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Pronom sujet

French Subject Pronoun

See also: Pronom and Pronoun Types

Subject pronouns replace nouns whose function is to perform the action of a verb.

For example:

La fille chante. - The girl is singing.

-> Elle chante. - She is singing.

French has 9 subject pronouns:

Personne et nombre
Pronoms English pronouns
première personne du singulier je I
deuxième personne du singulier tu you
troisième personne du singulier il / elle / on he (it) / she (it) / we (one)
première personne du pluriel nous we
deuxième personne du pluriel vous you
troisième personne du pluriel ils / elles they


Note the following differences with English:

- two ways to say 'you'

  1. tu is used for singular you in an informal context
  2. vous is used for plural you or singular you in a formal context

- two ways to say 'it'

  1. il is used for masculine nouns (things and beings)
  2. elle is used for feminine nouns (things and beings)

- two ways to say 'we'

  1. nous needs a plural verb conjugation
  2. on needs a singular verb conjugations, the same one as 'il / elle' (note: on also has other meanings)

Nous allons à la plage. / On va à la plage. - We're going to the beach.

- two ways to say 'they'

  1. ils replaces male or mixed gender groups
  2. elles replaces exclusively female groups

The subject pronoun il can also be used in an impersonal context, such as

Il faut dormir la nuit. - One must sleep at night.

Il est important de bien manger. - It is important to eat well.

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