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French direct and indirect object pronouns

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Indirect or Direct pronouns (French: les pronoms indirects et directs) are used to replace the complement it can either be a COD or a COI. Even for the COS, we can also use pronouns to replace the complement in this case also it can either be the direct object or the indirect object pronouns. 

Here you wil get an overview about all the complements pronouns in the French grammar

1) French direct object pronouns

The French direct object pronoun replaces a direct object complement (COD) and makes it possible not to repeat the noun. It is always placed before the verb. 

It answers to the question:

  • Qui ? (for a person)
  • Quoi ? (for a thing)

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Chart of the French direct object pronouns










Formation of the French direct object pronouns

1. For yourself, the person who is talking (I), you use the pronoun me or m' (in front of a vowel or an h)

  • Il connaît Julien depuis le lycée. ------> Il me connaît depuis le lycée. (He knows Julian since high school)
  • Ils adorent Marie. -------> Ils m'adorent

enlightenedThis direct object pronouns cannot apply to the 1st plural person: nous

2. For the person who you talking to (you), you use the pronoun te or t' (in front of a vowel or an h)

  • Je n'ai pas vu Sandra à la gare. -----> Je ne t'ai pas vu à la gare. (I didn't saw you at the train station)
  • Nous tuerons Léo -----> Nous te tuerons. (We will kill you)

enlightenedThis direct object cannot apply to the 2nd plural person: vous

3. For people that are talking (we), you use the pronoun: nous

  • Ton amie invite notre famille à dîner. -----> Ton amie nous invite à dîner
  • Vous attendez vos amies. -----> Vous nous attendez. 

enlightenedThis pronoun cannot apply to the 1st singular person: je

4. For the people we are talking to (you), you use the pronoun: vous 

  • J'attends mes amies et toi -----> Je vous attends
  • Je ne vois plus Marie et Rosie -----> Je ne vous vois plus

enlightenedIn general, this pronoun is used in all personal pronouns as a cortesy for a person. 

5. For a person or a thing, you use:

  • la or l' for the feminine complement 
  • le or l' for the masculine complement
  • les for many things or many persons


 CODObject pronounsExamples
Feminine complementJe regarde la télévisionJe la regarde(I am watching the TV)
Masculine complement

Ils voient le jardin 

Vous adorez le professeur

Ils le voient

Vous l'adorez

(They see the garden)

(You love the professor

many things or persons

Nous achetons les fruits

Vous voyez les enfants

Nous les achetons

Vous les voyez

(We are buying fruits)

(You see the children)

enlightenedNote that the direct object pronouns le,la,les,l' always agree in gender and in number with the complement/noun it replaces. 

2) The French Indirect object pronouns

The French direct object pronoun replaces a indirect object complement (COI) and makes it possible not to repeat the noun. It is always placed before the verb.

It answers to the question: 

  • à qui ? 
  • à quoi ? 

Chart of the French indirecti object pronouns









These pronouns are usually used with the communication verbs that are built with the preposition à:

  • dire à
  • téléphoner à
  • parler à
  • envoyer à
  • donner à
  • offrir à
  • répondre à
  • écrire à
  • demander à


meLe professeur a donné un devoir à moiLe professeur m'a donné un devoir
teJe parle à toiJe te parle
luiNous avons envoyé une lettre au présidentNous lui avons envoyé une lettre
nousLe voisin apporte des pommes à nos amiesle voisin nous apporte des pommes
vousIl demande pardon à tes amiesIl vous demande pardon
leurVous écrivez une poésie aux parents des élèvesVous leur écrivez une poésie

enlightenedNote that in front of a,e,i,o,u,y and h te and me become m' and t'


  1. Reflexive vs object pronouns in French
  2. Fill in the blank exercise about the direct object pronouns in French
  3. Fill in the blank exercise about the indirect object pronouns in French

Reflexive vs object pronouns in French

Fill in the blank exercise about the direct object pronouns in French

Fill in the blank exercise about the indirect object pronouns in French

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