in which case they change to m' and t').