Il/Elle versus Ils/Elles [Explanation and 9 Examples]

il/elle versus ils/elles

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In this French grammar lesson, you will learn about il/elle versus ils/elles.

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • what the subject pronouns are in French
  • what il means
  • what elle means
  • what ils means
  • what elles means
  • how il, elle, ils, and elles are used in sentences
  • how you can quiz yourself on il/elle versus ils/elles
  • how to practice with flashcards on il/elle versus ils/elles
  • how and why you should use the courses of Language Atlas to learn French

Please refer to the French A1 Curriculum to get a better overview of French grammar, if you are curious about this fits in French A1.

By the end of the lesson, you will know all about il/elle versus ils/elles!

Table of Contents

Table of Subject Pronouns

jeI
tuyou (singular informal)
ilhe, it (masculine)
elleshe, it (feminine)
onone, we (informal), people, they
nouswe (formal)
vousyou (singular formal and all plurals)
ilsthey (masculine, or mixed masculine and feminine)
ellesthey (feminine)

Il means he or it (for a masculine noun)

Adam est timid. Il est timid.

Adam is shy. He is shy.

As Adam is a man, you have to use the subject pronoun il if you want to refer back to him.

Le livre est dans la maison. Il est dans la maison.

The book is in the house. It is in the house.

As you can see there is not a special word for “it” in French. The subject pronoun il can be used for “it” masculine nouns.

Elle means she or it (for a feminine noun)

Antoinette est calme. Elle est calme.

Antoinette is quiet. She is quiet.

As Antoinette is a woman, you have to use the subject pronoun elle if you want to refer back to her.

La chaise est grande. Elle est grande.

The chair is big. It is big

As you can see there is not a special word for “it” in French. The subject pronoun elle can be used for feminine nouns.

Ils means they (for masculine and mixed plural nouns)

Adam et Paul sont frères. Ils sont frères.

Adam and Paul are brothers. They are brothers.

The group is completly male, thus you have to use the subject pronoun ils to refer back to them.

Adam et Antoinette sont ici. Ils sont ici

Adam and Antoinette are here. They are here.

The group is mixed (one male and one female), so you have to use the subject pronoun ils to refer back to them.

Les livres sont en vente. Ils sont en vente.

The books are on sale. They are on sale.

The noun is masculine and plural. So, you have to use the subject pronoun ils to refer to them.

Please note that the pronunciation of “il” and “ils” is the same, as the -s in “ils” is not pronounced.

The context reveals which one is used.

Elles means they (for only feminine groups or nouns)

Antoinette et Esmée vont à l’école. Elles vont à l’école.

Antoinette and Esmée are going to school. They are going to school.

There are only women in this group, thus you have to use the subject pronoun elles to refer back to them.

Les chaises sont avec ma mère. Elles sont avec ma mère.

The chairs are with my mother. They are with my mother.

The noun is feminine and plural. So, you have to use the subject pronoun elles to refer to back to them.

Please note that the pronunciation of “elle” and “elles” is the same, as the -s in “elles” is not pronounced.

The context reveals which one is used.

Example Sentences on Il/Elle versus Ils/Elles

The final section of this lesson on il/elle versus ils/elles is about seeing these subject pronouns in action.

This is valuable because you can improve your understanding il/elle versus ils/elles through examples.

This section contains all of the previous sentences, neatly organised in one place.

Adam est timid. Il est timid.

Adam is shy. He is shy.

Le livre est dans la maison. Il est dans la maison.

The book is in the house. It is in the house.

Antoinette est calme. Elle est calme.

Antoinette is quiet. She is quiet.

La chaise est grande. Elle est grande.

The chair is big. It is big

Adam et Paul sont frères. Ils sont frères.

Adam and Paul are brothers. They are brothers.

Adam et Antoinette sont ici. Ils sont ici.

Adam and Antoinette are here. They are here.

Les livres sont en vente. Ils sont en vente.

The books are on sale. They are on sale.

Antoinette et Esmée vont à l’école. Elles vont à l’école.

Antoinette and Esmée are going to school. They are going to school.

Les chaises sont avec ma mère. Elles sont avec ma mère.

The chairs are with my mother. They are with my mother.

Quiz Yourself on Il/Elle versus Ils/Elles

At the end of every lesson you can do a small quiz.

You will see the sentences of the previous chapter. It is up to you to give the correct answer.

You will either need to fill in the blanks, choose the correct multiple choice option, or both.

Once you are done the correct answer will be shown.

You can redo the quiz as many times as you want!

Fill in the Blank!Adam est timid. est timid. [Adam is shy. He is shy.]


 
Fill in the Blank!Le livre est dans la maison. est dans la maison. [The book is in the house. It is in the house.]
Fill in the Blank!Antoinette est calme. est calme. [Antoinette is quiet. She is quiet.]
Fill in the Blank!La chaise est grande. est grande. [The chair is big. It is big]


 
Fill in the Blank!Adam et Paul sont frères. sont frères. [Adam and Paul are brothers. They are brothers.]


 
Fill in the Blank!Adam et Antoinette sont ici. sont ici. [Adam and Antoinette are here. They are here.]


 
Fill in the Blank!Les livres sont en vente. sont en vente. [The books are on sale. They are on sale.]

Fill in the Blank!Antoinette et Esmée vont à l’école. vont à l’école. [Antoinette and Esmée are going to school. They are going to school.]
Fill in the Blank!Les chaises sont avec ma mère. sont avec ma mère. [The chairs are with my mother. They are with my mother.]


 

How to Practice With Flashcards for This Lesson

Using flashcards is an absolute necessity when it comes to learning a language!

It is the best way to memorize what you learn, you can personalize your progression because it adapts to your actions, and all flashcards have audio to improve your hearing and pronunciation.

Please read our article on how to learn a new language for more information on flashcards and the best way to learn a new language.

There are two ways to practice with Flashcards for this lesson.

  1. Anki
  2. The Flashcards in our Courses

Anki is a free software with which you can create and practice flashcards.

After you have downloaded Anki for free, you can get our French A1 Anki Deck.

This Anki Deck contains 3,764 flashcards with which you can practice absolutely everything for French A1.

All the flashcards have text, images, explanations, and audio.

You can also use our courses that have flashcards integrated alongside lessons with audio, quizzes and much more!

However, I am sure you are wondering, what are your courses, and why should I take them?

The Courses of Language Atlas

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