Use of pronoun in conditional passe

BobC1Kwiziq community member

Use of pronoun in conditional passe

I would like to know what the " l' " refers to in this sentence:   

Seriez-vous partis si je vous l'avais demandé? 

Would you have left if I had asked you?        

I can only surmise that it means something like: 

"Would you have left if I had asked it of you.  "
Asked 3 years ago
CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Bob,

Excellent guess! You are correct: " l' " = it (= leaving)

I hope this is helpful.

Bonne journée !

BobC1Kwiziq community member

As a follow up question, would it be acceptable to write it without "le"?

Seriez-vous partis si je vous avais demandé.

CélineKwiziq team member

Bonjour Bob,

You would include ' l' ' in the sentence as the verb 'demander' requires a direct object (transitive verb) being present. 

I hope this is useful.

Bonne journée ! 

BobC1Kwiziq community member

Thank you, that was helpful. So I assume that any transitive verb would require a similar construction.

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Yes, in principle. There are exceptions, though. Sometimes, even transitive verbs that normally require an object can be used without an object. 

Il y a encore une chambre. Vous prenez? -- There is still one room. Do you take it?
Ce gâteau est délicieux. - Oui, j'aime! -- That cake is delicious. -- Yes, I like it!

In these cases, in a colloquial setting, if the object is unambiguous, one can leave it off in French (but not in English).

Use of pronoun in conditional passe

I would like to know what the " l' " refers to in this sentence:   

Seriez-vous partis si je vous l'avais demandé? 

Would you have left if I had asked you?        

I can only surmise that it means something like: 

"Would you have left if I had asked it of you.  "

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