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Disjunctive pronouns

The disjunctive pronouns are as follows:

  • first person singular: moi
  • second person singular: toi
  • third person singular: lui, elle, soi
  • first person plural: nous
  • second person plural: vous
  • third person plural: eux, elles

The disjunctive pronouns are primarily used in five instances:

1. For emphasis of the subject:

Lui, il aime manger. (As for him, he likes to eat.)
Nous, nous préférons attendre. (As for us, we prefer to wait.)
Elles ne se gênent pas, elles! (As for them, they’re pretty brash!)

Note that lui and eux can stand alone as subjects:

Lui n’est pas au courant de cela. (He’s not aware of that.)
Eux s’intéressent à autre chose. (They are interested in other things.)

2. In compound subjects:

Toi et moi ferons le nécessaire. (You and I will do what is necessary.)
Toi et moi, nous ferons le nécessaire. (You and I, we will do what is necessary.)

3. As the object of a preposition, or of the negatives ni… or ne… que:

Elle vient chez moi. (She’s coming over to my house.)
Il va dîner avec nous. (He is going to have dinner with us.)
Je n’ai vu que lui. (I saw only him.)
J’aurais fait la même chose que toi. (I would have done the same as you.)

4. With -même, indicating “oneself”:

Elle aimerait mieux le faire elle-même. (She would rather do it herself.)
C’est lui-même qui me l’a dit. (It is he himself who said it to me.)

5. After the expressions être à, penser à, faire attention à, as well as after any pronominal verb followed by à:

Je pense à toi. (I’m thinking of you.)
Ce stylo est à moi ! (That pen is mine!)
La chatte s’est habituée à nous. (The cat has gotten used to us.)

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