Please explain "Il lui (verbe)"

Answered! Jump to accepted answer.

Duke

Kwiziq community member

20 December 2017

4 replies

Please explain "Il lui (verbe)"

Bonjour! I'm trying to improve my French through reading, and I've encountered a problem that I don't think was covered in my lessons. I keep seeing the following structure used in a sentence: "Il lui (verbe)." For example: "Il lui manque la montié d'une oreille et ses yeux sont... ." I unferstand this sentence to mean "He is missing half of an ear, and his eyes are... ." My problem is that I can't figure out why such sentences are using "Il lui (verbe)" instead of just "Il (verbe)." Another example is "Il lui arrive même de nous faire cadeau d'un rat." Could you please explain (1) is "lui" is being used as a stress pronoun in this case? And (2) why is it being used at all? Marci! -Duke

This question relates to:
French lesson "Moi, toi, lui, elle = me, you, him, her (stress pronouns)"

Chris

Kwiziq community member

20 December 2017

20/12/17

"Lui" is the indirect object of "il"
That said, let's look at the two sentences you cite (and I am taking the liberty of abbreviating them a bit):

1) Il lui manque une oreille -- He is missing an ear. Literally this would be translated as: "It is an ear missing from him". The "from him" is the indirect object, hence "lui".

2) Il lui arrive de nous faire un cadeau. -- He happens to make us a present. Literally: It happened to him to make us a gift. Again the "to him" is the indirect object, i.e., "lui" in French.

Yes, "lui" could also be the stress pronoun but not in these cases. Stress pronouns usually are at the end of sentences or following prepositions. Neither is the case here.

I suggest you check out the lessons on indirect objects.

 

Greetings,

-- Chris.

Duke

Kwiziq community member

20 December 2017

20/12/17

OK, so I wasn't terribly far off from my first guess, which was that the "lui" specified that it was "his" ear that he was missing, and not just a random ear. I only thought it might be a stressed pronoun because I could see the sentence also meaning, "Concerning him, HE was... ." Hmmm...very interesting. I thought I understood indirect objects, but I didn't realize that was what this was, because in English we often omit them in cases like this. Ex: "He was missing half an ear" versus "he was missing half of one of his ears." Thanks! I think I need to become more accustomed to typical French structure!

Chris

Kwiziq community member

21 December 2017

21/12/17

Duke, even in the sentence "He was missing half of one of his ears" there is no indirect object in the English sentence. There is the subject (he) the verb (was missing) and the direct object (half of one of his ears). The "his" is a posessive pronoun. -- Chris.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

21 December 2017

21/12/17

The indirect object in English is "him". -- Chris.

Your answer

Login to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Think you've got all the answers?

Test your French to the CEFR standard

find your French level »
3380questions7056answers134,485users
Getting that for you now.