French Grammar Guide for non-francophones

Independent Pronouns  (e.g.: moi, toi, lui, etc.)

In this section: Description, Questions, Exercises


Overview of Independent Pronouns

French independent pronouns are presented in the following table:

English French Example
me moi C'est pour moi.
you toi C'est pour toi.
her elle C'est pour elle.
him lui C'est pour lui.
us nous C'est pour nous.
you vous C'est pour vous.
them (masc.) eux C'est pour eux.
them (fem.) elles C'est pour elles.

Independent pronouns appear:

a) after a preposition, e.g.: pour moi, vers toi, avant nous, etc.

b) by themselves, e.g.: Qui l'a fait? ... moi.

c) after the expression c'est, e.g.: C'est moi.

Since independent pronouns can stand alone, they are the ones used for emphasis, e.g.: C'est toi qui as cassé la fenêtre. Note that when an independent pronoun is used before qui, the verb agrees with the independent pronoun, e.g.: C'est toi qui as ..., C'est moi qui ai ...

Another place you will find independent pronouns is in combination with the word -même to mean "self", e.g.: moi-même ("myself"), eux-mêmes ("themselves"), elle-même ("herself").

In addition to knowing where to use independent pronouns, it's also important to know where not to use them! Basically, when a verb other than être is involved, you should use a direct or indirect object pronoun before the verb. You should NOT use an independent one after it. For example:

  • je la vois NOT je vois elle
  • il me parle NOT il parle à moi
Tags: imperatives direct object pronoun indirect object pronoun order of pronouns
In this section: Description, Questions, Exercises

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