Direct Object Pronouns



1. The use of Direct Object Pronouns (DOP)


A Direct Object Pronoun is used to replace a noun ( which is the object of the sentence).

It is used to talk about something without repeating it.


Check the example below to understand what this means:


Je regarde la télévision. I am watching TV.

  • Je, the person who is doing the action, is the subject.

  • la télévision is the object because it is on the receiving end of the action.

We can replace la télévision with a Direct Object Pronoun to avoid repetition.


Je regarde la télévision. Je la regarde tous les jours.

I am watching TV. I watch it everyday.



2. The French Direct Object Pronouns

See table below:


Example:

J'adore les chiens.

Je les adore.



3. The position of DOP in simple tenses


In simple tenses/moods: Direct Object Pronouns are placed in front of the verb.

Example:

Nous écoutons la musique.

Nous l'écoutons.


In negative sentences: The DOP remains in front of the verb.

Example:

Nous n'écoutons pas la musique.

Nous ne l'écoutons pas.


With pronominal verbs:

Example:

Elle se brosse les cheveux.

Elle se les brosse.


In negative sentences:

Example:

Je ne me brosse jamais les dents.

Je ne me les brosse jamais.



4. DOP in compound tenses


In compound tenses/moods, Direct Object Pronouns are placed in front of the auxiliary.


Example:

Il a perdu son stylo.

Il l'a perdu.


Be careful! The past participle must agree with the preceding Direct Object.


Example:

Nous avons mangé les bonbons.

Nous les avons mangés.



5. DOP with infinitives


If a verb is followed by an infinitive, the Direct Object Pronoun is usually placed before the infinitive.


Example:

Je dois ranger ma chambre.

Je dois la ranger.


Be careful! This rule does not apply if the conjugated verb is a verb of perception* , envoyer, laisser or (se) faire.


* entendre, écouter, voir, apercevoir, regarder, sentir are verbs of perception.


Example:

Je fais manger le gâteau à mon chat.

Je le fais manger à mon chat.



6. DOP with imperative


In sentences using the imperative (orders, instructions), the Direct Object Pronouns is placed after the verb.

Moi is used instead of me / m’

Toi is used instead of te / t’

An hyphen is added between the verb and the Direct Object Pronoun.


Example:

Aide-moi! Help me!


Be careful! This is not the case for negative sentences, where the DOP is placed before the verb.

Example:

Ne le fais pas! Don't do it!




Recommendation:



For French A Level students with any exam board:










For French GCSE students with any exam board:





















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