use of lui in regards to a body part

JanA1Kwiziq community member

use of lui in regards to a body part

She seized his wrist is translated.."Elle lui saisait le poignet."  Why is the "lui" there?

Asked 7 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Jan,

I couldn't find your sentence in the lesson you quoted and I think you got the tens e used wrong. 

However, this construction is particular to verbs like saisir ( to grab) or prendre ( to take) and body parts.

Elle lui saisit le poignet = She grabbed his/her wrist 

Il lui prit la main = He took his/her hand 

Without more context, you cannot know whether the part of the body it belongs to is male or female.

Hope this helps!

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Salut Jan,

"Elle lui saisait le poignet"  --> She grasped / took the hand of him.

Lui is the stressed pronoun (third-person singular) for "him" 

Bonne continuation.

Jim

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Jan,

this is a very French way to say that she grabbed his wrist. It isn't using the possessive pronoun (his) as in English but the indirect object pronoun lui. You can think of it as meaning something ilke "She grabbed him the wrist." This doesn't make much sense in English but it works great in French. It is used to indicate possession or ownership.

Here are some more examples:

Le soleil leur brûle la peau. -- The sun burns their skin.
Le vent lui bat la joue. -- The wind beats his/her cheek.

Stylistically, this way emphasizes the owner over the object, the person over the body part, in these examples.

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

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use of lui in regards to a body part

She seized his wrist is translated.."Elle lui saisait le poignet."  Why is the "lui" there?

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