Stress pronouns, also known as tonic or disjunctive pronouns, put stress in a sentence. In this module, we will learn about some of the most common ways to use stress pronouns in French. Using these in everyday conversation are common in the French language. In English, however, we use voice inflection and intonation emphasis to stress what we’re expressing in a sentence. Below is the list of French tonic pronouns.
elles them (f)
In this module we will talk about 3 common ways that stress pronouns are used. The other resources in this module may elaborate on additional ways that include more complex French grammar topics.
Usage #1: To emphasize the subject or subject pronoun
Following C’est or Ce sont (meaning It is)
C’est moi qui aime le petit-déjeuner pour le dîner !
It’s me who likes breakfast for dinner !
Ce sont elles qui adorent le vin !
It’s them who love the wine !
Repeating the subject pronoun
Toi, tu cries trop fort !
You, you are shouting too loudly !
Moi et lui (Nous), nous sortons ce soir.
Me and him (Us), we are going out tonight.
Usage #2: After a preposition (see the Quizlet module to learn French prepositions*)
Monsieur, il y a un cadeau devant vous.
Mister, there is a gift in front of you.
Je ne veux pas aller avec eux à la plage.
I don’t want to go with them to the beach.
*Note that stress pronouns can only refer to people. Not all prepositions provided will make sense in this context.
Usage #3: To say, myself/yourself/himself, etc...
Add -même to the stress pronoun
Je peux faire le travail moi-même.
I can do the work myself.
Nous posons les questions nous-mêmes.
We are posing the questions ourselves.