Page images



When a Verb has two Pronoun-objects, one direct and the other indirect, they are both placed before the Verb in the following order :

(1) A Pronoun of the 1st or 2d pers. stands before a Pronoun of the 3d; (2) If both Pronouns are of the 3d pers., the one in the Acc. stands before the one in the Dat.; se, reflexive pr., however, always stands first, whether used in the Acc. or Dat.;

(3) Y and en after all other Pronouns, and en after y.

Thus, in answer to a question like-A qui donnera-t-il son couteau ? To whom will he give his knife? the order will be :

[blocks in formation]

In answer to a question like-Qui forcera-t-il à cette condition ?— Whom will he compel to this condition? the order will be:

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

In answer to a question like—À qui donnera-t-il du pain (de la viande; des cerises)?—To whom will he give bread (meat, cherries)? the order will be :

[blocks in formation]


In answer to the question-A-t-il trouvé de l'eau à la fontaine? Has he found any water in the well? the order will be :

Il y en a trouvé.

He has found some there.

The order of precedence is summed up in the following memorial scheme :

[blocks in formation]

i.e. Those in the 1st col. always precede those in the 2d, 3d, 4th, and 5th; those in the 2d col. always precede those in the 3d, 4th, and 5th, etc.

PRONOUN-OBJECT OF A VERB IN THE IMPERATIVE AFFIRMATIVE. When the Verb is in the Imperative Affirmative, the order of words as given in the first rule (i.e. 1st and 2d pers. before the 3d) is reversed, i.e. the pronouns are placed after the Verb:


the 3d pers. (le, la, les) standing before the pron. in the 1st or 2d;— and me, te are strengthened into moi, toi; as,

Donne-le-moi (le-nous).

Prête-la-moi (la-nous).

Montrez-les-moi (les-nous).

Give it to me (to us.)

Lend it (lit. her) to me (to us).
Show them to me (to us).

In the other combinations the order remains the same :

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]



DISJUNCTIVE PERSONAL PRONOUNS are so called because they are used independently of (disjoined from) the verb: being uninflected their caserelations, like those of Nouns, are indicated by de and à; they are used

(1) Quite alone, in answer to a question: as,



Qui est-ce qui viendra ?— Lui.

Qui a fait cela ?——

Qui devra payer?—

Who has done that?— Who will have to pay ?—



Who will come?—


Qui l'accompagnera?—


Who will accompany him?-She.

Qui veut du vin ?—


Who wants wine?—


[blocks in formation]

(5) As the Predicative Complement of the Impersonal phrases c'est, ce sont;


Ce n'est pas moi.

Sera-ce lui ou un autre ?

(6) After all Prepositions; as, Celui qui n'est pas pour moi

est contre moi.

Le moulin est à moi, tout aussi bien,
du moins, que la Prusse est au roi.
Je suis chez moi aujourd'hui.
Tu seras chez toi demain.
Il serait chez lui s'il pleuvait.
Elle a été chez elle.

Il n'y a pas de petit chez soi

Restons chez nous cette après midi.
Serez-vous chez vous ?

Qu'ils restent chez eux.
Ces dames sont chez elles.

It is not I.

Will it be he or another?

He who is not for me is against me.

The mill is mine, as much so, at least, as Prussia is the king's.

I am at home (i.e. my home) to-day.
Thou wilt be at home to-morrow.
He would be at home if it rained.
She has been at home.

Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home.

Let us stay at home this afternoon.
Shall you be at home?

Let them stay at home.

These ladies are at home.

(7) After the Preposition à, as the Adverbial Complement of a Verb of motion, and a few others :-accoutumer à, to accustom to; en appeler à, to appeal to; courir (accourir) à, to hasten to; penser à, songer à, to think of; renoncer à, to renounce; venir à, to come to; as,

Pense à moi !—

Je pense toujours à toi.

Elle accourut à lui.

Nous songeons à eux jour et nuit.

Think of me!

I always think of thee.

She hastened towards him.

We think of them day and night.


C. POSSESSIVE PRONOUNS (for Possess. Adjectives, see § 10).



m. Ton ami et le mien; tes amies et les miens.

Thy friend (friends) and


f. Ta sœur et la mienne; tes sœurs et les miennes. Thy sister (sisters) and

[blocks in formation]

The Rule of agreement with regard to Possessive Adjectives (§ 10) also applies to Possessive Pronouns, i.e.—

A POSSESSIVE PRONOUN takes the Gender and Number of the Noun or Pronoun denoting the Person or Thing possessed; whilst in English there is no agreement, except in the third person singular-his, her; which, however, refer to the gender of the Noun or Pronoun denoting the Possessor; as,

Mon frère a perdu son crayon;
sa plume.

Mon ami a aussi perdu le sien;
la sienne.
Ma sœur a trouvé son crayon;
sa plume.
Ma tante a aussi trouvé le sien;
la sienne.

My brother has lost his pencil; his pen.

My friend has also lost his.

My sister has found her pencil; her pen. My aunt has also found hers.



(a) Ce, this, these; that, those; it, they; neutral (indeclinable) PRONOUN, is used as the Subject of the Verb être

(1) Demonstratively answering to this, that; these, those; also as a PERSONAL PRONOUN answering to he, she, it, they; as,

Qui est-ce ? C'est lui.

Ce sont mes seules récréations.

Ce sont là des questions impossibles à résoudre.

Sont-ce là vos belles promesses?

Who is it?-It is he.

These are my only recreations.
These are questions impossible to solve.

Are these your fair promises?

(2) Impersonally: instead of il, when the Complement of the Verb is a NOUN, PRONOUN, or an INFINITIVE; as,

[blocks in formation]

(3) Redundantly: either as a grammatical subject of être, when for the sake of stress the Predicative Complement is placed before the real Subject; in the first example below, for instance, the real Subject is parler, i.e. To speak (speaking) thus is a derision;

Or to recapitulate a preceding Substantive Clause used as Subject or as a Predicative Complement; as,

C'est se moquer du monde que de It is joking to speak thus.

parler ainsi.

C'est un beau jardin que le vôtre.

Le vrai moyen d'être trompés, c'est de nous croire plus fins que les autres.


A fine garden yours is.

The best way to be deceived is to fancy ourselves more cunning than others.


1. If the Complement of être is a NOUN, use ce, unless that Noun is used Adjectively, in which case il is employed: as, C'est un Allemand. He is a German. Ce sont des Allemands. They are Ger


C'est ce médecin. It is this physician.
C'est ma mère. It is my mother.
C'est un homme qui est capable de tout.
He is a man who is capable of anything.

He is German.

Il est Allemand.
Ils sont Allemands. They are Germans.

[blocks in formation]

2. If the Complement of être is an ADJECTIVE, then use

ce, if the Adjective refers to a preceding statement;
il, if the Adjective refers to a following statement: as,

Vous avez tort, c'est évident.

Il est évident que vous avez tort.

« PreviousContinue »