Using direct and indirect object pronouns together (double object pronouns)

These sentences use two pronouns:

Me/Te/Nous/Vous (Me/You/Us)

Je vous la donne.
I'm giving it to you.

Tu me l'as demandé.
You asked me it.

Vous nous les offrez.
You offer them to us.

Lui/Leur (Her/Him/Them)

Il les leur a apportés.
He brought them to them.

Tu les lui vends.
You sell them to her.

Nous les leur avons donnés.
We gave them to them.

Je la lui ai écrite 
I wrote it to her.

There are two important patterns to notice in these sentences that are different to English.  

1) the two pronouns both go before the conjugated verb (or auxiliary in compound tenses):
 
Je vous donne cette carte. -> Je vous la donne.
I'm giving you this card. -> I'm giving it to you.
 
2) the order is not the same when using lui/leur as it is for me/te/nous/vous.

Je la lui donne vs. Je te la donne
I give it to him/her   I give it to you.
 
The order is ALWAYS:
me/te/nous/vous   (before)  le/la/les/l' (before) lui/leur  
 
This means sentences like I give it to him and I give him to it are indistinguishable in French because the order is fixed:
 
Je le lui donne.  
You would need to know the context and if the sentence would be ambiguous, avoid using one of the pronouns!
 
See also how to use direct and indirect pronouns:

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Je vous la donne.
I'm giving it to you.


Vous nous les offrez.
You offer them to us.


Il les leur a apportés.
He brought them to them.


Je la lui ai écrite 
I wrote it to her.


Tu les lui vends.
You sell them to her.



Nous les leur avons donnés.
We gave them to them.


Tu me l'as demandé.
You asked me it.


Q&A

Shelley

Kwiziq community member

22 June 2018

3 replies

Bonsoir. In the lesson samples, "Je la lui donne" is translated as "I give it to him/her." However, in the mini quiz, I chose both "She shows it to

him" and "She shows it to her" as possible taranslations for "Elle la lui montre" and this was scored as "nearly correct." Why is that?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

22 June 2018

22/06/18

Your translations seem correct to me. 

-- Chris

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

22 June 2018

22/06/18

Bonjour Shelley !

I've had a look at your Correction Dashboard, and it says that you ticked "She shows it to him" but not "She shows it to her", and this question necessitated both these correct answers, hence the nearly correct :)

For similar questions, in the future please use the "Report it" button in your Correction Board, as it links directly to the specificquiz take you're referring to, and makes it easier for us to answer you :)

Bonne journée !

Shelley

Kwiziq community member

22 June 2018

22/06/18

Thank you so much for checking this for me. I guess the second check mark didn't take & I didn't notice it; so sorry for the trouble. Thanks, too, for the reminder to use the Report an issue button.

Eileen

Kwiziq community member

27 April 2018

2 replies

Hi in example 6: Tu me l'as demandé. You asked me it, I think in English we’d probably drop the ‘it’ but do you have to keep the l’ (le/la) in French?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

27 April 2018

27/04/18

Hi Eileen,

No, you can drop the direct object "le" and "it", respectively, but you incur a change in meaning both in French as well as in English. "You asked me." is something slightly different from "You asked me about it."

Tu me l'as demandé. -- You asked me about it. (That sounds better than just "it".)
Te m'as demandé. -- You asked me.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Eileen

Kwiziq community member

27 April 2018

27/04/18

Thanks Chris.  Yes, adding ‘about ‘ in English clarifies it for me in French! Thanks 

Ana

Kwiziq community member

15 December 2017

2 replies

Bonjour, where can I find a quiz on this topic?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

15 December 2017

15/12/17

Bonjour Ana !

If the lesson is in your dashboard studylist then just test yourself against that to include a question on this topic.

You can also add any lessons to your own notebook(s) if you want to focus on specific things. Each kwiz will test you against new questions for the topics in the list.

:) I hope that's helpful! Bonne journée !

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

16 February 2018

16/02/18

You'll be pleased to know our micro kwiz French tests have been restored. You can read more here:

https://french.kwiziq.com/blog/micro-kwizzes-back/

Mohammad

Kwiziq community member

15 April 2017

2 replies

Bonjour Aurélie,

How can I make Negative of double object pronoun in present and passé composé ?? Glad to have your reply. Rgds/ Mohammad Shibly

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

18 April 2017

18/04/17

Bonjour Mohammad ! You have to remember that double object pronouns will never be separated. As for their position in the sentence, the same rule applies as with single object pronouns: - With simple tenses: Subject + (ne) + ObPronoun + Verb + (pas) "Je ne *la lui* donne pas." - With conjugated verb + infinitive: Subject + (ne) + Conj Verb + (pas) + ObPronoun + Infinitive "Je ne vais pas *la lui* donner." - With compound tenses: Subject + (ne) + ObPronoun + Auxiliary Verb (être or avoir) + (pas) + Past Participle "Je ne *la lui* ai pas donné." I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

Nazanin

Kwiziq community member

4 August 2017

4/08/17

what a great answer it was so helpful for me too.

caroline

Kwiziq community member

8 January 2017

1 reply

Which of the following is correct?

Le docteur a donné les médicaments aux malades Le docteur les leur a donnés OR donné ?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

9 January 2017

9/01/17

Bonjour Caroline ! "Le docteur les leur a donnéS" is the correct sentence, as "donnés" agrees with the direct object "les médicaments" (masculine plural), following this agreement rule: https://french.kwiziq.com/my-languages/french/view/429 I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

Jason

Kwiziq community member

2 January 2017

1 reply

Bernard l'envoie à elle - why is this incorrect?

Just wanted to check why "Bernard l'envoie à elle" was incorrect to say Bernard sent something to her - is it that "lui" is mandatory in this case?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

3 January 2017

3/01/17

Bonjour Jason ! Yes, with ditransitive verbs, you need to use both indirect and direct object pronouns. Have a look at our glossary article on (di)transitive verbs: https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/transitivity/transitive-verb I hope that's helpful! Bonne Année !

Chris

Kwiziq community member

20 May 2016

2 replies

La vs. le

Asked to translate "Bernard sends it to her" I would have expected something like "Bernard le lui envoit". Instead, The answer given is "Bernard la lui envoit". Can you shed light on this?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

20 May 2016

20/05/16

Bonjour Claus !

In French, le, la, l' (it) and les (them) are used to replace objects.

The choice between le and la is depending on the gender of the prementioned object.

In this case, you were not given any clue as to what the object gender was (what was sent), therefore both "Bernard la lui envoie (e.g. la lettre)" or "Bernard le lui envoie (e.g. le colis) were possible answers.

We could have offered either, but we went with la.

I hope that's helpful.
À bientôt !

Meghna

Kwiziq community member

19 January 2017

19/01/17

Hi Aurélie My understanding is that in French the default is masculine. If defined male - le/il/ils would apply If defined female - la/elle / elles would apply If mixed/not specified use male. In this case for the question of Bernard sends it to her, wouldn't it be more logical to expect the 'le' response or both le and la in the test?
Clever stuff underway!