Le, la, les vs lui, leur in affirmative commands (L'Impératif)

Look at these sentences in L'Impératif:  

Appelle-les !Call them!

Verse-le dans un verre.Pour it in a glass.

Envoie-lui un paquet !Send him/her a package!

Parlez-leur !Speak to them!
 

Note that in L'Impératif, the direct object pronouns le, la, l', les and the indirect object pronouns lui, leur are placed after the verb with an hyphen in between.


ATTENTION:
It's often very confusing for students to know which pronoun to use in affirmative commands.

Look at these two examples:

Nous écrivons à notre tante -> Nous lui écrivons -> Écrivons-lui !
We're writing to our aunt -> We write to her -> Let's write to her!

BUT

Tu arrêtes Paul -> Tu l'arrêtes -> Arrête-le !
You're stopping Paul -> You're stopping him -> Stop him!

Here is the rule:

- If the verb is normally followed by à + person in French (i.e. followed by an indirect object pronoun), such as in écrire à [quelqu'un] (to write to [someone]) or montrer à [quelqu'un] (to show [someone]), then you use lui or leur.

- If the verb isn't followed by any preposition (i.e. followed by a direct object pronoun), such as arrêter [X] [quelqu'un] (to stop [someone]), you use le/la or les.

See also Replacing nouns with le, la, l', les = it, him, her, them (direct object pronouns) and Replacing people with lui, leur = him, her, them (indirect object pronouns) 

Special cases 
Look at these examples:

Attends-le !Wait for him/it!

Regarde-les !Look at them!

Regarde-la !Look at her/it!

Téléphone-lui !Phone him/her!

Note that quite a few verbs, such as regarder and attendre, are used without prepositions in French, i.e. regarder [x] [quelqu'un]; attendre [x] [quelqu'un], whereas they have one in English (i.e to look at [someone], to wait for [someone]).

On the other hand, some English verbs without prepositions will be followed by à in French, i.e. to phone [someone] = téléphoner à [quelqu'un].

When in doubt, check with a dictionary.

 

See also  Conjugate regular verbs in L'Impératif (imperative)  and Conjugate être, avoir, savoir in L'Impératif (imperative) 

 

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Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Écris-leur !Write to them!
Appelle-les !Call them!
Regarde-les !Look at them!
Écrivons-lui !Let's write to her / to him!
Téléphone-lui !Phone him/her!
Attends-le !Wait for him/it!
Dites-le avec des fleurs !Say it with flowers!
Regarde-la !Look at her/it!
Envoie-lui un paquet !Send him/her a package!
Parlez-leur !Speak to them!
Verse-le dans un verre.Pour it in a glass.
I'll be right with you...