1 YOU MEAN I HAVE TO KNOW THIS!? VOL 3 PRONOUNS Object pronouns Object pronouns If subjects do the verb, guess what the objects do? They get the verb done to them! Consider the following sentences: We eat the bananas. Nous mangeons les bananes. The banana hits Adam. La banane frappe Adam. The object in the first sentence is "the bananas." In the second sentence the object is poor "Adam," yet another victim of the phantom banana hurler. In other words, people can be objects, grammatically speaking, if they get the verb done to them. Here are the first object pronouns in French. Place them in front of the verb. Michel mange le fromage II le mange. "it" Prenez-vous la creme? La prenez-vous? "it" J'adore ces peches. Je les adore. "them" But people can also be objects: Nous regardohs Alain. Nous le regardons. "him" Cherchent-ils ma soeur? La cherchent-ils? "her" Nous trouvons Jean et Michel Nous les trouvons. "them" Remember, even though you have words like mon, ma, mes, ton, ta, tes etc. and ce, cette, ces, the object pronouns that will replace them are still le, la, les. Study these examples: Je regarde tes amis. Je les regarde. Voici son stylo. Levoici. Je prends notre voiture. Je la prends. Vend-il cette bicyclette? La vend-il? II trouve leurs bicyclettes. II les trouve. What about me and you? We can also be objects, and here it gets really easy, me "me" nous "us" te "you" vous "you" Just place the object pronouns in front of the verb and presto! Here you have it: II me regarde. Ellemecoute. Jetedeteste. lis nous aiment. Nous vous aimons. lis vous cherchent. When a verb is in the negative, just follow the rule and place the object pronoun in front of the verb. Study the following: Je ne le regarde pas. Elle ne nous aime pas. Je ne I'ai pas. II ne les mange pas. ^
2 YOU MEAN I HAVE TO KNOW THIS!? VOL 3 NOM_ Exercise B - Direct object pronouns Rewrite the sentences, replacing the noun in bold type with a pronoun. 1. II mange la pomme. 2. Elle prend le pain. 3. lis detestent les legumes. 4. Nous cherchons le stylo. _ 5. Elles achetent la creme. 6. Voici mon ami. 7. Voulez-vous cette banane? 8. lis regardent nos dessins animes. 9. Je ne trouve pas ma creme solaire. 10. lis n'ecoutent pas les disques. 11. Elle ne vend pas sa chaine stereo. 12. lis rencontrent Jean et Marie au cinema. 13. Veux-tu ce livre? 14. Elles cherchent leurs affaires dans le easier. 15. Nous entendons le voleur en bas. 5
3 YOU MEAN / HAVE TO KNOW THIS!? VOL 3 PRONOUNS Indirect objects Indirect objects Oops! I forgot to tell you that there are two kinds of object pronouns, direct and indirect. In the previous section we dealt with direct objects that receive directly the action of the verb. Remember Adam? He was hit directly by that banana! Look at this sentence: Michel donpe le cadeau a Marie. What is the object in this sentence? You will probably choose /e cadeau, since you can hardly give Mary away. She would get really upset if you tried! But on the other hand, she does have something to do with the verb, doesn't she? The gift is given - directly, but it is given to her; in an indirect way, she is another object of the verb. So we can now say that in the sentence, Michel donne le cadeau d Marie, Michel is the subject because he does the verb, le cadeau is the direct object because it receives directly the action of the verb, and Marie is the indirect object because she receives indirectly the action of the verb. In French, the sign of an indirect object is a. If you have an object introduced by d it is indirect and is replaced as follows (remember to place the object pronoun in front of the verb!): d + single person lui to him, to her a+ plural people leur to them Look at these examples: Je parle a Marie. Je lui parle. I speak to her. Elle donne le livre d Jean. Elle lui donne le livre. She gives the book to him. Nous parlons aux eleves. Nous leur parlons. We speak to them. II repond d sa mere. II lui repond. He answers (to) her. 7
4 YOU MEAN / HAVE TO KNOW THIS!? VOL 3 PRONOUNS indirect objects What about me and you? I'm glad you asked that. No problem! to me to you me te II me parle. Elle te repond. Elles me donnent un cadeau. Nous te parlons. to us to you nous vous II nous telephone. Jevous telephone. lis nous envolent une lettre. Ellevous parle. You mean, the same words stand for the indirect and direct objects in these cases? YES!! 8
5 YOU MEAN I HA VE TO KNOW THIS!? VOL 3 NOMl Exercise D - Indirect object pronouns Rewrite the sentences, replacing the words in bold type with a pronoun. 1. II parle a Jeanne. 2. Elle telephone a sa soeur. 3. Je reponds a mes copains. 4. Je donne un cadeau aux enfants. 5. lis telephonent a mes parents. 6. Parlez-vous a Marcel? 7. Reponds-tu a la dame? 8. J'offre des chocolats a mes amis. 9. lis ne parlent pas a Jean. 10. Je ne reponds pas a Madeleine. Answer the questions using the correct object pronoun. 11. Parles-tu a Maman? Oui, 12. Telephone-t-il a sa soeur? Oui, 13. Donne-t-elle des bonbons aux enfants? Oui, 14. Demande-t-il des devoirs a ses eleves? Oui, 15. Me telephone-t-elle? Oui, 9
6 YOU MEAN I HAVE TO KNOW THIS!? VOL 3 NOMl 16. Nous repondent-ils? Oui, 17. Achete-t-il la bicydette a Michel? Oui, 18. Est-ce qu'il offre le cadeau? Oui,_ 19. Donne-t-elle la lettre a sa cousine? Non, 20. Parlez-vous a mes eleves? Oui, 10 Copyright 200] John Beaver
7 YOU MEAN / HAVE TO KNOW THIS!? VOL 3 PMNOUNS Positioning' Position of pronoun objects You know that pronoun objects are placed before the verb in the present tense: Je lui parle. Elle ne nous telephone pas. Je leur reponds. When you are using the passe compose, the pronoun object is placed before the auxiliary verb (either flvo/r or etre): II lui a telephone. Nous ne leur avons pas parle. Elle m'a repondu. (There is also a rather special rule you will learn later about the passe compose and direct objects. For the moment, just remember where to place the pronoun objects.) In infinitive constructions, place the pronoun object before the infinitive. Why? Because the pronoun is the object of the verb in the infinitive, not the first verb. Look at these examples: Je vaisy aller. Elle ne veut pas nous parler. Jedois enacheter. If you place more than one pronoun object together, they follow this order: (^1 me te nous vous) (2 le la les~^) C3 lui leur ) (4~r^ (5 erq Here are a few examples. What do they mean? Je lui en parle. Elle me les donne. Jel'ymets. Tu les leur donnes. t6
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