Love and Hate

French pronouns with love and hate
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Amour et haine

French verbs related to love and hate can be confusing when it comes to using pronouns: when you want to say something like "I like it" or "I love him." There are two different kinds of pronouns that you need here, depending on what you’re talking about.

French love and hate verbs

The following rules apply to all four of these verbs:

Pronouns with love and hate verbs

1) When talking about "it" (replacing a noun, infinitive, or clause), you might be tempted to use le – but you usually can’t. In French, with love and hate verbs, you must use the indefinite demonstrative pronoun ça to replace abstract nouns and activities.

Par exemple…

– Est-ce que tu aimes le chocolat ?
– Oui, j’aime ça. Oui, je l’aime.
  – Do you like chocolate?
– Yes, I like it.
– Il aime skier.
– Moi aussi, j’aime ça. Moi aussi, je l’aime.
  – He likes skiing.
– I like it too. 
Nous aimons faire la cuisine !
Tu aimes ça ? Tu l’aimes ?
  We love cooking!
Do you like it?

 1½) If you’re talking about a specific, tangible noun, rather than something abstract, you can use a direct object pronoun or ça.

– Est-ce que tu aimes mon chapeau ?
– Oui, je l’aime / j’aime ça.
  – Do you like my hat?
– Yes, I like it.
– Il aime cette station de ski.
– Moi aussi, je l’aime / j’aime ça.
  – He likes this ski resort.
– I like it too. 

2) You also use direct object pronouns when talking about people.

J’ai deux sœurs et je les aime.   I have two sisters and I love them.
– Tu aimes Sylvie ?
– Oui, je l’aime.
  – Do you love Sylvie?
– Yes, I’m in love with her.
Tu les aimes bien ?   Do you like them?
Il l’aime beaucoup.   He really likes him.

3) The same rules apply in the negative.

Il n’aime pas l’ail. Il n’aime pas ça.   He doesn’t like garlic. He doesn’t like it.
Elle n’aime pas danser. Elle n’aime pas ça.   She doesn’t like dancing. She doesn’t like it.
Nous n’aimons pas ce resto. Nous ne l’aimons pas.   We don’t like this restaurant. We don’t like it.
Je n’aime pas Dorothée. Je ne l’aime pas.   I don’t like Dorothée. I don’t like her.

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J'aime ça - Pronouns with aimer

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