Plural French Subject Pronouns Nous Vous Ils Elles

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Before you start this lesson, I encourage you to read my "Singular French Subject Pronouns" lesson, or even start with "introduction to French subject pronouns" if you have not read it yet.

Now, let's take a closer look to the plural French subject pronouns.

The French Subject Pronoun for We = Nous 

Nous is the pronoun to use when you are talking about a group of people that includes yourself.
Ex : nous regardons la télé : we are watching TV.

Nous is also referred to as the first person plural (première personne du pluriel).

Pronunciation: the s of the nous is silent when followed by a consonant. 
Ex : Nous regardons, nous faisons, nous sommes.
Nous makes a strong liaison in Z when followed by a vowel or an h ; nous ‘Z’étudions, nous ‘Z’habitons, nous ‘Z’utilisons.

Important: in colloquial French, « On » is used instead of nous. The verb will agree with « On » (3rd person singular), but the adjectives will agree with the meaning, therefore being plural when "on" means "we". Here is my lesson about the obscure French subject pronoun "on".
Ex : Anne et moi, on est brunes : Ann and I, we are brunettes.

Note: other words related to nous are: notre, nos, le nôtre, la nôtre, les nôtres.

The French Subject Pronoun for You = Vous 

Vous is the pronoun to use when you are talking to a group of people.
Ex : vous regardez la télé : you are watching TV 

Vous is also referred to as the second person plural (deuxième personne du pluriel).

Pronunciation: the s of the vous is silent when followed by a consonant. 
Ex : Vous regardez, vous faites, vous parlez.
Vous makes a strong liaison in Z when followed by a vowel or an h ; vous ‘Z’étudiez, vous ‘Z’habitez, vous ‘Z’êtes.

Important: vous may also refer to one person that you are being formal to. Like an adult you don’t know, or a business partner, or someone that is older. The verb will agree with vous (2nd person plural), but the adjectives will agree with the meaning, therefore being feminine or masculine singular. To understand this notion, you need to read my article on "tu versus vous".

Ex : M. le Président, vous êtes grand : Mr President, you are tall.
Ex : Mme la Présidente, vous êtes grande : Mrs President, you are tall.

Note: other words related to vous are : votre, vos, le vôtre, la vôtre, les vôtres.

The French Subject Pronoun for They = Ils 

Ils is the pronoun to use when you are talking about a group of people.
Ex : ils regardent la télé : they are watching TV.

Ils is also referred to as the third person plural, masculine (troisième personne du pluriel, masculin).

Pronunciation: the S of the Ils is silent when followed by a consonant. It’s pronounced exactly as the “il” singular.
Ex : ils regardent, ils font, ils sont.
For a regular ER verb starting with a consonant, you cannot hear the difference between Il singular and Ils plural : il regarde (singular), ils regardent (plural).

Ils (plural) makes a strong liaison in Z when followed by a vowel or an H ; ils ‘Z’habitent, ils’Z’étudient, ils ‘Z’utilisent.

Important: ils refers to a group of people or things either all masculine, or masculine and feminine.

Note: other words related to ils are : se, les, leur, leurs, le leur, la leur, les leurs. 

The French Subject Pronoun for They = Elles 

Elles is the pronoun to use when you are talking about a group of people that are women, or feminine things.
Ex : Elles regardent la télé : they are watching TV (they here are only women).

Pronunciation: the S of the elles is silent when followed by a consonant. 
Ex : elles regardent, elles font, elles parlent.
For a regular ER verb starting with a consonant, you cannot hear the difference between Elle singular and Elles plural : elle regarde, elles regardent.

Elles makes a strong liaison when followed by a vowel or an H ; elles ‘Z’habitent, elles’Z’étudient, elles ‘Z’utilisent.

Important: elles refers to a group of people or things only feminine.

Note : other words related to elles are : se, les, leur, leurs, le leur, la leur, les leurs. 

Voilà, now that you know all about the French subject pronouns, you can go to the next step and study my "French Verb Introduction" lesson.

If you are serious about learning French, I strongly suggest you find a good French learning audio method. Written French and spoken French are like two different languages, and you need audio - and someone who can not only list the grammar points but explain them well - to conquer French. I suggest you take a look at my own French learning method as well as my article on the Best French tools for the self-learning student.

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Chevalier-Karfis, Camille. "Plural French Subject Pronouns Nous Vous Ils Elles." ThoughtCo, Mar. 7, 2017, thoughtco.com/plural-french-subject-pronouns-3572149. Chevalier-Karfis, Camille. (2017, March 7). Plural French Subject Pronouns Nous Vous Ils Elles. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/plural-french-subject-pronouns-3572149 Chevalier-Karfis, Camille. "Plural French Subject Pronouns Nous Vous Ils Elles." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/plural-french-subject-pronouns-3572149 (accessed May 26, 2018).