Why is it “il me sourit” as opposed to “il sourit à moi” ?? Or are they both correct?? Thank you

StevenC1Kwiziq community member

Why is it “il me sourit” as opposed to “il sourit à moi” ?? Or are they both correct?? Thank you

This question relates to:French lesson "to smile"
Asked 6 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Steven,

In the case of verbs using 'à quelqu'un' like sourirerépondre , téléphonerdire...  you will use indirect object pronouns and they will come before the verb. They are:

me, te, lui, nous, vous, leur

Hope this helps! 



DavidB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I have the same question, but your answer didn’t help me.

Are you saying that if the quelqu’un is not a specific 3rd person, then you must use an indirect object pronoun ?

Or maybe another way to say it is that “à + stress pronoun” after the verb must always be replaced with the corresponding indirect object pronoun before the verb.

Jean sourit à Marie ( ma sœur, le chien, etc. ) ?  ... Oui, il lui sourit !!!

How about compound objects ?

Il sourit à Marie et moi.

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi David, 

I will try and explain it with examples -

Jean sourit à moi ----->  Jean me sourit

Jean sourit au chien------> Jean lui sourit

Jean sourit à ma sœur -----> Jean lui sourit

Jean sourit à toi ----> Jean te sourit

Jean sourit à Marie et à moi ----> Jean nous sourit

Jean sourit  à Marie et à Julien -----> Jean leur sourit



Hope this helps!


DavidB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Bonjour Cécile:

J’espère que vous êtes tous en santé ansi que les membres de vos groupes, communautés et familles.

First, let me thank you for your help on this wonderful site. It is such great fun and I am learning so much.

C’est possible que nous avons une barrière de langue.

The question still remains: is “Il sourit à moi” WRONG ?

If so, please add an explanation to the lesson.

I know how to replace an indirect object with the proper indirect object pronoun; as per your examples. But, are the left-hand sides of #1 & #4 of your examples WRONG ?

“Il sourit à moi.” was marked as incorrect in the quiz. I know that this is equivalent to “Il me sourit.” But is it WRONG ? Or is Kwiziq wrong in marking it as incorrect ? 

Merci d’avance pour votre réponse

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi David,

Firstly, thank you for your kind concern about the Kwiziq staff . We are a multi-national team but quite a few people are based in London. We are all working remotely now and Kwiziq is ideal for this. I believe everyone is healthy for the moment.

Thank you also for your kind comments about the site.

Revenons à nos moutons!

Il sourit à moi/lui/eux etc.  isn't great French so it won't be encouraged .

You won't hear an adult French person saying this, only very young children until they know better.

Il sourit à Marie , however, is correct.

Hope this helps!

Why is it “il me sourit” as opposed to “il sourit à moi” ?? Or are they both correct?? Thank you

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