French Stressed Pronouns – Pronoms disjoints

French Stressed Pronouns – Pronoms disjoints

Stressed pronouns, also known as disjunctive pronouns, are used to emphasize a noun or pronoun that refers to a person. There are 9 forms in French – please see the table at the bottom of the page.

French stressed pronouns correspond in some ways to their English counterparts, but are very different in other ways. Note that the English translations sometimes require different sentence structures altogether.

Stressed pronouns are used in the following ways in French:

I. To emphasize nouns or pronouns (accent tonique)

    – Je pense qu’il a raison.
    – Moi, je pense qu’il a tort.
    Je ne sais pas, moi.

    – I think he’s right.
    – I think he’s wrong.
    – I don’t know.

II. After c’est and ce sont (accent tonique)

    C’est toi qui étudies l’art.

    You’re the one who’s studying art.

    Ce sont elles qui aiment Paris.
    They love Paris.

III. When a sentence has more than one subject or object

    Michel et moi jouons au tennis.
    Michael and I are playing tennis.

    Toi et lui, vous êtes très gentils.
    You and he are very kind.

    Je les ai vus, lui et elle.
    I saw him and her.

IV. To ask and answer questions

    – Qui va à la plage ?
    – Lui.

    – Who is going to the beach?
    – He is.

    J’ai faim, et toi ?
    I’m hungry, and you?

V. After prepositions

    Vas-tu manger sans moi ?
    Are you going to eat without me?

    Louis habite chez elle.
    Louis lives at her house.

VI. After que in comparisons

    Elle est plus grande que toi.

    She is taller than you (are).

    Il travaille plus que moi.
    He works more than I (do).

VII. With emphatic words like aussi, non plus, seul, and surtout

    Lui seul a travaillé hier.
    He alone worked yesterday.

    Eux aussi veulent venir.
    They want to come too.

VIII. With -même(s) for emphasis (lesson on même)

    Prépare-t-il le dîner lui-même ?

    Is he making dinner himself?

    Nous le ferons nous-mêmes.
    We’ll do it ourselves.

IX. With the negative adverb ne…que and conjunction ne…ni…ni

    Je ne connais que lui ici.
    He’s the only one I know here.

    Ni toi ni moi ne le comprenons.
    Neither you nor I understand it.

X. After the preposition à to indicate possession

    Ce stylo est à moi.
    This pen is mine.

    Quel livre est à toi ?
    Which book is yours?

XI. With certain verbs that don’t allow a preceding indirect object pronoun

    Je pense à toi.
    I’m thinking of you.

    Fais attention à eux.
    Pay attention to them.

Note: Soi is used for unspecified persons – please see page 2.

Test on French stressed pronouns

English French                                     
me moi
you toi
him lui
her elle
oneself soi
us nous
you vous
them (masc)   eux
them (fem) elles