Replacing people with lui, leur = him, her, them (indirect object pronouns)

Tip: If the words "indirect object pronoun" strike horror and panic into your heart, scroll to the cartoon video in the examples explaining what indirect objects are. They're actually pretty easy to figure out. And of course, you can also have a look at our Jargon Busters at the bottom of the lesson!

Or, just learn by example.  Notice how lui and leur are used in these examples:

Je lui parle.
I'm speaking to him (or her)

Je leur demande où sont les WC.
I'm asking them where the toilets are.

Tu lui demandes quelque chose.
You're asking him (or her) something.

Il va leur téléphoner.
He's going to telephone them

Je lui téléphone.
I phone him/her.

-> Note here that in French we say téléphoner à quelqu'un (to telephone *to* someone), therefore using lui or leur as object pronouns.

Pour calmer mes enfants, je leur lis une histoire.
To soothe my children, I read them a story.
To soothe my children, I read a story to them.

-> Note that you say lire quelque chose à quelqu'un (to read something *to* someone), therefore using lui or leur as object pronouns.

 

ATTENTION

  • lui means either him OR her (depending on the context) and
  • leur means them, irrespective of the the group's gender.  

BUT we only use these words when the verb being used normally goes with à:

  • téléphoner à <quelqu'un> (to telephone <someone>)
  • demander à <quelqu'un> (to ask <someone>)

 

How and when to turn people into lui or leur (like magic...)

Look how these sentences change when specific people are replaced with pronouns:

Je parle à Paul. -> Je lui parle.
I'm speaking to Paul. -> I'm speaking to him.

Je demande à mes amis où sont les WC. -> Je leur demande où sont les WC.
I'm asking my friends where the toilets are. -> I'm asking them where the toilets are.

Il va téléphoner à ses parents. -> Il va leur téléphoner.
He's going to telephone his parents. -> He's going to telephone them.

In each case, the verb in the original sentence is followed by à, which disappears when the specified person is replaced by lui or leur, which also skips in front of the verb.  

When NOT to use lui and leur (indirect object pronouns)

Contrast this with the following example where the verb is not followed by à = appeler <quelqu'un>.


Il va appeler ses parents.  ->  Il va les appeler.
He's going to call his parents.  ->  He's going to call them.
We see here that instead of leur, les is used to say them. 
Lui and leur are only used with verbs usuallly followed by à.  Other pronouns are used for the other cases.
 
Grammar note: Remember verbs always have a subject (je/tu etc.) but only some have objects. Use object pronouns to replace nouns that are the object of the verb. Objects can be direct or indirect - they are indirect if separated from the verb by à

See also Position of direct and indirect object pronouns with negation 

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Je lui parle.
I'm speaking to him (or her)


Je lui téléphone.
I phone him/her.


Tu lui demandes quelque chose.
You're asking him (or her) something.


Je leur demande où sont les WC.
I'm asking them where the toilets are.


Subject, verbs and objects (direct and indirect) MADE EASY!


Il va leur téléphoner.
He's going to telephone them


Pour calmer mes enfants, je leur lis une histoire.
To soothe my children, I read them a story.
To soothe my children, I read a story to them.


Q&A Forum 33 questions, 69 answers

DipaliA1Kwiziq community member

Indirect object

I don't understand how to use indirect object? 


Asked 4 days ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

It's difficult to explain when I don't know what specifically you don't understand, because, I don't want to repeat what's already in the lesson and the video. Can you post a few examples of sentences you have trouble with?

Indirect object

I don't understand how to use indirect object? 


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DavidC1Kwiziq community member

What about when the indirect object is not a him or her, but an it? Do you still use lui?


Asked 3 weeks ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi David,

This is an interesting question as I have been racking my brain to think of examples where you would ring, ask or talk to an 'it'.

Here goes -

J'ai téléphoné à la police -------> Je leur ai téléphoné ( implying that you spoke to some humans)

J'ai téléphoné aux urgences ( A&E) ---------> Je leur ai téléphoné ( idem)

But a very good point!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

There are only two genders in French -- he and she, masculine and feminine. "It" can be either one of the two, depending what "it" refers to. But the indirect object pronoun is lui in either case.

What about when the indirect object is not a him or her, but an it? Do you still use lui?


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NicoleA2Kwiziq community member

Lui et leur

Salut,

Dans cet lesson ça dit qu'on utilise seulement 'leur' et 'lui' quand le verbe est normalement suivi par "à". Je me demande si vous avez une liste des verbes qui sont suivis par "à"? 

Merci!

Nicole

Asked 1 month ago
ShreyA1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Bonjour Nicole!

Please take a look at the following Kwiziq lesson which provides a list of verbs followed by “à” ->

https://french.kwiziq.com/learn/theme/1048233

 

Lui et leur

Salut,

Dans cet lesson ça dit qu'on utilise seulement 'leur' et 'lui' quand le verbe est normalement suivi par "à". Je me demande si vous avez une liste des verbes qui sont suivis par "à"? 

Merci!

Nicole

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HartA1Kwiziq community member

What about negatives?

Where do I put the negative with lui/leur? For example:"No, I don't write to him."

Would this be "Non, je ne lui écris pas" or "Non, je lui n'écris pas"? I don't know if the negative surrounds the pronoun too.

Asked 5 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Hart,

Ii is  -

Non, je ne lui écris pas.

What about negatives?

Where do I put the negative with lui/leur? For example:"No, I don't write to him."

Would this be "Non, je ne lui écris pas" or "Non, je lui n'écris pas"? I don't know if the negative surrounds the pronoun too.

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RakhimA2Kwiziq community member

How is it "lui" here? Please help

Qu'est-ce qui est arrivé à Elsa ? - Tom ________a volé ses bonbons !The correct answer is LUI, I marked La 

Tom has stolen "her" chocolates (la)Tom has stolen "to her" chocolates (LUI)

Please help me

Asked 6 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

It is voler quelque chose à quelqu'un. In the example you cite, ses bonbons is the direct object and lui (replacing à Elsa) is the indirect object.

You can't translate à as "to". There is no one-to-one correspondence of the French à to a single English preposition.

RakhimA2Kwiziq community member

Thank you so much!after your reply I was able to make sense of it, I also found more here

https://www.wordreference.com/fren/voler

How is it "lui" here? Please help

Qu'est-ce qui est arrivé à Elsa ? - Tom ________a volé ses bonbons !The correct answer is LUI, I marked La 

Tom has stolen "her" chocolates (la)Tom has stolen "to her" chocolates (LUI)

Please help me

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CarolineA2Kwiziq community member

Is there a rule / list that exists that explains which verbs are followed by à ? Many thanks for you help!

Asked 6 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Caroline, 

There are lists of verbs which are followed by à or de but no explanation as it is often idiomatic...

CarolineA2Kwiziq community member

Thanks Cécile!

Is there a rule / list that exists that explains which verbs are followed by à ? Many thanks for you help!

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RobertC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

The following link was sent to me which includes a longer explanation of verbes transitive Indirect

https://www.conjugaisonfrancaise.com/verbes/liste-verbes-transitifs-indirects.html
Asked 7 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Merci Robert!

The following link was sent to me which includes a longer explanation of verbes transitive Indirect

https://www.conjugaisonfrancaise.com/verbes/liste-verbes-transitifs-indirects.html

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MarilynB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Lui confusion

Hi, Ive just done the question 'What does Je lui parle mean? to which I answered I am speaking to him, and I am speaking to her (I ticked both boxes.) My answer was marked  nearly right but my understanding is that lui can refer to both him or her. Can you explain why it was marked this way please.

Asked 9 months ago
AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

You're right, it can mean either. 

I imagine that somehow the system thinks you only ticked one box, and so you're only "nearly right". If you check the answers again, I think you'll find that you've supposedly only chosen one option.

Sometimes this seems to happen - even when I'm sure I've ticked both boxes, one doesn't register. Some kind of bug? 

GruffKwiziq team member

HI Marilyn - sorry to hear this happened. 

In this case, only "I am speaking to her" was recorded as your given answer.

We have had a few reports of people saying they ticked more than one answer but only one registered.

We haven't yet been able to get to the bottom of this and we haven't been able to reproduce it unfortunately so whatever is causing it isn't obvious enough to fix yet. Please do keep an eye out for this in case it happens again and let us know.

Thanks.

MarilynB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thank you, I thought it was odd, but that explains it. 

Marilyn asked:View original

Lui confusion

Hi, Ive just done the question 'What does Je lui parle mean? to which I answered I am speaking to him, and I am speaking to her (I ticked both boxes.) My answer was marked  nearly right but my understanding is that lui can refer to both him or her. Can you explain why it was marked this way please.

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DyrceA2Kwiziq community member

What's the difference between "a tort" and est "tort"?

Asked 10 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Dyrce,

There are  lots of expressions using the word ‘tort’ and without more context I can’t be more specific. 

E.g.

Avoir tort = To be wrong 

Être dans son tort = To be in the wrong 

Un tort = wrong/ an injury ( in a legal context)

Hope this helps!

What's the difference between "a tort" and est "tort"?

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GrahamC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I'm doing the Making a Snowman writing challenge. How is a ball of snow a person that requires lui? (Girl was rolling a ball of snow to make a head)

Asked 10 months ago
SteveB2 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Graham,

The "lui" represents the snowman, not the ball of snow:

Martine roulait une grosse boule pour lui faire une tête.

I agree that the text in isolation is ambiguous, but this has been clarified by a hint under the text:

Martine was rolling a big ball to make it a head.

HINT: "it" = le bonhomme de neige

[In English I think we would say "Martine was rolling a big ball to make him a head".]

 

I'm doing the Making a Snowman writing challenge. How is a ball of snow a person that requires lui? (Girl was rolling a ball of snow to make a head)

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BenA0Kwiziq community member

which are the eleven verbs where indirect object pronouns are not used quelqu'un quelq

Asked 10 months ago

which are the eleven verbs where indirect object pronouns are not used quelqu'un quelq

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RobinA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

seems like a direct object, and not an indirect object

I used les because it seemed like a direct object to me.  So I could find helpful more clarity on why this is not a direct object in the sentence.  Thank you.
Asked 11 months ago
GruffKwiziq team member
Hi Robin, what was the sentence? 
RobinA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Thank you but never mind my question please.  I just re-read a lesson and since the verb required a preposition, that made the object indirect.  I should just read more before asking a question!
GruffKwiziq team member

No worries! Yes, if the verb the requires a preposition when used with an ordinary noun then the object is indirect (I think of the preposition as getting in the way of the object and the verb, so it's not in 'direct' contact). It's also worth bearing in mind that we can't rely on English to tell us if it's indirect or direct. Many verbs that take direct objects in English take indirect objects in French and vice versa, so you need to think about the form in French used with a noun and then work from there. 

Hope that helps!

Robin asked:View original

seems like a direct object, and not an indirect object

I used les because it seemed like a direct object to me.  So I could find helpful more clarity on why this is not a direct object in the sentence.  Thank you.

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LivieB1Kwiziq community member

In the phrase, "j'arrive à manger du riz", how does one rephrase it using the indirect object pronoun method. Since lui, leur refer to people.

Asked 11 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

J'arrive à manger du riz. -- I manage to eat rice.

Which noun do you want to replace with a pronoun? There is only "du riz". You can't replace manger du riz as a group with a pronoun since it is an action.

J'arrive à en manger. -- I manage to eat some.

In the phrase, "j'arrive à manger du riz", how does one rephrase it using the indirect object pronoun method. Since lui, leur refer to people.

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SandraA2Kwiziq community member

In the video, the phrase "je donne une pomme à Paul" was given, but what would be the correct way of replacing that sentence with the pronouns?

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Hi Sandra,

Je donne une pomme à Paul. -- Je lui en donne une. 

ShelleyB1Kwiziq community member
Je la donne a lui
RantA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
What about -- Je lui donne une pomme?
RobertC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Would "Je la lui donne" work also?

In the video, the phrase "je donne une pomme à Paul" was given, but what would be the correct way of replacing that sentence with the pronouns?

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LindaA0Kwiziq community member

But lui is male ?? Should it not be her??

Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour Linda !

Unfortunately, I don't know what specific sentence you're referring to, but in any case, note that "lui" can apply to either masculine or feminine = to him/to her :)

Bonne journée !

ShelleyB1Kwiziq community member
lui is mâle or female

But lui is male ?? Should it not be her??

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DavidC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

"Le vent lui fouettait le visage"

Which of these two is correct, or are both correct. I expected that #2 is correct but it seems the Kwiziq writing challenges expect only #1. I can see both in use elsewhere on the web but I only understand the reasoning behind #2.

1. " Le vent lui fouettait le visage"

2. " Le vent fouettait son visage"

Isn't le/son visage the direct object?

Isn't the use of lui implying that there is an indirect object?

But fouetter does not use indirect objects, does it?

Are we supposed to look at this as:
Subject: The wind

Verb: whips

Direct object: the face

Indirect object: (of) him

But why? There is no "à" in this sentence "Le vent fouettait le visage de Marcel", only a "de".

Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour David !

Actually, in this structure, the person is the indirect object:

Literally (and very clunkily), the sentence would be "Le vent fouettait le visage- à Marcel.". 
It's like the face and the person are two different entities in that structure:
"The wind whips the face to Marcel."

It sounds very weird, I completely agree with you, but this is definitely how such sentences are structured in French :)

Bonne journée !

"Le vent lui fouettait le visage"

Which of these two is correct, or are both correct. I expected that #2 is correct but it seems the Kwiziq writing challenges expect only #1. I can see both in use elsewhere on the web but I only understand the reasoning behind #2.

1. " Le vent lui fouettait le visage"

2. " Le vent fouettait son visage"

Isn't le/son visage the direct object?

Isn't the use of lui implying that there is an indirect object?

But fouetter does not use indirect objects, does it?

Are we supposed to look at this as:
Subject: The wind

Verb: whips

Direct object: the face

Indirect object: (of) him

But why? There is no "à" in this sentence "Le vent fouettait le visage de Marcel", only a "de".

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HelenA1Kwiziq community member

Can’t see the cartoon video relating to this lesson?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Helen,

If you mean the 'Grammar made easy' one, it plays for me so maybe it's a problem with your device.

Would somebody else be kind enough to check on theirs?

Can’t see the cartoon video relating to this lesson?

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JamesC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I ticked both of the her/him boxes, but only the `her` reflected in my results.

Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour James !

I had a look at your answer, and unfortunately, there's no way for me to reproduce the issue.
I know that sometimes I untick answers by mistake before going on to the next one.

Please let us know if it happens again, 

Merci et bonne journée !

SergeA2Kwiziq community member
Same issue.
VictoriaA2Kwiziq community member
I had the same issue. Marked me as incorrect as only 'him' showed in my results even though i had ticked him and her. 
AurélieKwiziq team member

Thanks very much for letting us know !

I checked the lesson's questions and didn't see any apparent issue with their scoring.

Could you please give me the exact question you're referring to, so that I can investigate further?

Merci beaucoup !

Theresa-MarieB2Kwiziq community member
Bonjour Aurélie -- it just happened to me, too.
AurélieKwiziq team member

Could everyone on that thread please let us know which exact question they're referring to?

Our technical team is looking into the issue, but needs as much info as possible :)

Merci beaucoup!

ÅbA2Kwiziq community member

The first mini quiz of this lesson: What can Il lui … mean, with the four alternatives him, her, it and them. The result only count the first of him and her of the alternatives as a given answer and thus complains that both were not selected, when they both actually were selected.

I ticked both of the her/him boxes, but only the `her` reflected in my results.

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DinaA2Kwiziq community member

To or from?

Sorry, the previous one jumped out without me knowing...

As I can understand, lui/leur is more when we are addressing an action towards someone, right? je lui parle, je leur demande, etc. in the test the question was about "voler" FROM sbody. So is it an exceptional case, or is it both "to" and "from" direction? Thanks!

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Dina,

If I may add to what Chris has already said...

In the case of the verb 'Voler', meaning to steal , In French you can "Voler quelque chose à quelqu'un"  "steal something from someone" so it can have both a direct and indirect pronoun .

Look at the following simple dialogue: 

"Martine :  Alain a volé un livre à Patrick!

Louise : C'est pas vrai!

Martine: Oui, il le lui a volé." 

'le' replacing livre and 'lui' replacing Patrick.

Hope this helps!

 

 

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Dina,

it can be confusing to tie the use of lui/leur to the English translation using to/from. A better way to think about them is to realize that they replace persons as indirect objects (CID in succinct French) when they are preceded by the preposition "à".

Je parle à Marie. -- Je lui parle. (I spoke to her)
J'ai demandé à Mike. -- Je lui ai demandé. (I asked him.)
Avez-vous téléphoné aux voisins ? -- Avez-vous leur téléphoné? (Did you call them?)

Next to the indirect object there is also a direct object. It isn't preceded by a preposition which is its distinguishing feature. You use direct object pronouns to replace direct objects (COD in French parlance).

Elle me donne un cadeau. -- Elle me le donne. (She gave it to me.)
Je préfère ta maison. -- Je la préfère. (I prefere it.)
Marie aime les fleures. -- Marie les aime. (Marie likes them).

The verb "voler" usually takes a direct object as the thing that is being stolen:

Le cambrioleurs ont volé des livres. -- Le cambrioleurs les ont volés. (The thieves stole them.)

I hope that helps, -- Chris (not a native speaker).

DinaA2Kwiziq community member
Thank you Chris, this really helps!
DinaA2Kwiziq community member
Hi Cecile, merci beaucoup! I understand that this works similarly with all verbs which are used with "a" as a grammar rule, penser a, voler a, etc. Thanks for help! 

To or from?

Sorry, the previous one jumped out without me knowing...

As I can understand, lui/leur is more when we are addressing an action towards someone, right? je lui parle, je leur demande, etc. in the test the question was about "voler" FROM sbody. So is it an exceptional case, or is it both "to" and "from" direction? Thanks!

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PaulC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Qui siffle

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Please repost your question here. -- Chris.
PaulC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thanks, Kwizbot is having trouble accepting questions right now.

My question is: "Et tout la-haute le vent, Qui siffle dans les branches" is included in the Examples and Resources for this lesson. Can you please explain how it relates to this lesson on indirect object pronouns?  

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Good question. I don't see the connection either. Probably needs to be removed.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

CécileKwiziq team member

You are quite right...

Have alerted Aurélie to it.

AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour Paul !

Thanks to you, that example is now linked to the relevant lesson on relative pronoun "qui"  :)

Merci et à bientôt !

Qui siffle

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ZairaA0Kwiziq community member

Je ________ ai demandé s'ils aiment la canneberge. Why the answer is"leur not les"

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Hi Zaira, the answer is "leur" because in French you say "demander à quelqu'un".
So you need the indirect pronominal object (leur) and not the direct one (les). Here are two examples:

Je parle aux (à+les) enfants. --> Je leur parle. 
(aux enfants = indirect object)
Je cherche les clés. --> Je les cherche. 
(les clés = direct object)

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Je ________ ai demandé s'ils aiment la canneberge. Why the answer is"leur not les"

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DraganaC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

leur or leurs? when does either apply? in what context - I am confused with the plural.

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Dragana, you are actually confusing 2 different types of pronouns.

The lesson you refer to is actually about indirect object pronouns. ( me-te-lui-nous-vous-leur ) "leur" in this case means them or to them and it doesn't need an 's' as it is  already a plural, "lui" can be used for a man or a woman and means him /her or to him/ to her. 

There is another type of pronouns called Possessive Pronouns which will be covered by another lesson and there is a "leur" ( singular) and a "leurs" ( plural ) to translate "their ".

e.g. C'est leur frère , c'est leur mère , ( It is their brother, their mother) , Ce sont leurs frères ( These are their brothers) , Ce sont leurs affaires, ( These are their things ). 

The "leur", "leurs" here agree ( singular or plural ) with the noun they refer to.

Hope this helps!

 

 

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
"Leurs" is used when the noun it refers to is in the plural. An example: Ils aiment leurs enfants. -- They love their children. Ils aiment leur enfant. -- They love their child. -- Chris.
OlofA2Kwiziq community member
This is right, but I think you missed a point. In this lesson we discuss pronouns, that is when you replace people with lui/leur. For example: Il téléphone à ses parents -> Il leur téléphone You never replace people with 'leurs', as leurs is not a pronoun. But there are also what's called "possesive determinants", that you use when someone owns something. English examples might be 'my', 'your', etc. The examples you point out above are possessive determinants, and they can indeed be 'leurs' if their are multiple things that are being owned (sorry for referring to children as things that can be owned, but you get my point). So if you want to replace multiple people with a word - go with 'leur'. If you want multiple people to own multiple things - go with 'leurs'.

leur or leurs? when does either apply? in what context - I am confused with the plural.

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AlvinA2Kwiziq community member

Which verbs take which object: direct or indirect?

I think I understand the concept of when to use le/la/les vs lui, leur. However besides the three verbs (téléphoner, parler, demander) you used as examples, I don't know which verbs take a direct or indirect object. How does one determine which type of object a verb takes?
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Alvin,

The 3 verbs you mention demander, parlertéléphoner (donner is the same) use "à quelqu'un" after them so with these type of verbs you will use the indirect object pronouns lui and leur.

I don't think you can learn lists of verbs, it is just a case of practising and you will learn which ones sound right.

An interesting little example , compare what happens in the next sentence which has the same meaning, to call someone using the 2 different verbs, appeler quelqu'un and téléphoner à quelqu'un.

J'ai appelé mon frère hier -> Je l'ai appelé hier.

J'ai téléphoné à mon frère hier -> Je lui ai téléphoné hier.

Hope this helps!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Good question. One I wish could be answered by a simple rule. I guess you just have to study them. After a while you develop some kind of feeling for this. If I remember correctly, Laura has a good site on here webpage. I'd google it. -- Chris.
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Here is the page I had in mind: https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/direct-vs-indirect-objects/ -- Chris.
AlvinA2Kwiziq community member
Claus, Yeah I wish there was a simple rule because unfortunately Larousse doesn't cover whether the verb should be followed by à, de, etc. I will review Laura's page. Thank you for pointing out another article that may help clear things up. -- Alvin

Which verbs take which object: direct or indirect?

I think I understand the concept of when to use le/la/les vs lui, leur. However besides the three verbs (téléphoner, parler, demander) you used as examples, I don't know which verbs take a direct or indirect object. How does one determine which type of object a verb takes?

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SharonA1Kwiziq community member

Salut! S'il vous plait ,Is this sentence correct?'

Salut! Si'vous plait ,Is this sentence correct?' Je vais leur demander que quel chose? I am going to ask them something?
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer
Bonjour Sharon !

So just to sum up:
Je vais leur demander quelque chose. = I'm going to ask them something.

This is a perfectly correct sentence :)

Bonne journée !
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonjour Sharon, Perhaps there is a typo in the French phrase, if that's not the case then this is how I would phrase it: Je vais leur demander quelque chose ? Yes, the indirect object pronoun goes between «vais» and «demander» since one would not say «leur vais demander». I don't like to use online translators but I have not seen this structure before. It did translate it as «I would ask them» but I have no idea how that would translate like that. Rest assured that there is a lot of misleading information about French language on the internet and I think this translation is probably one. Bonne chance et bonne continuation, Bonne chance.
SharonA1Kwiziq community member
Bonjour Ron, D'accord. Merci . I take it from you that it literally means "i would ask them"?. Not "i would ask them something"?.... Just want to be sure my sentence in french is properly phrased and its translation in english.. Merci beaucoup!
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
«Je vais leur demander que quel chose» this is the phrase you typed in your question; however, I took it to mean «je vais leur demander quelque chose» --> I am going to ask them something. Pardon my confusing statement. When I ran «je leur vais demander» that came back as I would ask them; however, in French the elegant and proper way of stating that is: «je voudrais leur demander» or similarly «je voudrais leur demander quelque chose» It was not my intent to provide a confusing example. As can be read, the indirect object pronoun still precedes demander and not voudrais. I hope that helps.
SharonA1Kwiziq community member
Bonjour Aurelie, Merci beaucoup! Glad to know my sentence is correct. Je suis encouragè.

Salut! S'il vous plait ,Is this sentence correct?'

Salut! Si'vous plait ,Is this sentence correct?' Je vais leur demander que quel chose? I am going to ask them something?

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ShubhamB2Kwiziq community member

I would like to know if it is correct...

I wrote a quotation in English and now I translated it in French. It's something like that: ( Dans le grand schéma de l'univers, ni vous ni un millier d'autres gens n'aurez un jour de l'importance. Nous ne sommes qu'un infime grain de sable dans une immensité que l'on ne peut même pas imaginer. En acceptant cela, le seul sens que votre vie, ou n'importe quelle autre vie, peut avoir dans une telle immensité est le sens que vous la donnez. Rêvez en grand, amusez-vous, et surtout soyez honnête et soyez heureux. ) In English: ( In the grand scheme of the universe, nothing you or one thousand other people do will ever begin to remotely matter. We are nothing but an infinitesimal speck on a scale we cannot even begin to fathom. Accepting that, the only meaning that your life, or any life, can have on such a scale is the meaning for which you give it. Dream big, live fun, and most importantly be honest and be happy. ) I would like to know if I have translated my quotation correctly in French. Thank you in advance! Note: All my writing pieces are solely my literary work and authorized.
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Shubbam ! Nice text ! A couple of corrections: - nothing ...do... = "rien de ce que vous ou un millier d'autres personnes ne faites n'aura jamais la moindre importance." - Accepting that, here it's used in the sense of "Once you accept that": "Une fois que vous acceptez ça/cela/ce fait" - est le sens que vous *la* donnez. = "donner [quelque chose] à [quelqu'un], so here you need to use the indirect object pronoun: "que vous *lui* donnez" Here are links to the related lessons: Ce que (vs ce qui) = what, which (relative pronouns) Personne ne ..., rien ne ... = No one, nothing (negation) I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !
ShubhamB2Kwiziq community member
Bonjour Aurélie! C'est vraiment un conseil utile. Je vous remercie de votre aide. À bientôt!

I would like to know if it is correct...

I wrote a quotation in English and now I translated it in French. It's something like that: ( Dans le grand schéma de l'univers, ni vous ni un millier d'autres gens n'aurez un jour de l'importance. Nous ne sommes qu'un infime grain de sable dans une immensité que l'on ne peut même pas imaginer. En acceptant cela, le seul sens que votre vie, ou n'importe quelle autre vie, peut avoir dans une telle immensité est le sens que vous la donnez. Rêvez en grand, amusez-vous, et surtout soyez honnête et soyez heureux. ) In English: ( In the grand scheme of the universe, nothing you or one thousand other people do will ever begin to remotely matter. We are nothing but an infinitesimal speck on a scale we cannot even begin to fathom. Accepting that, the only meaning that your life, or any life, can have on such a scale is the meaning for which you give it. Dream big, live fun, and most importantly be honest and be happy. ) I would like to know if I have translated my quotation correctly in French. Thank you in advance! Note: All my writing pieces are solely my literary work and authorized.

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JudyB1Kwiziq community member

Why is Lui used in the following sentence?

I don't understand the use of lui rather than il in this sentence. Paul est mon meilleur ami. Lui, seul comprend mes problèmes.
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Judy ! In this sentence, "lui" is the disjunctive/stress pronoun (moi, toi, elle, lui...) rather than the indirect object pronoun. It is usually used for emphasis, but this is the specific case when you use it in conjonction with "seul" to express "only he" : "Lui seul me comprend." (Only he understands me.) "Moi seul la comprend." (Only I understand her.) "Elle seule t'écoute." (Only she listens to you.) etc I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

Why is Lui used in the following sentence?

I don't understand the use of lui rather than il in this sentence. Paul est mon meilleur ami. Lui, seul comprend mes problèmes.

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DzoanB1Kwiziq community member

Verbs that go with de?

What's about verbs that go with de? Like je parle de mes enfants.
Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonjour Dzoan, You are on the correct track with your question; however, with one thing to keep in mind. Like the use of «à» following certain verbs, there are certain verbs that the use of «de» is obligatory. Here is a list from another online site that I found: French Verbs followed by “de” There are many verbs followed by the preposition “de”. accepter, accuser, achever, admettre, arrêter, charger, cesser, se charger, choisir, commander, conseiller, défendre, décider, envisager, éviter, finir, se hâter, s’indigner, interdire, jurer, se mêler, menacer, négliger, omettre, suggérer, etc. Here are some examples of the use of these verbs: Ils ont accepté de nous vendre la maison. (They agreed to sell us the house.) On l’accuse d’avoir volé l’argent. (He is accused of stealing the money.) Arrêtez de crier ! (Stop screaming.) J’envisage d’acheter une maison. (I’m considering buy a house.) Il nous suggère de partir tout de suite. (He suggests that we leave right away.) Je vous propose d’écouter cet extrait. (I propose that we listen to this excerpt.) I think I recall reading a lesson on this site about this; however, I am unable to locate it. J'espère que cela vous aiderait. Bonne chance.

Verbs that go with de?

What's about verbs that go with de? Like je parle de mes enfants.

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PrashanthA2Kwiziq community member

Example 6: Je LEUR lis une histoire...

Does this mean "lire" is a verb for which "à" is commonly applied? Or is it in this case that the full sentence would be "Je lis une histoire à mes enfants", and hence the usage of "leur" is warranted?
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Prashanth ! It's the second case: the structure is "lire à ". À bientôt !
AlvinA2Kwiziq community member
Hi Aurélie, I know this is an old question but I would like to get some clarification. Based on your response to Prashanth's question does that mean the proper way to say "I read them a story" is "Je les lis une histoire." ? Thanks, Alvin

Example 6: Je LEUR lis une histoire...

Does this mean "lire" is a verb for which "à" is commonly applied? Or is it in this case that the full sentence would be "Je lis une histoire à mes enfants", and hence the usage of "leur" is warranted?

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MeghnaC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I do not understand the question

Qu'est-ce qui est arrivé à Elsa ? - how does this translate to 'what happened to Elsa?' This is from the test questions. Kindly clarify.
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Meghna ! This is a colloquial use of the verb "arriver" here. Indeed, in French, you can use "arriver" in the sense of "to happen", as such: "Ces choses-là arrivent !" (Those things happen!) or "Qu'est-ce qui t'est arrivé ?" (What happened to you?) I hope that answers your question! À bientôt !
MeghnaC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Thank you Aurélie. It does help.

I do not understand the question

Qu'est-ce qui est arrivé à Elsa ? - how does this translate to 'what happened to Elsa?' This is from the test questions. Kindly clarify.

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MerleB2Kwiziq community member

If 'lui' means him or her why does 'vous lui dites' mean 'you tell him...' And not 'you tell her...'

Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour Merle, If there's no context that tells you "lui" is specifically male or female, then "vous lui dites" can mean either one.

If 'lui' means him or her why does 'vous lui dites' mean 'you tell him...' And not 'you tell her...'

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MercyA0Kwiziq community member

How would I say "I like being with them"

Asked 3 years ago
LeilaC1Kwiziq community memberCorrect answer
J'aime être avec eux.

How would I say "I like being with them"

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BillA2Kwiziq community member

How would you say, "They are asking them about them" and "They are giving them to them"?

Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour Bill, "They are asking them about them" = Ils se renseignent sur eux. "They are giving them to them" = Ils les leur donnent.
AnnB2Kwiziq community member
Laura and Bill. I'm a little confused by the answer. If i analyse the sentence - "They are giving them to them" I sense there are three groups involved: 1)They (subject - e.g. one group of people); 2) them (direct object - second group e.g. some books) and 3) to them (indirect object - e.g. another group of people), so three altogether. Now i would have thought that "Ils se renseignent" being reflexive would mean "They ask themselves" so that "Ils renseignent sur eux" would mean "They ask themselves about them", thereby indicating only two group involved They (subject) themselves (still the same subject) and "them" (indirect object) not three which was Bill's question I think? But the sentence "They are giving them to them = Ils les leur donnent" indicates three groups - Ils (they) subject; les (them) direct object; and leur (to them)indirect object which is a good example to answer Bill's question. Do you agree there is a difference please, or am I missing something? I'm sure you can explain, Laura. Sorry to be pernickety but if I don't get it clear in my head i wont be able to remember the rules.

How would you say, "They are asking them about them" and "They are giving them to them"?

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ShelleyA2Kwiziq community member

What verbs usually go with à?

Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour Shelley, There are dozens - aider qqun à, apprendre à faire, commencer à faire, plaire à qqun, etc. For a complete list, try googling for "French verbs with à."

What verbs usually go with à?

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Clever stuff underway!