Can Le or la be left out as direct object pronouns

ANDREWA2Kwiziq community member

Can Le or la be left out as direct object pronouns

I  am subscribed to your newsletter/blog. I truly enjoy it.I do have one question, however.In studying Direct and Indirect Object Pronouns I recently came across the sentence below.

"I gave it to him yesterday"

I have seen it translated into French as both:

1)"Je le lui ai donné hier."    and      2) "Je lui ai donné hier."

Duolingo teaches the first translation above and it is also what is seen on some reliable French websites such as Lawless French. However I have also seen it translated as in number 2 and translators in particular seem to leave out the "le."

Is this just a quirk of the translators, is it a difference between written and spoken French, or is it acceptable to leave out the "le" in either spoken or written French? Any help would be appreciated.Andrew K. Greenfield, MD
Asked 2 years ago
CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Andrew,

As Jim pointed it out, it is strange to have 'je lui ai donné hier' without the direct object. It doesn't make much sense... (even to a French native speaker).

However as Chris mentioned it does happen for the direct object to be omitted - in very familiar context and where the answer is a very short statement (like a yes / no statement).

'J'aime' on its own (as mentioned in Chris's link) is very rarely used. You would use 'J'adore' (= I love it!) or 'J'aime bien' (= I like it) more often than not. 

I hope this is helpful.

Bonne journée !

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Andrew,

"Je le lui ai donné hier"   --> I have given it to him/her yesterday.

Where "le" is the direct object pronoun and "lui" the indirect object pronoun.

"Je lui ai donné hier"  --> as above, but what has been given? There is no direct object?

Perhaps if we knew the total context within which "je lui ai donné hier" was written then maybe the meaning would be implied, but as it stands "Je lui ai donné hier" begs the question in my mind   --  What was given?

Hope this helps.

Jim

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Yes, particularly spoken French does have a knack for leaving out stuff. Often, when the direct object is abundantly clear, one can leave it out. This is mostly in familiar settings, not so much in the higher registers of the language.

Tu aime le chocolat? - Oui, j'aime. -- Do you like chocolate? - Yes, I like it. (Yes, I do)
C'est notre dernière chambre. Vous prenez? --
This is our last room. Do you take it?

Here is a bit more on this: https://french.stackexchange.com/questions/37058/when-can-you-leave-off-le-la-to-say-it-in-french

Can Le or la be left out as direct object pronouns

I  am subscribed to your newsletter/blog. I truly enjoy it.I do have one question, however.In studying Direct and Indirect Object Pronouns I recently came across the sentence below.

"I gave it to him yesterday"

I have seen it translated into French as both:

1)"Je le lui ai donné hier."    and      2) "Je lui ai donné hier."

Duolingo teaches the first translation above and it is also what is seen on some reliable French websites such as Lawless French. However I have also seen it translated as in number 2 and translators in particular seem to leave out the "le."

Is this just a quirk of the translators, is it a difference between written and spoken French, or is it acceptable to leave out the "le" in either spoken or written French? Any help would be appreciated.Andrew K. Greenfield, MD

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