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
  • how to practice with flashcards for how to use indirect 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 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

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!Je parle à Stella. - Je parle.

I am speaking to Stella. - I am speaking to her.
Fill in the Blank!Je parle à mes parents. - Je parle.

I am talking to my parents. - I am talking to them.
Fill in the Blank!Je donne mon vélo.

I am giving him my bicycle.

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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