Easy Learning French

Emphatic pronouns - Easy Learning Grammar French

What is an emphatic pronoun?
An emphatic pronoun is used instead of a noun when you want to emphasize something, for example Is this for me?

1 Using emphatic pronouns

  • In French, there is another set of pronouns which you use after prepositions, when you want to emphasize something and in certain other cases. These are called emphatic pronouns or stressed pronouns.
SingularMeaningPluralMeaning
moiI
me
nouswe
us
toiyouvousyou
luihe
him
euxthey (masculine)
them
elleshe
her
ellesthey (feminine)
them
soioneself (yourself, ourselves) 
Je pense souvent à toi.I often think about you.
C’est pour moi?Is this for me?
Venez avec moi.Come with me.
Il a besoin de nous.He needs us.
  • soi (meaning oneself) is used with the subject pronoun on and with words like tout le monde (meaning everyone) or chacun (meaning each one).
Il faut avoir confiance en soi.You have to have confidence in yourself.
Tout le monde est rentré chez soi.Everyone went home.

2 When to use emphatic pronouns

  • Emphatic pronouns are used in the following circumstances:
  • after a preposition
C’est pour moi?Is this for me?
  • for emphasis, especially where a contrast is involved
Toi, tu ressembles à ton père, mais elle non.You look like your father, she doesn’t.
Il m’énerve, lui!He’s getting on my nerves!
  • on their own without a verb
‘Qui a cassé la fenêtre?’ – ‘Lui.’‘Who broke the window?’ – ‘He did.’
‘Je suis fatiguée.’ – ‘Moi aussi.’‘I’m tired.’ – ‘Me too.’
  • after c’est and ce sont (meaning it is)
C’est toi, Simon?Is that you, Simon?
Ce sont eux.It’s them.
  • in comparisons
Tu es plus jeune que moi.You’re younger than me.
Il est moins grand que toi.He’s smaller than you (are).
  • when the subject of the sentence is made up of two pronouns, or of a pronoun and a noun
Mon père et elle ne s’entendent pas.My father and she don’t get on.
Grammar Extra!You can add -même or -mêmes to the emphatic pronouns when you particularly want to emphasize something. These forms correspond to English myself, ourselves and so on.
Form with -mêmeMeaning
moi-mêmemyself
toi-mêmeyourself
lui-mêmehimself, itself
elle-mêmeherself, itself
soi-mêmeoneself (yourself, ourselves)
nous-mêmesourselves
vous-même
vous-mêmes
yourself
yourselves
eux-mêmesthemselves (masculine)
elles-mêmesthemselves (feminine)
Je l’ai fait moi-même.I did it myself.
Elle l’a choisi elle-même.She chose it herself.
Key points
  • The French emphatic pronouns are: moi, toi, lui, elle, soi in the singular, and nous, vous, eux, elles in the plural.
  • They are used:
  • after a preposition
  • for emphasis
  • on their own without a verb
  • after c’est and ce sont
  • in comparisons
  • when the subject of the sentence is made up of two pronouns, or of a pronoun and a noun
  • You can add -même or -mêmes to the emphatic pronouns when you particularly want to emphasize something.

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