Is it always necessary to repeat the pronoun preceding a verb or auxiliary verb in compound sentences? Such as in English how you could say: “I walked to the shops and bought some food” rather than “I walked to the shops and I bought some food”. For example, could the following:

  • J'ai préparé un repas et je l'ai mangé.

be shortened to:

  • J'ai preparé un repas et le mangé.
  • I edited again to make everything coherent. I hope you have an answer to everything you wanted to know. Sep 24, 2012 at 13:32

1 Answer 1


No it's not necessary to repeat the subject pronoun (or the subject in general), however if there is an object pronoun, you'll have to repeat the full verb. Your example would be:

J'ai préparé un repas et l'ai mangé.

As mentionned by Stéphane, you could also skip both the object pronoun and the auxiliary, but that would result in a slightly different meaning.

J'ai préparé un repas et j'ai mangé.

(meaning “I cooked a meal and ate”, a bit different from “I cooked a meal and ate it”), would be shortened to:

J'ai préparé un repas et mangé.

  • 1
    Without the object pronoun (which would produce a slightly different meaning, but is possible as well) it would result in “J'ai préparé un repas et mangé”. This time the auxiliary verb drops. Maybe you want to extend your answer to cover this case. Sep 23, 2012 at 18:30
  • 1
    J'ai préparé un repas et j'ai mangé sound a bit better to me.
    – 3on
    Sep 23, 2012 at 19:30
  • 2
    "J'ai préparé un repas et l'ai mangé", however correct, is not the way one would say it in everyday life: it sounds a bit presumptuous or literary to me. I think it's more idiomatic to change the verb's place: "J'ai préparé et mangé un repas." Or "J'ai mangé un repas que j'ai préparé." However, those answers don't answer the question...
    – Aya Reiko
    Sep 24, 2012 at 0:35
  • @3on and AyaReiko : I totally agree, I just chose to stick to the grammatically correct without going into the details of which other form would be better or more usual... Sep 24, 2012 at 1:07
  • People could use: j'ai préparé et mangé un repas. Or, think distributivity: préparé.repas + mangé.repas = (préparé+mangé).repas, expect French doesn't really use parentheses that way, which is a shame if you ask me.
    – Joubarc
    Sep 24, 2012 at 14:17

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