The complement object in French
The object complement (abbreviated CO) (French: Le complément d'objet) is part of the verbal group and is a transitive verb. It is essential to the proposition.
The object complement can be composed of a noun, a nominal group, a pronoun, an infinitive verb or a subordinate clause. The object complement is usually placed after the verb, but it can also be placed in front of the verb in an interrogative sentence, or when this object complement is a pronoun.
There are three types of object complements:
The object complement is determined by its position in the sentence and how it is related to the verb it completes.
The direct object in French
The direct object complement (French: le complément d'objet direct) directly completes the verb without any preposition. The verb used with a COD is a direct transitive verb.
To find the COD of a verb, it is most often enough to ask questions:
- Quoi ? (What ?)
- Qui ? (Who ?)
|Je vais voir mon père||Je vais voir qui ?||(I am going to see my father)|
|Nous avons acheté un bouquet de fleurs||Nous avons acheté quoi ?||(We bought a bouquet of flowers)|
The indirect object in French
The indirect object complement (French: le complément d'objet indirect) indirectly completes the verb most often through a preposition. The verb used with an COI is an indirect transitive verb.
To find the COI of the verb, it is most enough to ask questions:
- à qui ? à quoi ? (to whom ?) (to what ?)
- de qui ? de quoi ? (of who ?) (of what ?)
|Cette salle appartient à la directrice||Cette salle appartient à qui ?||(This classroom belongs to the director)|
|Mon père l'aime de tout son coeur||Mon père l'aime de quoi ?||(My father loves her with all his heart)|
The position of object pronouns
Direct and indirect object pronouns are placed before the conjugated verb in the present, future, imperfect and before the auxiliary verb (avoir or être) in compound tenses such as the past completed.
It is also place before the infinitive verb in structures that include a conjugated verb followed by an infinitive.
The only structure that requires the object pronoun to be placed after the verb is the affirmative command.
|precede the verb in simple tenses||Je le vois||I see him|
|precede the auxiliary verb in compound tenses||Je l'ai vu||I saw him|
|precede the infinitive form||Je vais le voir||I am going to see him|
|Follow the verb in affirmative commands||Regarde-le !||Look at him !|
The second object in French
The second object complement (French: le complément d'objet second) is very simple. It is used with a direct transitive verb along with the direct object complement and usually with a preposition.
It is called second just because there is another complement which is a COD that is in first position. It means that if the sentence has no direct object complement it is always an indirect object.
|J'enseigne l'anglais à mes amis||(I am teaching english to my friends)||J'enseigne l'anglais|
|Pierre a offert un cadeau à son amie||(Peter offered a gift to his friend)||Pierre a offert un cadeau|
Learn more about the object complements in our subpages !
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