I know I heard a term for nouns of direct address when I did French grammar in HS, but I can't for the life of me think what we call one in French. Examples:

Jean, pourrais-tu me donner le dictionnaire ?

Écoutez mes paroles, les amis.

Marie, tu viens de me le donner.

Sorry, I know it's a really basic question but it's escaping my brain right now.

1 Answer 1


What you're referring to is known more technically as "vocative case". If you look up "direct address" on Wikipedia you'll be redirected.

From there, as a Latinate word, the translation is pretty direct: le vocatif.

You could also "reverse engineer" a more word-for-word translation for the original term by using that page's French description of the term:

l'interpellation directe ou l'invocation d'une personne

(The trick I often use for such things is to look up the English on Wikipedia and then use the language switcher / list of other languages to find the same article on French Wikipedia. This method seems to be pretty reliable for finding standard equivalents for technical jargon.)

  • Ah same as Latin and Greek awesome thanks!
    – anonymous2
    Feb 14, 2021 at 12:42

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