Direct objects are the people or things in a sentence which receive the action of the verb. To find the direct object in a sentence, ask the question Who? or What?
I see Pierre
Je vois Pierre
do I see? Pierre
I'm eating the bread
Je mange le pain
am I eating? - Bread
Direct object pronouns are the words that replace
the direct object, so that we don't say things like "Marie was at the bank today. When I saw Marie I smiled." It's much more natural to say "Marie was at the bank today. When I saw her
I smiled." The French direct object pronouns are
change to m'
, respectively, in front of a vowel or mute H
both change to l'
Like indirect object pronouns, French direct object pronouns are placed in front of the verb
I'm eating it
He sees her
I love you
You love me
When a direct object precedes a verb conjugated into a compound tense
such as the passé composé
, the past participle has to agree with the direct object. See agreement lesson
If you're having trouble deciding between direct and indirect objects, the general rule is that if the person or thing is preceded by a preposition
, that person is an indirect object. If it's not preceded by a preposition, it is a direct object. For more information, please see direct vs indirect objects
Test on direct object pronouns