• French grammar
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  • 1 French alphabet
  • 2 French pronunciation and phonetics [0/7]
  • 3 Nature and function of French words [0/23]
  • Multiple choice exercise about the nature of French words (Score -/-)
  • Multiple choice questions about the function of French words (Score -/-)
  • 3.1 The subject in French [0/3]
  • 3.2 The apostrophe and apposition in French [0/2]
  • 3.3 The complement object in French [0/12]
  • 3.4 The circumstancial complement in French [0/2]
  • 3.5 The agent complement in French [0/2]
  • 4 French articles [0/9]
  • 5 French nouns [0/13]
  • 6 French pronouns [0/20]
  • Multiple choice questions about the pronouns in French (Score -/-)
  • 6.1 French personal pronouns - je, tu, il [0/3]
  • 6.2 French possessive pronouns - le mien, le tien [0/2]
  • 6.3 French reflexive pronouns - me, te, se [0/2]
  • 6.4 French demonstrative pronouns - celui, celle, ceux [0/2]
  • 6.5 French relative pronouns - qui, que, qu' [0/4]
  • 6.6 French indefinite pronouns - tout, chacun [0/2]
  • 6.7 French interrogative pronouns - qui, que, lequel [0/2]
  • 6.8 French adverbial pronouns - en, y [0/2]
  • 7 French adjectives [0/17]
  • Multiple choice questions about the epithet, attribute in French (Score -/-)
  • 7.1 Endings of regular and irregular French adjectives [0/3]
  • 7.2 Comparative and superlative of French adjectives [0/3]
  • 7.3 Placement of French adjectives [0/2]
  • 7.4 French possessive adjectives - mon, ton, son [0/4]
  • 7.5 French demonstrative adjectives - ce, cette [0/2]
  • 7.6 French indefinite adjectives - toutes, quelques [0/2]
  • 8 French adverbs [0/18]
  • 9 French prepositions [0/10]
  • 10 French verbs [0/135]
  • 10.1 Tenses and moods in French [0/63]
  • 10.1.1 Indicative in French [0/26]
  • 10.1.1.1 Present tense in French [0/2]
  • 10.1.1.2 Past tenses in French [0/13]
  • 10.1.1.3 Future tenses in French [0/11]
  • 10.1.2 Subjunctive in French (le Subjonctif) [0/11]
  • 10.1.3 Conditional in French (le conditionnel) [0/10]
  • 10.1.4 Imperative in French [0/3]
  • 10.1.5 Infinitive in French [0/4]
  • 10.1.6 Gerund in French [0/2]
  • 10.1.7 Present participle in French [0/3]
  • 10.1.8 Past participle in French [0/4]
  • 10.2 French auxiliary verbs (avoir, être) [0/11]
  • 10.3 Modal verbs in French [0/17]
  • Fill in the blank exercise for the modal verbs in French (Score -/-)
  • 10.3.1 Conjugation of pouvoir (can) in French [0/4]
  • 10.3.2 Conjugation of devoir (should) in French [0/4]
  • 10.3.3 conjugation of vouloir (want) in French [0/4]
  • 10.3.4 Conjugation of savoir (to know) in French [0/4]
  • 10.4 Passive voice in French [0/4]
  • 10.5 Reflexive verbs in French [0/4]
  • 10.6 Irregular verbs in French [0/24]
  • Fill in the blanks exercise of the irregular verbs in French (Score -/-)
  • Fill in the blanks exercise of the irregular verbs in French II (Score -/-)
  • 10.6.1 Conjugation of venir (to come) in French [0/4]
  • 10.6.2 conjugation of aller (to go) in French [0/4]
  • 10.6.3 conjugation of faire (to do) in French [0/4]
  • 10.6.4 conjugation of prendre (to take) in French [0/3]
  • 10.6.5 conjugation of voir (to see) in French [0/3]
  • 10.6.6 Conjugation of partir (to leave) in French [0/4]
  • 10.7 Regular verbs in French [0/8]
  • 10.8 Reported Speech in French [0/4]
  • 11 French sentence structure [0/25]
  • Multiple choice questions about the sentence structure in French (Score -/-)
  • 11.1 The phrases in French [0/5]
  • 11.2 The forms of phrases in French [0/7]
  • 11.3 The types of phrases in French [0/8]
  • 11.4 The propositions in French [0/4]
  • 12 French si clauses [0/3]
  • 13
  • The second object (COS) in French

    What is the second object complement in French ? 

    The second object complement (French: le complément d'objet second) is a complement that is preceded by a preposition. It completes the direct object complement in a sentence.

    To make it simple, the COI changes its name and becomes the second object complement: COS.

    Examples:

    COD COS Translations
    Pierre donne un cadeau à son frère Pierre donne un cadeau à son frère (Peter gives a gift to his brother)
    Julia achète un foulard à sa mère Julia achète un foulard à sa mère (Julia buys a scarf for her mom)

    How to recognize the COS in French ? 

    The COS indicates who benefits or who harms the action made by the subject.

    The complement is introduced by a preposition and is attached to a verb that is already built with a COD (after the latter, so it comes second)

    The presence of the COD is mandatory in this type of construction, otherwise the sentence will be incorrect.

    • Subject + verb + COD + COS

    Examples

    Roméo annonce une bonne nouvelle à sa famille. (Romeo announce a good news to his family)

    • The subject is "Roméo"
    • The transitive verb is "annonce"
    • The direct object is "une bonne nouvelle"
    • "à sa famille" is a COI because you ask the question "à qui ?" 
    • But it is the second complement in the sentence, therefore it becomes a COS

    Papa a demandé une nouvelle voiture de service à son directeur général. (Dad asked a new service car to his CEO)

    • The subject is "papa"
    • The transitive verb is "a demandé"
    • The COD is "une nouvelle voiture de service"
    • "à son directeur" is a COI because you ask the question "à qui ?"
    • But it is a second complement in the sentence, therefore it becomes the COS

    The position of the COS in French 

    The COS can be placed in different ways in a sentence:

    • After the first COD
    • If the COS is a pronoun, it always stands before the verb.
    • If the COD and the COS are pronouns, we look at their grammatical person: in the 3rd person → the COD is before the COS; 1st and 2nd person => the COS is before the COD
    • If the verb is imperative, the COS is after the COD.

    Examples

    Position COD COS Examples
    After the COD Papa a donné sa voiture Papa à donné sa voiture à maman (Dad gave his car to mom)
    Pronoun Papa a donné sa voiture à maman  Papa lui a donné sa voiture (Dad gave her his car)
    Pronouns

    Papa l'a donné à maman

    La maîtresse prête un stylo à Marcel

    Papa la lui a donné 

    La maîtresse me le prête

    (Dad gave it to mom)

    (The teacher lends it to me)

    Imperative Donne lui ton sac Donnes-le lui (Give it to him)

    enlightenedIf the COS is usually placed after the COD, it sometimes happens to be placed before:

    • Le client a commandé au vendeur une voiture. (The client ordered to the seller a car)
    • Le client a commandé une voiture au vendeur. (The client ordered a car to the seller)

    ​The grammatical category of the COS in French

    As a general rule, the COS can not be deleted and it is part of the verbal group and a sentence can have two COS at the same time. 

    The grammatical nature of the COS can be: 

    • A noun 
    • A nominal group 
    • A pronoun

    Examples:

    Nature COS Translations
    Noun Selena emprunte un bijou à sa soeur (Selena borrows a jewel to her sister)
    Nominal group Pierre offre une montre au nouveau marié (Peter offers a watch to the new bride)
    Pronoun Marie lui donne un dilemme (Maria gaves him an ultimatum)

    Exercises

    Fill in the blank exercise about second object pronouns in French

    Drag and Drop exercise about the COS in French