Français II/Leçon 2 - Starting to understand the French pronoun
Lessons in Français II
Let's review what we know. In the previous lesson, we convered the French perfect tense. You've had the chance to review its formation, and to form it yourself in some simple sentences.
Et maintenant on commence...
The concept of a noun should, by now, be familiar. A noun allows us to name a thing.
What, then, is a pronoun?
On Tuesday I walked the dog. Then I fed the dog, then I washed the dog. The dog was happy about this because the dog was then clean and the dog was full of food, since I had fed the dog
On Tuesday I walked the dog. Then I fed and washed him. He was happy because he was clean and full of food, since I'd fed him earlier.
Most native English speakers would agree that the second, shorter sentence sounds more natural. This is because pronouns are used.
A pronoun replaces a noun in a sentence
A pronoun means that we need not repeat a noun several times in a sentence.
We will be dealing with four French pronouns in this section, le, la, les, and l'. These can mean him, her, it, or them.
l' is used instead of la or le when the following words begins with a vowel or a non-aspirated h. Don't forget that there is, for the most part, no equivalent for the neutral pronoun it in French, hence, it is either traduced by la or le depending on the gender of the noun in French.
To sum-up the use of each pronoun, here is a table:
We now want to say that we stroke the dog, without mentioning le chien. How? The French is:
Note word order. Literally, this means, I him stroke. However, this is the word order that is appropriate and correct in French: