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How To Use French Stressed (Disjunctive) Pronouns

How To Use French Stressed (Disjunctive) Pronouns

What are the French stressed (disjunctive) pronouns?

Stressed pronouns, also called disjunctive or emphatic pronouns, are used to provide emphasis of a personal pronoun that refers to a person or group of people. The French stressed pronouns are: moi (me), toi (you), lui (him), elle (her), nous (us), vous (you), eux (them) and elles (them). On this page we’ll look at lots of usages and example sentences.

French stressed pronouns

Stressed pronoun chart

je -> moiI -> menous -> nouswe -> us
tu-> toiyou -> youvous -> vousyou -> you
il -> luihe -> himils -> euxthey -> them
elle -> elleshe -> elleelles -> ellesthey -> them

In English you wouldn’t say “I dine with he.” You’d say, “I dine with him.” The same goes in French. “Je dîne avec il” is wrong and doesn’t sound right. You’d say, “Je dîne avec lui.”

Example sentences


One of the most common uses of the stressed pronoun is simply put emphasis on the subject of the sentence.

  • Moi, je n’aime pas les petit pois! I don’t like peas!
  • Lui, c’est un grand linguiste et un polyglotte! He’s a great linguist and a polyglot!
  • Eux, ce sont des gens génials! They’e great people!
  • Nous, on adore faire du ski! We love skiing!

stressing a specific individual

Use stressed pronouns after c’est and ce sont to express, “I’m the one who” or “You’re the one who” etc. Make sure that the verb that follows qui is in agreement with the stressed pronoun.

  • C’est moi qui parle français ici! I’m the one who speaks French here!
  • C’est toi qui dois faire la vaiselle ce soir! You’re the one who has to do the dishes tonight!
  • C’est lui qui parle le plus couramment! He’s the one who speak the most fluently!
  • Ce sont eux qui préparent le repas ce weekend. They’re the ones who are preparing the meal this weekend.
  • C’est vous qui êtes en retard! You’re the ones who are late!
  • C’est nous qui partons d’abord. We’re the ones who are leaving first.

describing two people

Sometimes stressed pronouns can be found in the same sentence with personal pronouns.

  • Ma mère et moi, on se parle tous les weekends. My mom and I speak every weekend.
  • Lui et Sylvie, ils sortent ensemble depuis les années 80s. He’s been going out with Sylvie since the 1980s.
  • Mes amis et moi, nous allons faire de la randonée cet été. My friends and I will go hiking this summer.

stand-alone situations

Often the stressed pronoun can be found in a stand-alone situation.

  • Qui a volé les biscuits! Moi! Who stole the cookies? Me!
  • Qui joue du violin et apprend beaucoup de langues? Moi! Who plays the violin and learns so many languages? Me!
  • Elle boit trop de café. Moi aussi! She drinks too much coffee. So do I!
  • Il ne veut pas habiter sur la côte est des États-Unis. Moi non plus! He doesn’t want to live on the east coast of the USA. Neither do I!

contrasting individuals

Use the stress pronouns to contrast people in opposing situations or views.

  • Lui, c’est un grand optimiste. Elle, c’est une pessimiste! He’s an optimist. She’s a pessimist.
  • Moi, je suis plutôt extraverti. Mon père, il est plutôt introverti. I’m rather extroverted. My father is rather introverted.
  • Elle, elle est très douée pour les maths et les sciences. Lui, il est très doué pour les langues et la musique. She’s very good at math and science. He’s very good at languages and music.

stress pronouns and prepositions

  • Je travaille pour lui. I work for him.
  • Il habite avec moi. He lives with me.
  • Ils sont contre nous! They’re against us!
  • Je dîne chez lui. I’m having dinner at his place.
  • Je n’irai pas sans eux! I won’t go without them!

stress pronouns and comparisons

  • Il est plus grand que moi. He’s taller than me.
  • Elle est aussi intelligente que lui. She’s as smart as him.
  • Je suis moins occupé que toi. I’m less busy than you.
  • Tu apprends aussi vite que moi. You learn as fast as me.

combined with -même = self

  • J’ai appris à jouer du violin moi-même. I learned to play the violin myself.
  • Fais-le toi-même! Do it yourself!
  • Il a fait le gâteau lui-même. He made the cake himself.
  • Il est important de se connaître soi-même. It’s important to know oneself.

indirect object usage

Use the stressed pronoun with verbs where the indirect object is a person. In this situation, the action is mental and not physical.

  • Je pense à mon ami -> Je pense à lui. I’m thinking about my friend. I’m thinking about him.
  • Elle songe à son mari -> Elle songe à lui. She’s thinking about her husband. She’s thinking about him.
  • J’ai besoin de ce médecin -> J’ai besoin de lui. I need this doctor. I need him.
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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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