French Grammar Explained /

Double pronouns I

We've already learned how to use the direct object pronouns...
Me, te, le, la, nous, vous, les...
And the indirect object pronouns...
Me, te, lui, nous, vous, leur...
But we have yet to learn when to use them together!
Oh my goodness... Why is French so compliqué ?
Sometimes, a verb needs both a direct object and an indirect object to make sense. This is the case for donner.
Lisa donne un livre à sa soeur.
Lisa gives a book to her sister.
If we just said Lisa donne, it would not make much sense; we need to know what Lisa is giving and who she is giving it to.
Since we are using a direct object and an indirect object with this verb, it means we can also replace them both by pronouns:
Lisa le donne à sa soeur.
Lisa gives it to her sister.
Lisa lui donne le livre.
Lisa gives the book to her.
Direct object pronouns and indirect object pronouns are always placed before the conjugated verb!
Lisa le lui donne.
Lisa gives it to her.
Okay, je comprends ! But you're forgetting something...
What is that?
How do I know which one to place first?
Ha ha, ne t'inquiètes pas, we have a rule for that!
Of course you do...
Tu me le donnes.
You give it to me.
Elles le lui donne.
They gave it to him/her.
In the event of using many pronouns in your sentence, keep in mind that you cannot arrange them as you please. Here you can see which pronouns like to come first, second, and third in your sentence.
me te
le la l'
Tu me le donnes.
Not: Tu le me donnes.
Je le lui donne
Not: Je lui le donne.
Here's a list of verbs with which you can use both pronouns:
demander (to ask for)
donner (to give)
prendre (to take)
écrire (to write)
montrer (to show)
envoyer (to send)
offrir (to offer)