The question asks us to use les pronoms directs et indirects and les temps des verbes. The first question is elle va demander les explications au professeur.

We do not know the gender of the professor. So which is correct?:

  1. Oui, elle va les demander au professeur.

  2. Oui, elle va les lui demander.

Since lui is used for both him and her, does it matter?

  • 1
    Both are grammatically correct but it depends on what the question is asking. Replace all things possible with pronouns? Replace the direct object? Note that although you're right that lui is gender-neutral, the question actually does assume a masculine professor, at least by convention. – Luke Sawczak Dec 8 '19 at 5:09
  • Thank you Luke! – CanadianGirl Dec 8 '19 at 13:39
  • @LukeSawczak > Why do you think the question assumes a masculine professor? In this case I think the assumption is in the mind of the reader. There is strictly no gender indication in the question and using "le professeur" for a women is correct. (although when shortened to "prof" it is much more common to say "le prof/la prof". – Laurent S. Dec 9 '19 at 10:54
  • @Laurent It doesn't really matter since under either interpretation, the answers assume nothing more about the gender than the question does. – Luke Sawczak Dec 9 '19 at 11:25

Both of them are correct.

Va-t-elle demander les explications au professeur ?

Oui, elle va demander les explications au professeur.

Demander quelque chose (something) à quelqu'un (someone).

Oui, elle va les demander au professeur.

The pronoun les replaces here les explications.

Oui, elle va les lui demander.

Here, in addition, the pronoun lui replaces au (=à+le) professeur. Note that les precedes lui.

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  • As a remark I find that repeating the whole sentence in the answer is very formal/scholar. In real life, whenever the answer is not a plain and simple "oui", there's a big chance that "Oui, elle va les lui demander" will be used, possibly with even less pronouns/complements as these are implied by the context. So "Oui, elle va demander" could be used. But the original question being an exercise, this short answer wouldn't fit the requirements. – Laurent S. Dec 9 '19 at 9:03

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