Grammar: French Pronouns

Grammaire: Les Pronoms

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Pronouns are words that substitute for nouns. There are many different kinds of pronouns, but they can be divided into two main categories: personal and impersonal. This summary will give you an idea of the different kinds of French pronouns; click the links for detailed lessons and examples.

What are personal pronouns? Don't take it personally - "personal" simply means that these pronouns change according to the grammatical person that they represent.

This table summarizes the five different kinds of French personal pronouns; for more information, click the column headings to go to the relevant lesson:

SubjectDirect ObjectIndirect ObjectReflexiveStressed
   je   me*   me*   me*   moi
   tu   te*   te*   te*   toi
   lui   se   lui
   nous   nous   nous   nous   nous
   vous   vous   vous   vous   vous
   les   leur   se   eux
*In the imperative, me and te sometimes change to moi and toi - learn more.

What are impersonal pronouns?

These aren't as cold as they sound - "impersonal" here simply means that, unlike personal pronouns, these pronouns do not change according to grammatical person. However, some of them change to agree in gender and number with the noun that they replace. For details, click the name to read the lesson on that type of pronoun. 

Adverbials (y, en) replace à + noun or de + noun

Demonstratives (celui, celle, ceux, celles) refer to a previously mentioned noun

Indefinite Demonstratives (ce, ceci, cela, ça) have no specific antecedent

Indefinites (autre, certain, plusieurs...) introduce an unspecific quantity or description

Interrogatives (qui, que, lequel) ask whowhat, or which one

Negatives (ne __ personne, ne __ rien...) negate the noun that they replace

Possessives (mien, tien, sien...) replace possessive adjective + noun

Relatives (qui, que, dont...) link clauses

Indefinite Relatives (ce qui, ce que, ce dont...) link clauses but are unspecific

Subjects (ce, il) introduce impersonal verbs or expressions

French Pronoun Finder

Want to learn more about a particular pronoun but don't know what type it is? The French Pronoun Finder is an alphabetical list of all the different French pronouns and includes links to the relevant lessons.

autre      indefinite

ça      indefinite demonstrative

ce      indefinite demonstrative

ceci      indefinite demonstrative

ce dont      indefinite relative

cela      indefinite demonstrative

celle      demonstrative

celles      demonstrative

celui      demonstrative

ce que      indefinite relative

ce qui      indefinite relative

certains      indefinite

ceux      demonstrative

chacun      indefinite

d'autres      indefinite

dont      relative

elle      stressed   subject

elles      stressed   subject

en      adverbial

eux      stressed

il      subject

ils      subject

je      subject

la      direct object

le      direct object

lequel      interrogative   relative

les      direct object

leur      indirect object

le leur      possessive

lui      indirect object   stressed

me      direct object   indirect object   reflexive

le mien      possessive

moi      stressed

le nôtre      possessive

nous      direct object   indirect object   reflexive   stressed   subject

on       indefinite   subject


personne      negative

plusieurs      indefinite

que      interrogative   relative

quelque chose      indefinite

quelques-uns      indefinite

quelqu'un      indefinite

qui      interrogative   relative

quiconque      indefinite   indefinite relative

quoi      indefinite relative

rien      negative

se      reflexive

le sien      possessive

soi       indefinite   stressed

te      direct object   indirect object   reflexive

tel      indefinite

le tien      possessive

toi      stressed

tout      indefinite

tu      subject

un      indefinite

le vôtre      possessive

vous      direct object   indirect object   reflexive   stressed   subject

y      adverbial

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Your Citation
Lawless, Laura K. "Grammar: French Pronouns." ThoughtCo, Jun. 30, 2017, Lawless, Laura K. (2017, June 30). Grammar: French Pronouns. Retrieved from Lawless, Laura K. "Grammar: French Pronouns." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 18, 2018).