Antecedents and Pronouns. French Pronunciation and Grammar Glossary

Antecedents are those nouns that pronouns replace.

An antecedent is the previously mentioned or implied word, phrase, or clause that a pronoun replaces. The pronoun typically agrees with the antecedent in gender, number, and/or grammatical function.

Pronouns Agree With Their Antecedents

Pronouns are words that stand in for nouns. There are many different kinds of pronouns, but they can be divided into two main categories: personal (je, tu, il, nous, vous, ils), which changes according to the grammatical person it represents; and impersonal (adverbial, demonstrative, indefinite demonstrative, indefinites, interrogatives, negatives, possessives, relatives and indefinite relatives).

The latter range from the adverbial y and en to the demonstrative celui, celle, ceux, celles and the popular relative pronoun (qui, que, lequel, dont, and ), which links a dependent clause to a main clause and may replace a subject, direct object, indirect object or preposition.


Pronouns and their antecedents, with which each pronoun agrees in form or function, are bolded.

Nous regardons la télé.
We are watching TV.

J'ai acheté un livreIl a été écrit en 1999.
I bought a bookIt was written in 1999.

Je lui parle.
I'm talking to him.

Si nous allons faire un gâteau, nous devons le faire maintenant.
If we're going to make a cake, we need to do it now.

Je lui parle.
I'm talking to him.

Je cherche l'artiste. Il étudie à Paris.
I'm looking for the artist. He's studying in Paris.
Je cherche l'artiste qui étudie à Paris.
I'm looking for the artist who's studying in Paris.