How to Use Indirect Object Pronouns in French: (lui, leur)

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

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • what indirect object pronouns are
  • how to use indirect object pronouns in French
  • which common verbs take the à preposition
  • how to quiz yourself on how to use indirect object pronouns in French
  • the way to download Anki files for how to use indirect object pronouns in 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 indirect object pronouns in French.

Table of Contents

Table of Indirect Object Pronouns

Subject PronounIndirect Object Pronoun
illui
ellelui
ils/ellesleur

Introduction to Indirect Object Pronouns

We learnt in the previous lesson that it is possible to replace object nouns in French with direct object pronouns (le, la, l’, and les).

In this lesson you will learn about indirect object pronouns (lui and leur).

How to use Indirect Object Pronouns in French

You have to use indirect object pronouns (lui, leur), with verbs followed by the preposition à.

The French preposition à means “to” in English.

There are certain verbs in French that are followed by the preposition à.

There’s not a special rule that you can use, to know which verbs are followed by the preposition à.

You just have to learn them by heart.

But there is table with common verbs in the next chapter, to make things easy for you.

Here are some examples, so you can understand how to use indirect object pronouns in French.

parle à

Je parle à Stella. – Je lui parle.

I am speaking to Stella. – I am speaking to her.

parle à

Je parle à mes parents. – Je leur parle.

I am talking to my parents. – I am talking to them.

donner à

Je donne beaucoup d’argent à mes enfants. – Je leur donne beaucoup d’argent.

I am giving a lot of money to my children. – I am giving them a lot of money.

donner à

Je lui donne mon vélo.

I am giving him my bicycle.

demander à

Je vais lui demander cela.

I am going to ask him that.

demander à

Je vais lui demander cela.

I am going to ask her that.

As you can see, lui can mean him or her, depending on the context.

However, leur is used for both men and women.

The most important lesson here, is that lui and leur are only used with verbs that have the à preposition.

Common French Verbs That Take The Preposition à

Here’s a list of common French verbs that take the preposition à.

annoncer à quelqu’unto announce to someone
demander à quelqu’unto ask someone
donner à quelqu’unto give to someone
dire à quelqu’unto tell to someone
parler à quelqu’unto talk to someone
poser des questions à quelqu’unto ask someone questions
prêter à quelqu’unto lend to someone
rendre visite à quelqu’unto pay a visit to someone
téléphoner à quelqu’unto call someone

Examples Sentences on How to Use Indirect Object Pronouns in French

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

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

parle à

Je parle à Stella. – Je lui parle.

I am speaking to Stella. – I am speaking to her.

parle à

Je parle à mes parents. – Je leur parle.

I am talking to my parents. – I am talking to them.

donner à

Je donne beaucoup d’argent à mes enfants. – Je leur donne beaucoup d’argent.

I am giving a lot of money to my children. – I am giving them a lot of money.

donner à

Je lui donne mon vélo.

I am giving him my bicycle.

demander à

Je vais lui demander cela.

I am going to ask him that.

demander à

Je vais lui demander cela.

I am going to ask her that.

telephone à

Il téléphone à sa petite amie tous les soirs. – Il lui téléphone tous les soirs.

He phones his girlfriend every night. – He phones her every night.

rendre visite à quelqu’un

Oscar va rendre visite à Paul. Oscar va lui rendre visite.

Oscar is going to visit Paul. Oscar is going to visit him.

Test Your Knowledge on How to Use Indirect Object Pronouns in French

It’s not enough just to read the article on this lesson.

You should test your knowledge to see if you really understood everything, and to be able to repeat the material.

It is also for this reason that it is recommended to download the Anki Decks and do them.

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

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.

Anki File for How to Use Indirect Object Pronouns in French

It is important to do the Anki excercises for this lesson, so that you can remember what you just studied.

By downloading the Anki File for French A2 you can practice every French A2 lesson that is on Language Atlas.

At this moment the Anki File for this lesson doesn’t exist yet. However, in due time this will be available on Language Atlas.

If you don’t know why you should use Anki, or don’t know how to use Anki or merge Anki files please click here.

Anki can be downloaded from here.

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