Most Common French Verbs that Take Direct or Indirect Object

french indirect and direct object

We can divide French verbs into two categories, the ones that require direct and the ones that require an indirect object.

Perhaps you are well acquainted with the difference between COD and COI, however, you may still find it difficult to guess which verb requires a direct or indirect object.

This is because no matter how much you understand the object itself when you see a verb if you don’t know which object it requires, you are doomed.

In this lesson, we’ll introduce the most important French verbs requiring direct or indirect objects in French.

French Verbs Requiring Direct Object

Direct objects build a connection with a verb directly, or without any prepositions.

  • attendre – (to wait for)
  • chercher – (to look for)
  • regarder – (to look)
  • aimer – (to love)
  • acheter – (to buy)
  • écouter – (to listen to)
  • comprendre – (to understand)
  • inviter – (to invite)
  • espérer – (to hope for/to)
  • faire venir – (to call for)
  • payer – (to pay)

Verbs Requiring Indirect Object in French

Indirect objects build a connection with a verb, indirectly, or with prepositions. It may be confusing to English learners because the preposition is often omitted, however, in French, it stays mandatory.

In a sentence, the action is always directed toward the indirect object.

Je parle à Stefano.

I’m talking to Stefano.

To whom am I talking? To Stefano.

Indirect object can be introduced by a variety of prepositions, but the most common are prepositions de and à.

When it comes to learning which prepositions a or de goes with a specific verb, we must say this is a memory game.

 Most Common French Verbs  Followed by the Preposition A

The French word à is often used after verbs like send, give, and say as an equivalent to the English preposition “to”.

  • appartenir à – (to belong to)
  • apprendre à – (to learn )
  • aider à – (to help to)
  • commencer à – (to start)
  • s’habituer à – (to get accustomed to)
  • reussir à – (to )
  • donner à – (to give)
  • enseigner à – (to teach)
  • obéir à – (to obey)
  • pardonner à – (to forgive)
  • penser à – (to think about)
  • répondre à – (to answer)
  • ressembler à – (to resemble)
  • encourager à – (to encourage)
  • continuer à – (to continue)
  • se décider à – (to decide)

Je m’occuperai de cela.

I’ll take care of that.

Mes arents viennent d’arriver.

My parents have just arrived.

Mon fils commence à comprendre.

My son is beginning to understand.

In English, indirect objects can either be animate or inanimate. French has the same rule; however, indirect object pronouns can only replace animate nouns: people or animals. It is only possible to use the adverbial pronoun y when the indirect object is not a person or an animal. The French expression for “pay attention to him” is “fais attention à lui”, whereas “pay attention to it” means “fais-y attention”.

Most Common Verbs Followed by the Preposition DE

  • essayer de – (to try)
  • arrêter de – (to stop)
  • oublier de – (to forget)
  • refuser de – (to refuse)
  • regretter de – (to regret)
  • choisir de – (to choose)
  • demander de – (to ask)
  • s’occuper de – (to take care of)
  • parler de – (to talk about)
  • refuser de – (to refuse to)
  • venir de – (to come to)
  • prometter de – (to promise to)
  • persuader de – (to persuade)

Je choisis de rester en France.

I choose to stay in France.

Nous refusons de travailler le week-end.

We refuse to work on weekends.

J’arrête de fumer.

I stop smoking.

Verbs Requiring Other Prepositions

Prepositions commonly used before verb infinitives include:

  • afin de (in order to)
  • au lieu de (instead of)
  • avant de (before)
  • pour (for, in order to)
  • sans (without)

Verbs with two Objects : Direct and Indirect Object

  • dire quelque chose à quelqu’un – to say something to someone
  • donner quelque chose à quelqu’un – to give something to someone
  • écrire quelque chose à quelqu’un – to write something to someone

Je donne l’argent a mon propriètaire.

I give money to my landlord.

Je dois écrire une lettre à mon amie.

I have to write a letter to my friend.

French Verbs to Master

Trying to remember which verbs are followed by the preposition à and which by the preposition de is one of the most challenging aspects of learning French.

In this lesson, we gathered the most relevant verbs to learn that are necessary for 90% of conversations. We say ” Learn smart not hard”.

Related Posts

AP Spanish Language Practice

Looking to improve your Spanish skills to take your AP exam? Getting the highest score is just a click away! Find the best AP Spanish

English vs Spanish Language

Are you an English speaker and looking to learn Spanish? As siblings descended from Romance languages, they naturally share similarities. Check them out in our

French and Spanish Language Comparison

Do you wanna know how the two most passionate languages are similar? Let’s talk about the differences and similarities between these romance languages! Welcome to

When did Kobe Learn Spanish

Loving father, ideal husband, amazing man, successful Lakers player, businessman, and he also speaks Spanish! Do you know who he is? How could he do

ALTA Spanish Language Test Questions

Are you taking your ALTA language exam? Don’t let it catch you off guard. Check out the ALTA Spanish Language Test Questions for your high

I Hate the Spanish Language

Do you think Spanish is a beautiful and linguistically rich language? What about the negative opinions that hinder your choice to learn it as a

Get a Certificate in French Language

If you ask yourself why should you take the certification course in French, we’ll help you decide in which cases is useful and in which

What does “Doux” mean in French?

Discover the meaning of “doux” in French and its various uses. Learn how to use this common word in everyday conversation and improve your French

Need in French: Avoir Besoin

It’s in the human need to have needs, right? Learning how to express your needs in French is by all means an important step in

German riddles

Looking for some fun ways to practice your German language skills? Check out our collection of German riddles and tongue twisters! Test your wit and

Cheers in French: 8 happy ways to say it

Celebrate in French style! This blog showcases 8 happy ways to say “cheers” in French, perfect for impressing your French-speaking friends. Santé! How to say

Different Ways to Use Fois in French

Fois is a very common French word, used in different contexts. English speakers oftentimes confuse it with the word “temps”. In this lesson, you’ll learn

Funniest French jokes

In this article, we will share some of the funniest French jokes  that will have you laughing out loud. Let’s get started! Funniest French jokes

Funniest Spanish jokes

¡Hola! You’re in for a treat if you love to laugh and speak Spanish. We’ve compiled a list of the funniest Spanish jokes that will

Jokes about French

In this article, we’ll explore the humorous side of French culture through a collection of jokes about French. Let’s get started! Jokes about French Welcome

News in French: free resources

In this article, we will explore a variety of websites, podcasts, TV channels, and other resources that you can use to stay informed about news

Short German jokes

Laugh your way through language learning with our collection of short German jokes. Discover the funniest puns, one-liners, and more in our guide! German humor

The basic Spanish hand gestures

In this blog post, we will explore the most important Spanish hand gestures, and their meanings, providing a guide to effectively communicate with Spanish speakers

Beautiful French words with meaning

Discover the beauty of the French language by learning its meanings. Learn the beautiful French words and its meaning. Beautiful French words A lot of

How do you say “good” in French?

Learn how to say “good” in French with our easy guide. Perfect for beginners and travelers looking to improve their language skills. “Good” in French

How to say “Cat” in French

How to say cat in French? What’s the word for a kitten in French? Learn more about the basic terminologies of our favorite fur pet

Learn French with PDF resources

Do you know that you can learn French with PDF resources? In this article, we will explore the advantages of using PDF resources to learn

Funny French jokes

Welcome to our article on Funny French jokes! Are you ready to simultaneously laugh and learn a little bit about French culture? French humor can

Funny German jokes

Welcome to our article on Funny German jokes! Get ready to chuckle at some of the funniest German jokes. German jokes Germany has a rich

Quotes in France by famous people

In this article, we will explore some of the most memorable and inspiring quotes in France from French people that have been passed down through

Quotes in Spain by famous people

In today’s post, you’ll learn some famous quotes in Spain by famous people. Quotes in Spain Spain has a rich cultural history and has produced

Best German proverbs

This article will explore some of the most popular German proverbs and delve into their meanings and origins. Check this out! German proverbs German proverbs

French Riddles

Learning some French riddles and playing with a French-speaking friend are great ways to practice if you know a little French. French riddles A good

How to translate Good Evening in French

Welcome to our article on translating “Good Evening” into French! Suppose you’re planning a trip to a French-speaking country or want to impress your friends

Some facts about the French mafia

Let’s discover some facts about the French mafia. facts about the French mafia The French Mafia is one of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations.

Some facts about the Spanish mafia

Let’s discover some facts about the Spanish mafia. Facts about the Spanish mafia The Spanish mafia is one of the most active and widespread criminal

Some facts about the German mafia

Let’s discover some facts about the German mafia.  Facts about the German mafia The German Mafia (; Maffia; from Italian mafiusi, “clan”) is a criminal