In the song "Ava" by the francophone Canadian singer Coeur de Pirate, she uses this lyric:

Oh, l’aime si tu veux, mais son rire laisse une trace

This sounds like an imperative construction, since there is no subject present and a command would make sense in this context. As I understand it, positive imperatives with object pronouns require inversion, so the expected form should be:

aime-le si tu veux

Why is the pronoun le before the verb in the lyric instead of after?

  • Welcome to FSE. No native speaker. I ain't sure that's why I don't post it as an answer but rather as a comment. I think that l' refers to 'son rire'. That is, I would interpret the lyric as: Si tu veux (on) l'aime (i.e. 'son rire'), mais son rire laisse une trace.
    – Dimitris
    Jun 12, 2020 at 16:21

1 Answer 1


Oh, l’aime si tu veux

J'aurais préféré te dire que tu as tort, mais j'ai cherché les paroles et ce sont bien les paroles de la chanson. Par contre ça ne se dit pas du tout. C'est une formule que la chanteuse s'est autorisée (une sorte de Licence poétique), mais ça n'existe pas en français, ça sème juste la confusion.

Je l'aime, aime-le, oui.

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