Subject Pronouns

Subject pronouns in French

The subject of a sentence is the person or thing which performs the action. Subject pronouns can replace persons or things (or a person or a thing). The subject pronoun indicates precisely what ending the verb must take in French.




Je = I  (1st person)


Ex :Je suis le pain de vie (Jean 6.48)

Nous = we (1st person)


Ex: Nous savons que Dieu n’exauce point les pécheurs (Jean 9:31)

Tu = you (2nd person)


Ex: Tu l’as vu… ( Jean 9:37)

Vous = you (2nd person)


Ex: Vous adorez ce que vous ne connaissez pas ( Jean 4.22)

 Il[1]/Elle[2]/on[3]  = He, she, it  (3rd person)



 a) Il y eut un homme envoyé de Dieu: son nom était Jean

b) Elle était au commencement avec Dieu (Jean 1:2)

c) On célébrait à Jérusalem la fête de la Dédicace (Jean 10.22)

Ils[4]/elles[5] =  they (3rd person)

Ex:  Ils suivirent Jésus (Jean 1.37)


[1]  Il is used for masculine nouns

[2] Elle is used for all femine nouns

[3] On is the indefinite pronoun. It is equivalent to English: we, one, they or you.

[4] Ils, a plural subject pronoun and is used for all masculine nouns, referring both to people and things.

[5]  Elles, a 3rd person plural subject pronoun and is used when all of the nouns (both people and things) are femine.


4 Responses

  1. Hey Lou, another site you might want to mention is from UT Austin, French Interactive:

    The site includes audio.

  2. Hello Lou,

    Hey, I’m wondering if my little Creole joke works?

    Kisa fe moun Ayisyen avek yon liv?

    Li li li. (She or He reads it)

    Or am I missing something? I think the solution to writing he/she, etc.–the answer to the grammatical gender problem in English is that we all adopt the Hatian pronoun Li.

    It’s been twenty years since I visited Haiti, and picked up just a little Creole. So maybe my memory is defective.

    What do you think? Can we start a movement to replace ‘he’ and ‘she’ with ‘li’?

  3. Mark,
    Absolutely! You are correct. I need to teach you some more creole:) I posted the creole translation of King’s speech, ” I have a Dream” in the haitian Creole language. Let’s see how much you remember in Creole.

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