French Sentence Structure – Indirect Object Pronouns

Comparing French and English Sentence Structure

It can be interesting to look at French sentences and their English translations while comparing the two. Once you have identified corresponding words, you will realize how many similarities there are French and English. You’ll also notice some big differences, and those are worth examining more closely.


Present Tense



Je = I

Je is a firs person singular subject pronoun that means I.

Lesson:  French subject pronouns


lui = her

The indirect object pronoun lui can mean either her or him. In this sentence, it means her because the original sentence shows that we are referring to my daughter. We know that ma fille is an indirect object because it is preceded by à. Notice that in the present tense, lui is placed right before the verb. You will see in the charts below that placement is different in compound tenses.

Lesson: Indirect and direct object pronouns


donne = am giving

Donne is the third person singular present tense conjugation of the verb donner. It is a regular verb ending in ER. Remember that Je donne means I give, I am giving, and I do give. You do not need the verb être to say am in this sentence.

Lesson: Regular French verbs ending in ER


de la glace = some ice-cream

Glace is a singular, feminine noun that means ice-cream. All nouns must be preceded by determiners which indicate number and gender. There are many kinds of determiners in French. In this sentence, glace is preceded by de la which is a partitive article that means some.

Lesson: French definite, indefinite, and partitive articles


Le Passé Composé


Le Futur Proche



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