FR: aider (à) qqn - objet direct / indirect

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by Voloshka, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. Voloshka Senior Member

    Russian, Ukraine
    Hello! I've got a problem with the verb "aider" when I want to say "I want to help them" , for example. It must be "Je veux leur aider" or "Je veux les aider"? In one book I found both variants, explaining the difference in the following way: if you're speaking of a material help (money), it goes with "les", and if you want to assist someone in some other way, it goes with "leur". Still another book gave only one translation "Je veux les aider". So everything got mixed and I'm confused...Help me out, please...
  2. Arabelle Member

    I am not a French native, but I guess 'je veux les aider' is the correct one. I've never heard such a sentence as 'je veux leur aider'.
    Maybe we can say 'je veux leur apporter de l'aide', meaning to bring them some hlep, or to be of help to them, but not 'leur aider'.
    I hope someone else confirms that.
  3. CARNESECCHI Senior Member

    French / France
    "Je veux les aider" = "I want to help them" (help = verb "aider")
    "I want their help" = "Je veux leur aide" (help = noun "aide")
    Hope it helps
  4. pieanne

    pieanne Senior Member

    Nice Hinterland
    "Leur" is used for the indirect object complement: je parle à mes amis > je leur parle.
    "Les" is the direct object complement: je vois mes amis > je les vois.
    If the pronoun is used after a preposition, use "eux": je parle avec mes amis > je parle avec eux.
  5. Bastoune

    Bastoune Senior Member

    Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
    French & English - Canada
    One may find the construction "aider à quelqu'un" in certain regions of the French-speaking world (I hear it in Northern Ontario and Abitibi), but it is grammatically incorrect.

    Therefore, stick with "aider + objet direct" ==> "je les aide"
  6. pieanne

    pieanne Senior Member

    Nice Hinterland
    Yes, it's better!
    Yet, you say "aider à faire quelque chose", but it's off topic :)
  7. to_rk Senior Member

    India English

    as per my understanding, if the verbs refers to qqch , then we need to COD (le ,le ,l' , les)

    and if it refers to qqun, then COI (lui, leur)

    but it's very confusing what the verb infers to.

    i've a sentence like this
    vous ........... aidez. here i think aidez means help somebody (qqun). it cannot be quelqu'chose

    hence i thought, vous lui aidez is correct. but it turns out to be wrong. vous l'aidez is correct. dont understand why?

    please help.
  8. Avignonais Senior Member

    USA, Anglophone
    No, you have it wrong. You can spot COD and COIs. What I look for is:

    direct object is the situation where there is no preposition necessary. Je vois quelqu'un ou quelque chose. Je le vois.

    indirect, when there is a preposition. Je téléphone à quelqu'un ou je parle à mon ami ou a mon chat. Je lui parle.
  9. milleant Member

    English - US
    Je sais pas pourquoi, mais je peux pas décider si c'est:
    Je peux les aider ou Je peux leur aider.

    Merci d'avance pour m'avoir répondu!
  10. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    Je peux les aider :tick:
    Je peux leur aider. :cross:

    We say aider quelqu'un, never aider à quelqu'un. This means that the people who get helped are a direct object, not an indirect object... so you must use the direct object pronoun les (not the indirect object pronoun leur).
  11. Jinette Senior Member

    Est-ce que j'ai bien utiliser les/leur dans ce contexte?

    Est-ce que vos enfants […] font autre chose qui vont leur aider à réussir dans l’avenir? […]
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2013
  12. Mauricet Senior Member

    near Grenoble
    French - France
    Aider est transitif direct. C'est donc les aider à ... et non *leur aider à qui équivaudrait à *aider à eux à.
  13. CapnPrep Senior Member

    For the sake of completeness, here is what the dictionary says about °aider à qqn :
    And Grevisse (§284, a):
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  14. MalaoNao New Member

    Reference: Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

    Compte tenu de ces explications, on doit utiliser la forme suivante : Je voudrais les aider. (Matériellement, financièrement, dans les démarches ou de mes conseils)

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2013

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