How to Use Direct Object Pronouns in French: (le, la, l’, les)

how to use direct object pronouns in French

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In this grammar lesson you will learn how to how to use direct object pronouns in French.

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • what direct object pronouns are
  • how to use direct object pronouns in French with masculine nouns
  • how to use direct object pronouns in French with feminine nouns
  • how to use direct object pronouns in French with plural nouns
  • how to quiz yourself on how to use direct object pronouns in French
  • how to practice with flashcards for how to use direct object pronouns in French
  • how and why you should use the courses of Language Atlas to learn French

Please refer to the French A2 Curriculum to get a better overview of French grammar, if you are curious about how this fits in the overall structure of French A2.

By the end of the lesson you will know all about how to use how to use direct object pronouns in French.

Table of Contents

Table of Subject Pronouns and Direct Object Pronouns

Subject PronounDirect Object Pronoun
ille/l’
ellela/l’
ils/ellesles

Introduction to Direct Object Pronouns

We learnt in the previous lesson that it is possible to replace the object in French sentences.

You can replace object nouns in French with object pronouns (le, la, l’, and les).

These object pronouns (le, la, l’, and les) are actually called direct object pronouns.

Here are 3 examples which show you how to use direct object pronouns in French.

Paul mange le repas.Paul le mange.

Paul eats the meal. – Paul eats it.

Ils nettoient la chambre. – Ils la nettoient.

They clean the room. – They clean it.

Il attrape les balles. – Il les attrape.

He catches the balls. – He catches them.

You don’t want to keep referring to the object, so you use a direct object pronoun (le, la, les).

Essentially this is what happened.

  • le repas -> le
  • la chambre -> la
  • les balles -> les

You know that French is a gendered language, so something is either masculine, or feminine. Naturally, something can also be plural.

In this lesson I am going to show you how to use direct object pronouns in French with masculine, feminine, and plural nouns!

How to Use Direct Object Pronouns in French with Masculine Nouns

You can replace masculine object nouns in French with le.

J’aime Théo. – Je l’aime.

I love Theo. – I love him.

Charles voit le chat. Charles le voit.

Charles sees the cat. Charles sees it.

Simone déteste le fromage. – Elle le déteste.

Simone hates cheese. – She hates it.

Please note that le changes to l’ when in front of a vowel or mute h.

How to Use Direct Object Pronouns in French with Feminine Nouns

You can replace feminine object nouns in French with la.

J’utilise la calculatrice. – Je l’utilise.

I am using the calculator. – I am using it.

Elle utilise la contraception. – Elle l’utilise.

She uses birth control. – She uses it.

Lucas mange une pomme. – Lucas la mange.

Lucas is eating an apple. – Lucas is eating it.

Please note that la changes to l’ when in front of a vowel or mute h.

How to Use Direct Object Pronouns in French with Plural Nouns

You can replace plural object nouns in French with les.

Elle mange des fraises. – Elle les mange.

She is eating strawberries. – She is eating them.

Ils utilisent des panneaux solaires. – Ils les utilisent.

They use solar panels. – They use them.

Nous aimons nos enfants. – Nous les aimons.

We love our children. – We love them.

Sentences Overview of How to Use Common French Prepositions

The final section of this lesson on how to use direct object pronouns in French is about seeing the direct object pronouns in action.

This is valuable because you can improve your understanding on how to use direct object pronouns in French sentences through examples.

Here you can see all of the previous sentences, neatly stored in one place.

J’aime Théo. – Je l’aime.

I love Theo. – I love him.

Charles voit le chat. Charles le voit.

Charles sees the cat. Charles sees it.

Simone déteste le fromage. – Elle le déteste.

Simone hates cheese. – She hates it.

J’utilise la calculatrice. – Je l’utilise.

I am using the calculator. – I am using it.

Elle utilise la contraception. – Elle l’utilise.

She uses birth control. – She uses it.

Lucas mange une pomme. – Lucas la mange.

Lucas is eating an apple. – Lucas is eating it.

Elle mange des fraises. – Elle les mange.

She is eating strawberries. – She is eating them.

Ils utilisent des panneaux solaires. – Ils les utilisent.

They use solar panels. – They use them.

Nous aimons nos enfants. – Nous les aimons.

We love our children. – We love them.

Quiz Yourself on How to Use Direct Object Pronouns in French

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

You will see the sentences of the previous chapter.

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

It is up to you to give the correct answer.

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!Charles voit le chat. Charles voit.

Charles sees the cat. Charles sees it.
Fill in the Blank!Elle mange des fraises. - Elle mange.

She is eating strawberries. - She is eating them.
Fill in the Blank!J'utilise la calculatrice. - Je utilise.

I am using the calculator. - I am using it.

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, you can get our French A2 Anki Deck.

This Anki Deck contains 3,816 flashcards with which you can practice absolutely everything for French A2.

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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