French Pronouns Modern Pronunciation & Audio Examples

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

This audio lesson will help you master the modern spoken French pronunciation of French object pronouns: le, la, les, lui, leur. Some are glided, some totally disappear when native French people speak fast among themselves. Repeat the audio and you’ll get it!

French people very much glide over the French direct and indirect object pronouns, which creates a lot of confusion for foreigners who only learned French with books and don’t know the common spoken French pronunciation.

In this audio lesson, we are going to drill with the French object pronouns. Play the audio, drill out loud and repeat as many times as necessary until this becomes natural to you.

French object pronouns are explained in depth in my intermediate French audiobook learning method, and illustrated within a bilingual novel recorded at 2 levels of enunciation (traditional French and modern spoken French).

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More Details & Audio Samples

Modern French Pronunciation

This is not an easy lesson to write because glidings are a street thing, and they change a lot – and fast… Just like in English you write “I am going to give”, but say “I’m going to give” or even say “I’m gonna give”, French people will glide over the pronouns in a lighter or a stronger way.

Furthermore, glidings are not set in stone. They don’t follow rules. So I will record what sounds good to me at this time – another French person coming from a different background may not agree with me…

The way someone speaks is a matter of personal preference, social class, context, region, age… The same person may apply more slang and glidings when among friends, speaking casually, as when being in a job interview.

Age is also a big condition: young people tend to apply more glidings and use more slang when they speak than adults.

I suggest to my French students that they learn “the middle” way ; some glidings, but not total street French. “I’m going to”, not “I gonna”. But it’s important that you understand both spoken and traditional French pronunciation, therefore also train with “full glidings” to understand the French when they speak.

This is why all of French Today’s French audiobooks are recorded at several levels of enunciation.

How This French Audio Lesson Works

To train with the French object pronoun modern French pronunciation, we are going to use the verb “donner” (to give) which can have both a direct and indirect object.

We are going to drill in the present tense.

First, I will record the statement as it is written.

Then, when it’s possible, I’ll apply the middle gliding – the one I suggest you learn – and then the extreme gliding so you get accustom to hearing it.

  1. As you’ll notice, most of the glidings happen with “je”and “le”.
  2. The “il and ils” become “ee” and “elle and elles” become “è”.
  3. “Tu, nous and vous” don’t glide too much (except with “le”).

So now, let’s drill on the modern pronunciation of French object pronouns.

French Modern Pronunciation Using a Masculine Direct Object Pronoun = le

  1. Je le donne – I give it/him.
  2. Tu le donnes
  3. Il le donne
  4. Elle le donne
  5. On le donne
  6. Nous le donnons
  7. Vous le donnez
  8. Ils le donnent
  9. Elles le donnent

Pronunciation Drills Using a Feminine French Direct Object Pronoun = la

  1. Je la donne – I give her/it.
  2. Tu la donnes
  3. Il la donne
  4. Elle la donne
  5. On la donne
  6. Nous la donnons
  7. Vous la donnez
  8. Ils la donnent
  9. Elles la donnent

Pronunciation Exercises Using a Plural French Direct Object Pronoun = les

  1. Je les donne – I give them.
  2. Tu les donnes
  3. Il les donne
  4. Elle les donne
  5. On les donne
  6. Nous les donnons
  7. Vous les donnez
  8. Ils les donnent
  9. elles les donnent

Pronunciation Exercises Using a French Indirect Object Pronoun 3rd Person singular = lui

“Lui” is used both for “him and her”

  1. Je lui donne – I give to him/ to her – I give him/her something
  2. Tu lui donnes
  3. Il lui donne
  4. Elle lui donne
  5. On lui donne
  6. Nous lui donnons
  7. Vous lui donnez
  8. Ils lui donnent
  9. Elles lui donnent

Pronunciation Drills Using an French Indirect Object Pronoun 3rd Person Plural = leur

  1. Je leur donne – I give to them, I give them something
  2. Tu leur donnes
  3. Il leur donne
  4. Elle leur donne
  5. On leur donne
  6. Nous leur donnons
  7. Vous leur donnez
  8. Ils leur donnent
  9. elles leur donnent

Now let’s Concentrate a bit on the “je” Form that Gets Most of the Glidings.

  • Je me le donne (I give it to myself)
  • Je me la donne
  • Je me les donne
  • Je te le donne (I give it to you – using tu)
  • Je te la donne
  • Je te les donne
  • Je le lui donne (I give it to him/her)
  • Je la lui donne
  • Je les lui donne

You’ll note that the French direct object pronoun totally disappears in the extremely glided version.

  • Je vous le donne (I give it to you – using vous)
  • Je vous la donne
  • Je vous les donne
  • Je le leur donne (I give it to them)
  • Je la leur donne
  • Je les leur donne

You’ll note once again that the French direct object pronoun totally disappears in the extremely glided version.

To master direct and indirect object pronouns in French, as well as other useful pronouns, I suggest you check out my intermediate French learning audio method À Moi Paris level 3 : I explain them clearly and illustrate the grammar with a lively and fun story.

You may also be interested in these articles:

  1. everyday spoken French
  2. Understanding the various French pronouns
  3. French subject pronouns
  4. You in French – tu, te, t’, toi
  5. The French pronoun en
  6. The French pronoun y

Want to master French Verb Conjugations? Check out my French Verb Drills.

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Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 25+ years in the US and France. Based on my students' goals and needs, I've created unique downloadable French audiobooks focussing on French like it's spoken today, for all levels. Come to Paimpol and enjoy an exclusive French immersion homestay with me in Brittany.

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