The Different Types Of French Pronouns

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Part of being fluent in French lies on mastering the use of pronouns. They have the same function in English and French: they can replace a name previously mentioned in a sentence, or refer directly to a being / thing. The list below gathers pronouns by the type of role they play in the sentence.

Category Role Singular Plural
Pronom personnel sujet

Replaces the subject

*1st person: je / j' (I)
*2nd person: tu (you)
*3rd person: il / elle/ on (he/she/one)

E.g. Robert est en retard. Il court vers le bus.

* nous (we)
* vous (formal "tu" and plural)
* ils / elles (they)

 

Pronom COD* Replaces the name referred to by a verb with no preposition *1st person : me/ m' (me)
*2nd person: te / t' (you)
*3rd person : le / la/ l'  (him/her/it)

E.g. J'aime le fromage. Je l'aime.

* nous (us)
* vous (you)
* les (them)

 

Pronom COI* Replaces the name referred to by a verb with a preposition *1st person: me/ m' (me)
*2nd person: te / t' (you)
*3rd person: lui (him/her/it)

E.g. Je parle à mes parents. Je leur parle.

* nous (us)
* vous (you)
* leur (them)

 

Pronom démonstratif Localizes in space or time *Masculin: ce, celui, celui-ci, celui-là, cela, ceci
*Feminin: celle, celle-ci, celle-là, cela, ceci

E.g. Je veux ce croissant. Celui-ci?

*ceux, ceux-ci, ceux-là
*celles, celles-ci, celles-là

 

Pronom possessif Replaces a name preceded by a possessive determiner. Agrees with the name's gender and number *1st person: le/la/les mien(ne-s) (mine)
*2nd person: le/la/les tien(ne-s) (yours)
*3rd person: le/la/les sien(ne-s) (his/hers/its)

E.g. Il a une belle voiture mais je préfère la mienne.

* la/le/les nôtre(s) (ours)
* la/le/les vôtre(s) (yours)
* la/le/les leur(s) (theirs)

 

Pronom indéfini Replaces nouns usually introduiced by indefinite determiners *Aucun(e), quelqu'un, tout(e), quelque chose, etc.

E.g. Tu as pris des gants? Non, il n'en restait aucuns. 

*Aucun(e)s, quelques uns, tout(e)s, plusieurs, etc.

 

Pronom relatif Used to introduce a name's additional information that doesn't hold a subject Qui, que, quoi, dont, où, lequel(le), quiconque

E.g. L'homme dont je suis amoureuse s'appelle Carl.
Lesquel(le)s
Pronom interrogatif Used to ask a question

Qui, que, quoi/qu'est-ce que, quel(le), lequel/laquelle, combien, comment, pourquoi, où

E.g. Quelle heure est-il?

Quel(le)s, lesquel(le)s,
Pronom réfléchi Used with reflexive/pronominal verbs** *1st person: me / m' (me)
*2nd person: te / t' (you)
*3rd person: se / s' (him/her/it)

E.g. Je me lave.

* nous (us)
* vous (you)
* se (them)

 

*COD/ COI = Complément d’Objet Direct / Complément d’Objet Indirect

**Reflexive/Pronominal = verb always paired with a pronom réfléchit

Now I know you feel like clicking on another post right now BUT hang in there because (1) you can’t click pronouns away in French, and (2) once you’ll nail them it will save you some precious time formulating sentences.

And if there’s anything you’d like to clarify with us, let us know below ⬇


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