Mastering French Pronouns: A Complete Guide

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pronouns in french

Just like any other language, pronouns in French are a significant part of all languages and are used in conversations to replace people, things, places, and phrases. There are two groups of French pronouns, namely personal and impersonal. A personal pronoun is a short word we use as a substitute for an individual’s name. On the other hand, an impersonal pronoun doesn’t refer to a specific person or thing. Keep reading the blog further to discover more about French pronouns and their types.


What are French Pronouns?

Just like in English, French pronouns are used to replace a noun in written or spoken language.  Different types of pronouns are used in various circumstances to replace distinct nouns. They allow us to avoid calling the same thing repeatedly by its name. Instead of repeatedly mentioning someone’s or something’s name, pronouns allow us to quickly and naturally refer to them.

Also Read: 50+ Basic French Language Words You Need to Know Before Getting Started

Difference between French and English Pronouns 

We hope you have now gotten a good understanding of the significance of French pronouns. Now, let’s see what are the main differences between them and the pronouns in English below. 

  • Unlike in English, French pronouns have a gender. Each noun in this language has a gender. So you will need to ensure that you replace it with a suitable pronoun. 
  • There is no “it” pronoun in the French language. One of the most frequently used words in English does not exist here.
  • French has more pronouns than English.

List of 12 Types of French Pronouns

There are various types of pronouns in the French language. Let’s understand them through examples. See below the 12 types of French pronouns. 

1. French Subject Pronouns (Pronoms Sujets)

French subject pronouns are personal pronouns that replace a sentence’s subject. Have a look at their example below.

EnglishFrench masculineFrench feminineFrench example with English translation
He/sheIlElleIl mange une pomme (He is eating an apple)
Elle lit un livre (She is reading a book)
IJeJeJ’aime le café (I like coffee)
WeNousNousNous habitons à Paris (We live in Paris)
YouTuTuTu parles français? (Do you speak French?)
You (plural + plural formal)VousVousPouvez-vous m’aider, s’il vous plaît ? (Can you help me, please?)
You (singular formal)VousVousBonjour, Monsieur. Comment allez-vous ? (Hello, Sir. How are you?)
TheyIlsEllesIls jouent au football (They are playing football)
Elles chantent une chanson. (They are singing a song)

2. French Stress Pronouns (Pronoms Disjonctifs)

French stress pronouns are used whenever you want to address who is doing the action. See the example of these types of pronouns below. 

EnglishFrench masculineFrench feminineFrench example with English translation
MeMoiMoiC’est moi! (It’s me!)
He/herLuiElleLui et moi sommes amis (He and I are friends)
On a offert le cadeau à elle (We gave the present to her)
YouToiToiJe pense à toi. – I’m thinking of you.
ThemEuxEllesEux, ils ne viendront pas. (They (masculine) won’t come.)
Elles sont allées faire du shopping. (They (feminine) went shopping.)
UsNousNousNous, on adore voyager. (We love to travel.)
You (plural)VousVousVous, vous avez dit non ! – You had said no yourselves!
You (formal)VousVousC’est vous, Madame Dubois ? – Is that you, Miss Dubois?
OneselfSoiSoiOn va rester chez soi. – We are going to stay (in our own) home.

3. French Direct Object Pronouns (Pronoms Compléments D’objet Direct)

French direct object pronouns replace the noun to which the sentence’s action is being done. The examples are given below.

EnglishFrench masculineFrench feminineFrench example with English translation
MeMeMeTu m’aimes vraiment. – You really love me.
Him/her/itLeLaJimmy va la manger. – Jimmy will eat it.
YouTeTeJe te donne de l’attention. – I give you attention.
UsNousNousIl va nous faire bâiller ! – He’ll make us yawn!
You (plural + plural formal)VousVousJe vais vous appeler mes amis. – I will call you my friends.
You (singular formal)VousVousJe vous suis. – I follow you.
ThemLesLesOn va les attendre un peu. – We will wait for them a little bit.

4. French Indirect Object Pronouns (Pronoms Compléments D’objet Indirect)

Indirect object pronouns replace the noun to whom the action is being done. An indirect object is similar to a direct object, except that they provide answers to the questions “to whom?” and “for whom”. See below the examples. 

EnglishFrench masculineFrench feminineFrench example with English translation
MeMeMeIl m’a donné un café. – He gave me a coffee.
Him/herLuiLuiRoméo lui donne une boîte de chocolat. – Romeo gives her a box of chocolates.
YouTeTeJe veux te téléphoner. – I want to call you.
UsNousNousElle ne nous voit plus. – She doesn’t see us anymore.
ThemLeurLeurJe leur téléphone tous les jours. – I call them every day.
You (singular formal)VousVousAttendez, s’il vous plaît, je vous donne mon numéro de téléphone. – Wait, please, I will give you my phone number.
You (plural + plural formal)VousVousJe veux vous acheter un café. – I would like to buy you all a coffee.

5. French Reflexive Pronouns (Pronoms Réfléchis)

Reflexive pronouns play a key role in spoken and written French. You will be required to use a reflexive pronoun whenever someone is doing something to themselves. Have a look at their examples below.

EnglishFrench masculineFrench feminineFrench example with English translation
IMeMeJe me souviens… – I remember…
He/sheSeSeLa musique ne s’arrête pas ! – The music doesn’t stop!
YouTeTeTu t’es déjà vu dans le miroir ? – Have you seen yourself in the mirror yet?
WeNousNousDemain, nous devons nous réveiller très tôt. – Tomorrow, we have to wake up very early.
TheySeSeLes enfants, peuvent s’habiller eux mêmes ! – The kids can get dressed by themselves!
You (plural + plural formal)VousVousJe serai là pour vous, où que vous vous trouviez. – I will be there for you, wherever you find yourselves.
You (singular formal)VousVousAttention de ne pas vous blesser ! – Careful, don’t hurt yourself!

6. French Relative Pronouns (Pronoms Relatifs)

Relative pronouns allow us to relate two different nouns or actions to each other. These words help us describe nouns much more accurately. Take a look at their examples below. 

EnglishFrench masculineFrench feminineFrench example with English translation
ThatQueQueTu sais que je t’aime. – You know that I love you.
WhichLequelLaquelleLe resto dans lequel j’ai mangé. – The restaurant in which I ate.
WhoQuiQuiC’est toi qui me manques. – It’s you I miss.
WhichLesquelsLesquellesLes cahiers dans lesquels j’avais fait mes devoirs sont perdus ! – The notebooks in which I had done my homework are missing!
Where, whenLa ville où je suis née est très petite. – The city where I was born is very small.

7. French Indefinite Pronouns (Pronoms indéfinis)

French indefinite pronouns allow you to replace almost any noun with a handy pronoun so you don’t need to keep repeating yourself.

EnglishFrench masculineFrench feminineFrench example with English translation
AnotherAutreAutreJe ne veux pas manger cette pomme, je voudrais une autre. – I don’t want to eat this apple, I would like another one.
Each oneChacunChacuneChacun de vous doit faire ses devoirs. – Each one of you has to do the homework.
Certain one, some, a fewCertainCertaineOn a mangé certains de ses repas. – We ate some of their meals.
SeveralPlusieursPlusieursPlusieurs de mes amis m’ont dit que je ressemble à Brad Pitt. – Several of my friends have told me that I look like Brad Pitt.
SomeoneQuelqu’unQuelqu’unJe reviens toute de suite, quelqu’un me demande. – I’ll be right back, someone is looking for me.
SomethingQuelque choseQuelque choseVeux-tu manger quelque chose ? – Do you want to eat something?
SomeQuelques-unsQuelques-unesJ’ai invité tous mes amis, mais quelques-uns ne peuvent pas venir. – I invited all of my friends, but some won’t be able to come.
OneTelTelleIl aime manger du fromage à tel point qu’il en mange tous les jours ! – He likes to eat cheese so much that he eats it every day!
OneselfSoiSoiIl faut faire ses devoirs soi-même ! – You have to do the homework by yourself!
EverythingToutTouteTout est parfait ! – Everything is perfect!
One, aUnUneOui, j’en veux une ! – Yes, I want one!
EveryoneTousToutesTous sont invités à ma fête d’anniversaire ! – Everyone is invited to my birthday party!

8. French Possessive Pronouns (Pronoms Possessifs)

Just like in the English language, French possessive pronouns indicate possession. Take a look at their examples below. 

EnglishFrench masculineFrench feminineFrench example with English translation
Mine (singular)Le mienLa mienneSi ton stylo ne marche pas, tu peux prendre le mien. – If your pen doesn’t work, you can use mine.
Yours (singular)Le tienLa tienneMa voiture est chez le garagiste, alors je vais prendre la tienne. – My car is at the mechanic, so I’m going to take yours.
Mine (plural)Les miensLes miennesJ’aime bien tes chaussures, mais je préfère les miennes. – I like your shoes, but I prefer mine.
Yours (plural)Les tiensLes tiennesNe joue pas avec mes jeux, tu as les tiens ! – Don’t play with my toys, you have yours!
His/hers/theirs/its (singular)Le sienLa sienneElle n’a pas pris ta pomme, elle a la sienne ! – She didn’t take your apple, she has hers!
His/hers/theirs/its (plural)Les siensLes siennesJ’ai mes sports préférés et il a les siens. – I have my favorite sports and he has his.
Yours (singular)Le vôtreLa vôtreMa maison est plus petite que la vôtre. – My house is smaller than yours.
Yours (plural)Les vôtresLes vôtresJ’ai mon opinion et vous avez les vôtres. – I have my opinion and you all have yours.
Ours (singular)Le nôtreLa nôtreVotre appartement est plus grand que le nôtre. – Your apartment is bigger than ours.
Ours (plural)Les nôtresLes nôtresVoulez-vous acheter vos serviettes, ou voulez-vous prendre les nôtres ? – Would you like to buy your own towels, or would you like to use ours?
Yours (formal, singular)Le vôtreLa vôtreExcusez-moi Madame, quel manteau est le vôtre ? – Excuse me Miss, which coat is yours?
Yours (formal, plural)Les vôtresLes vôtresJ’ai déjà pris mes clés, avez-vous pris les vôtres ? – I already grabbed my keys, have you grabbed yours?
Theirs (singular)Le leurLa leurIls ne doivent pas entrer dans une salle de cours qui n’est pas la leur. – They shouldn’t go into a classroom that isn’t theirs.
Theirs (plural)Les leursLes leursCes lunettes de soleil sont-elles les miennes ou les leurs ? – Are these sunglasses mine or theirs?

9. French Interrogative Pronouns (Pronoms Interrogatifs)

French interrogative pronouns are used to introduce a question. See below the examples. 

EnglishFrench masculineFrench feminineFrench example with English translation
WhichLesquelsLesquellesLes célébrités pour lesquelles j’avais tant d’admiration ne sont que gens ordinaires. – The celebrities for whom I had so much admiration are just regular people.
WhichLequelLaquelleLe sac dans lequel j’ai mis mes clés est perdu. – The bag in which I put my keys is missing.

10. French Demonstrative Pronouns (Pronoms Demonstratifs)

French Demonstrative Pronouns are used to quickly refer to something within immediate proximity or something previously mentioned. Let’s look at the examples below. 

EnglishFrench masculineFrench feminineFrench example with English translation
This oneCeluiCelleCe champignon n’a pas l’air comestible, mais celui-là si. – This mushroom doesn’t look edible, but this other one does.
ThisCeCeCe n’est pas un problème ! – This is not a problem!
These ones, which (of these)CeuxCellesParmi tous les pays du monde, quels sont ceux que tu as visités ? – Of all the countries in the world, which are the ones you’ve visited?
ThisCeciCeciCeci n’est pas une blague ! – This is not a joke!
It, thatÇaÇaÇa marche ?- That works?
ThatCelaCelaCela c’est terminé. – That is over.

11. The French pronoun en

The French pronoun en replaces the noun after an indefinite adjective or replaces the de + noun after an adverb of quantity. See below the examples for this pronoun. 

English verbFrench verbFrench example without enFrench example with enEnglish meaning
To be scared ofAvoir peur deJ’ai peur des araignées.J’en ai peur.I am scared of spiders.
To need somethingAvoir besoin deJ’ai besoin de ton aide.J’en ai besoin.I am scared of spiders.
To come back fromRevenir deJe reviens de France.J’en reviens.I’m coming back from France.
To dream ofRêver deJe rêve de la remise des diplômes !J’en rêve !I dream of graduation day!

12. The French Pronoun y

The French pronoun y is used to replace phrases that describe places. 

French example without yFrench example with yEnglish meaning
Je suis allée en France.J’y suis allée.I went to France.
J’aime bien l’école, je vais à l’école avec plaisir.J’aime bien l’école, j’y vais avec plaisir.I like school, I go there happily.
Il est chez Marie. Il va chez Marie tous les jours.Il est chez Marie. Il y va tous les jours.He is at Marire’s place. He goes there every day.

Also Read: French Education System

French Pronouns Quiz

Check your knowledge of French pronouns by answering the following questions. 

Q1 – True or False: There are two groups of French pronouns, namely personal and impersonal.

Q2 – Fill in the Blank: French subject pronouns are  _________ pronouns that replace a sentence’s subject.

Q3 – True or False: The French pronoun “y” is used to replace phrases that describe people. 

Answers: A1 – True, A2 – personal, A3 – False

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France Student Visa: A Guide BA French: Syllabus, College, Scope, Fees, Admission Process
MS in France: Benefits, Universities & Application ProcessArticles in French Made Easy: A Cheat Sheet for Beginners
Masters in FranceGolden Tips To Successfully Study Abroad In France


Q.1 What’s je suis?

Answers: Je suis means I am.

Q.2 When to use tu in French?

Answer: The pronoun tu is used to indicate an intimate, amicable, and/or equal relationship between two individuals, and as such it is used with friends, family, colleagues, lovers, and classmates.

Q.3 Is nous plural?

Answer: Nous is a plural pronoun for “we” which is mostly used in written French. 

And we are done with French pronouns. Explore Leverage Edu’s study abroad resources for more educative blogs on French language daily. Ready, set, lingo!

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