I have a sentence like this:

Elle a écrit à ses parents?

How can I answer this question? Is it:

  1. Non, elle n'a pas lui écrit.
  2. Non, elle n'a lui écrit pas.
  3. Non, elle ne lui a écrit pas.
  4. Non, elle n'a pas lui écrit.
  5. Non, elle ne lui a pas écrit.

Which one is correct?


Number 5 is nearly correct; you need leur here, as it means them (referring to the parents) as an indirect object pronoun. An indirect object pronoun is used when the verb doesn’t take a direct object (in other words, someone that something is done to or for). In this case, the subject is writing to her parents, which would be écrire à.


Non, elle ne leur a pas écrit.

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  • 2
    But in past tense , isn’t we put the negation between “a”? ( n’a pas ecrit ) why when it involves coi , it becomes ne leur a ecrit pas instead of ne leur a pas ecrit ? – Ling Min Hao Jun 16 '19 at 4:45
  • That was an error on my part, I apologize. I edited it to reflect the change. You’re right; it is ...ne leur a pas écrit. – tssmith2425 Jun 16 '19 at 4:55
  • 2
    With your change, you should also replace "Number 3 is nearly correct" by "Number 5 is nearly correct". – Steph Jun 16 '19 at 8:52
  • @Steph, good call. I know this, too. Not sure why I made the mistake but thanks so much for catching it! – tssmith2425 Jun 16 '19 at 8:58

The only proper way to answer is "non, elle ne leur a pas écrit".

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