Object Pronoun Placement

Position de pronoms compléments

The placement of object, reflexive, and adverbial pronouns depends on which of the four main verb constructions they’re used with.

1) Simple tenses and moods

In nearly all simple tenses and moods, the pronouns go in front of the verb.

Je l’écoute.   I’m listening to it.
Elle lui parlait.   She was talking to him.
Ne te lève pas tard.   Don’t get up late.
Nous y irons demain.   We’ll go there tomorrow.

2) Affirmative imperative

The only exception to the above is the affirmative imperative, which requires that the pronouns be placed after the verb.

Écoute-le.   Listen to it.
Parle-lui.   Talk to him.
Lève-toi tôt.   Get up early.
Allons-y demain.   Let’s go there tomorrow.

3) Compound tenses and moods

In all compound tenses and moods, the pronouns precede the auxiliary verb.

Je l’ai écouté.   I listened to it.
Elle lui aura parlé.   She will have talked to him.
Tu t’es levé tard.   You got up late.
Nous y étions allés.   We had gone there.

 Remember that agreement might be required.

4) Dual-verb constructions

In dual-verb constructions (such as modal verb + infinitive), the pronouns are placed in front of the infinitive.

Je devrais l’écouter.   I should listen to it.
Elle allait lui parler.   She was going to talk to him.
Tu peux te lever tard.   You can get up late.
Nous voulons y aller.   We want to go there.

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