Pronom d'objet direct

French direct object pronoun

See also: Pronom and Pronoun Types

A direct object pronoun replaces things and people that directly follow a verb, without a preposition.

For example:

Je regarde la télé. - What am I watching? the TV

->  Je la regarde. - I'm watching it.

Nous invitons Marie et toi. - We're inviting Marie and you.

-> Nous vous invitons. - We're inviting you.

French direct object pronouns

me / m' / moi
me
te / t'
you (singular / informal)
le / l' him / it
la / l' her / it
nous us
vous you (plural / formal)
les them

 

Me and te become m' and t' in front of a vowel or mute h:

Tu me connais et tu m'aimes. - You know me and you love me.

Je te connais et je t'aime. - I know you and I love you.

Me becomes moi in the affirmative imperative:

Réveille-moi à 9h. - Wake me up at 9am.

It's important to remember that these pronouns also replace things. Use the singular le for masculine nouns, la for feminine nouns, l' when the verb following starts with a vowel or mute h; use les for any plural nouns or groups.

Je mets la table. - I set the table.
->  Je la mets. - I set it.

Elle prend le verre. - She takes the glass.
->  Elle le prend. - She takes it.

Il ouvre la boîte. - He opens the box.
->  Il l'ouvre. - He opens it.

Je regarde les dessins animés. - I watch the cartoons.
->  Je les regarde.
- I watch them.

  
It is easy enough to remember that when the verb is followed directly by its object (e.g. voir quelque chose; aimer quelque chose), then this object can be replaced by a direct object pronoun.

However, French and English verbs don't necessarily match on this point: some will have a preposition in English and not in French, or vice versa!

For example, the verb écouter in French is followed by a direct object (écouter quelque chose), whereas its English equivalent to listen to needs a preposition (listening to something).

Je l'écoute. - I listen to him/her/it.

It is the French verb that matters to determine the use of direct object pronouns. When in doubt, look it up in a dictionary, to see if the verb needs a preposition.

Learn more: Introduction to object pronouns
 

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