IOP DOP Y En Word Order for One Verb, Two Verb, and Composed Tenses

May 1, 2011 § 7 Comments

Not all sentences have every pronoun  listed.  But the idea is to know which go in which order in case you have more than one pronoun.  A helpful thing would be to memorize two or three phrases that have more than one pronoun in them so that you will always remember which go in which order.  For those of you in my class, you have your “cheat sheet” notecards.  Use them!!

Je te les envoie – I’m sending them to you.
Je les lui donne.  –  I’m giving them to him
Il n’y en a plus – There isn’t any more of it/them
Je vais y aller – I’m going there.
J’y suis allé – I went there.

1.  For one verb tenses, this is the order of the pronouns between the subject and the verb.

subject ne reflexive pronoun indirect object pronoun direct object pronoun indirect object pronoun y en verb pas
    me me me lui       (and other
    te te te leur       negation
    se nous le / la         terms)
    nous vous nous          
    vous   vous          
    se   les          

Nous leur racontons l’histoire.  We’re telling the story to them.
Nous la racontons aux enfants. We’re telling it to the children.
Tu m’aides. You are helping me.
Ils vous offrent les fleurs . They are offering the flowers to you.
Ils vous les offrent. They are offering them to you.


2.  For 2 verb sentences, you place the pronoun in front of the verb that affects it, which ends up being the 2nd verb / infinitive.

subject ne verb pas reflexive IOP DOP IOP y en infinitive rest of sentence
        me me  me  lui        
        te te  te  leur        
        se  nous  le/la          
        nous  vous  nous          
        vous    vous          
         se    les          

Je veux y aller.
Tu dois le faire.
Il va en acheter.

For the composed tenses (with an auxiliary verb and a past participle – passé composé, plus que parfait, etc.)

subject ne reflexive pronoun IOP DOP IOP y en auxiliary verb pas past participle rest of sentence
    me me me lui     être      
    te te te leur     avoir      
    se nous le/la              
    nous vous nous              
    vous   les              

*In these tenses there are a few minor details that I haven’t included here, but this is the word order.
Je l’ai acheté – I bought it
Je te les ai données – I gave them to you
Ils les y ont vendus – They sold them there

** NOTE – for negative sentences in passé composé, make sure to double check the placement of the pas / negative words (plus, jamais, pas encore, personne, que, etc.)

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