HomeFrench GrammarFrench PronounsIndirect Object Pronouns

French Indirect Object Pronouns

A pronoun is a word that substitutes for a noun or another pronoun. To better understand French indirect object pronouns, you should be familiar with the concept of the indirect object.

Indirect objects

Before we begin to learn about the indirect object let's take a moment to define the direct object. The term direct object refers to a noun or another pronoun which the subject is acting upon. It answers the questions "whom?" or "what?" For example, in the sentence "I see Julie", the word "Julie" is the direct object. Now that you know what the direct object is, you will find it easier to understand the concept of the indirect object. In short, the French indirect object refers to a person towards whom the action of the verb is being performed. In other words, it is the object to whom (for whom) the subject is doing something. Take a look at the following example:

A brother gave a ticket to the sister.

In this sentence, the word "brother" is again the subject of the sentence. However, this time the word "to the sister" is the indirect object. According to our definition, the subject (brother) performs an action (gives a ticket) towards the indirect object (the sister).

Replacing objects with object pronouns

You might have already guessed that French indirect object pronouns are used in place of the indirect objects. This is done to avoid rep etition of the same words over and over again. For example,

Instead of the clumsy sentence:

--> I have a sister. I gave a ticket to my sister.

you could simply say:

--> I have a sister. I gave (to) her a ticket.

As you see, a series of sentences where objects are replaced with object pronouns sounds more elegant. Next time you speak French, you can prevent unnecessary repetition by using French object pronouns that are listed below.

Indirect object pronouns

This table sums up the French indirect object pronouns (Pronoms objets indirects).

Audio French pronoun English translation Pronunciation

Flash required.

me / m' me muh

Flash required.

te / t' to you (familiar) tuh

Flash required.

lui to him lwee

Flash required.

lui to her lwee

Flash required.

nous to us noo

Flash required.

vous to you (polite) voo

Flash required.

leur to them luhr