Saying “Moi” and “Toi” in French : Les Pronoms Toniques

french stressed pronouns moi toi lui elle

Have you wondered why you need “Moi“, if there is already the pronoun “je“?

And what’s the stressed pronoun anyway?

Today’s article will help you distinguish between French stressed pronouns and personal pronouns.

You’ll learn in which situations to use Les Pronoms Toniques. 

What are Stressed Pronouns  (Les Pronoms Toniques) ?

Their name is quite justified because they are always under emphasis. In French, we know them as les pronoms personnel toniques.

A stressed pronoun (also called a disjunctive pronoun or emphatic pronoun) serves as an emphasized word or phrase. In English, there are stressed pronouns, but they are not always used in the same way as French stressed pronouns.

Because they are so commonly used in French, it’s a smart idea to devote a couple of hours to understanding them.

French Stressed Pronouns

Each stressed pronoun corresponds to personal pronouns, with an additional pronoun that refers to oneself (soi). Note that some forms look the same as the personal pronouns (elle, nous, vous, elles).  Two things should be considered when using Stressed Pronouns :

  1. agree with the subject or object in number and gender
  2. refer only to people

Personal pronoun – Stressed Pronoun – English

  • Je – moi– me
  • Tu – toi – you
  • Il – lui – him
  • Elle – elle – her
  • /    – Soi  – oneself
  • nous – nous – us
  • vous – vous – you
  • ils   –  eux – them
  • elles – elles – them


de moi →about me

à moi → to me

pour moi → for me

avec moi → with me

contre moi → against me

devant moi → in front of

We recommend you watch Perfect French with Dylane. She’ll give you tons of examples with French Stressed Pronouns. 

When to Use French Stressed Pronouns?

Les Pronoms Toniques are used if you want :

  •  to emphasize someone’s identity by reinforcing a noun or pronoun. The pronoun moi reinforces the subject pronoun je.

Moi, j’adore le cinéma.

Elle, elle fait du skate.

Toi Sylvain,tu fais du rugby.

  •  to underline a contrast, an opposition.

Il aime le sport alors que sa femme, elle, préfère regarder la télévision.

  •  to replace a subject pronoun when the verb is implied.

Qui a cassé ce vase ? Moi. (sous-entendu : je l’ai cassé).

  • as a response followed by aussi or non plus

Je déteste le football. – Moi aussi.

 Je n’aime pas le rugby. – Lui non plus. 

  • after the prepositions

Always use French Stressed Pronouns after these words

Stressed Pronouns are always used after the prepositions, conjunctions, imperative form, comparatives etc.

  • after prepositions : à, avec, chez, de, entre, par, pour… 

Je pense à mes parents —> Je pense à eux.

  • after the indefinite adjective même

Moimême, je suis surprise du résultat.

 after  “c’est”, “ce sont” :  

Ce sont eux qui arrivent.

  • after the coordinating conjunctions : et, ni, ou : 

 Ni vous ni moi ne sommes responsables.

  • after the verbe in infinitive 

Vous ! Conduire dans votre état, ce n’est pas prudent ! 

  • after “que” in comparaison

Elle est plus futée que lui !

  •  after the in impérative with the pronouns (moi, toi, nous, vous ): 

 Tais-toi et mange !

C’est à toi ?

You know it’s all about the practice, once you learn the basics. Click here to practice French stressed pronouns.

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