How to Position French Pronouns in Sentences with Multiple Verbs

By Veronique Mazet

In French the pronoun precedes the verb most of the time. What should you do if a sentence has several verbs, as in Il aime regarder la télé (He likes to watch TV), and how can you be sure to place the pronoun in front of the right verb of the two? The answer is in a question actually: “Who do you go with?”

What you need to do is find the noun or phrase you want to replace and then find the verb it goes with (usually the verb is right before its object). In the example, he may like TV, but what you’re saying is that he likes to watch TV, so watch is the verb that matters.

Now you can proceed with these steps as if there was only one verb: Il aime la regarder. (He likes to watch it.)

  1. First find the object of the verb, and decide what kind of pronoun you should use.

  2. Switch the order of the object and the verb.

  3. Replace the object with the specific pronoun you need.