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Am I right in thinking that the verb mettre can take both direct and indirect object. I looked it up in all the dictionaries I know of, but I couldn't find any examples where it is used with an indirect object.

However, I have this sentence (It's from a Youtube video):

je vous mets en bas l’info

To my logic, vous is the indirect object denoting the recipient and l'info is the direct object, thus the sentence should mean something like: “I (am going to?) put the information for you below.” (I'm not sure why the original sentence is in the present, though.)

Or maybe I misunderstood the sentence completely, because I'm a real newbie to French.

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Some other examples showing both direct and indirect objects: Je mets ma montre à mon poignet gauche (I put my watch on my left wrist); Peter Sagan met la main aux fesses d'une hôtesse (Peter Sagan puts his hand on a podium girl's behind) –  Joubarc Apr 4 '13 at 13:58

4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

All this is correct, here mettre is used with an indirect object vous and with a direct object l'info. The use of vous directly as a pronoun is slightly informal though, as the correct preposition would be pour:

Je mets en bas l'info pour vous.

In comparison “Je vous vérifie ça” is slightly colloquial, and one would expect “Je vérifie cela pour vous” in a very formal discourse. In particular, mettre l'info à vous is clearly not idiomatic. In other situations “mettre quelque chose à quelqu'un” could easily be misinterpreted.

As for the tense, it's perfectly usual in French to use present in this case. J'ai mis, Je vais mettre or Je mettrai are also possible.

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Thanks! Do you sometimes use the present simple to talk about the future? –  stillenat Mar 18 '13 at 11:48
    
Hum, I assumed the info was simultaneously shown at the bottom. But in fact, it's often possible to use the present to express events planned for the future (Example: Ce soir je vais au cinéma.); you should rather check whether is it is unambiguous beforehand though. –  Stéphane Gimenez Mar 18 '13 at 12:50
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I'm far from sure that this vous is an indirect object. It looks like another construction to me, quite familiar and possible with any verb. –  Un francophone Mar 18 '13 at 14:15
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@StéphaneGimenez, I'll try to look if Grevisse says something about it this evening. –  Un francophone Mar 18 '13 at 14:37
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vous is definitely an indirect object: à qui ? is the question that is answered with the indirect object: je mets l'info -> à qui ? -> à vous. But I disagree with the informality of the sentence. It is just not polite as referred to the vous but saying je te mets ton manteau en bas (I put your coat downstairs) is totally correct. –  hadinbe Mar 18 '13 at 15:07

Well the sentence could actually mean two things depending on what was in the author's head when he wrote it.

  • Je vous ai mis l'info en bas. (I have put the info below.)
  • Je vous mettrai l'info en bas. (I will put the info below.)

The present tense might sound weird, but it's correct. You could say it while talking, but not while writing a letter(as an example).

Also, the author inverted l'info and en bas. That do sound weird and would sound better written like I wrote it in the two examples above.

Your interpretation of the sentence is correct.


Note that in the sentence vous is a “complément d'objet indirect”. Because it answers a question that has an à in it. Je mets à qui?à vous.

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The question is clearly pour qui, not à qui. Nobody would say Je mets l'info en bas à Pierre. –  Stéphane Gimenez Mar 19 '13 at 10:50
    
@StéphaneGimenez Well the "à + qui/quoi" question is just a way of saying it to find the "complément d'objet indirect". It's just a trick. That's why it sounds weird. –  Hugo Dozois Mar 19 '13 at 12:40
    
A trick that doesn't explain anything to someone who is not already familiar with the French language… –  Stéphane Gimenez Mar 19 '13 at 14:29

A bit of searching on the Net would have revealed many examples of the indirect object personal pronoun with mettre. What throws people off is the fact that ‘mettre à’ with persons is quite rare. (Of course, there is ‘remettre à’ but that's a different verb.)

Instead of looking for the equivalent of the verb + à, you must look for a beneficiary of the action or the pronom bénéfactif. By far, the most common form is lui + mettre. A couple of examples are:

  • Je lui mets son manteau.

  • Ça lui met l'eau à la bouche.

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C'est indéniable. Mais ce n'est pas la même utilisation que dans l'exemple. Il faut le préciser. –  Stéphane Gimenez Mar 23 '13 at 14:21

In

Je vous mets l'info en bas.

It's a case where we are using the indirect object conjoin forms of pronoun but not as an indirect object but as an adverbial complement.

Grevisse, le bon Usage:

Elles correspondent à des compléments nominaux précédés d'une autre préposition que à. (Dans ce cas, les grammairiens français parlent souvent de complément d'attribution [et Grevisse ailleurs appelle ça un complément adverbial]). [Exemple avec pour: Je VOUS ai cueilli cette rose. Exemple avec chez, dans: Je LUI trouve de grandes qualités.]

Note that it isn't what I made a reference to in a comment to Stéphane's answer, which is described so by Grevisse:

La langue familière emploie d'une manière explétive le pronom de la première ou de la deuxième personne, pour exprimer l'intérêt que le locuteur prend à l'action ou pour solliciter l'interlocuteur de s'intéresser à l'action (c'est le dativus ethicus de la grammaire latine).

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