French Language Blog

French Grammar: Transitive Verbs of Two Objects Posted by on Aug 20, 2012 in Grammar, Vocabulary

You are already familiar with transitive verbs, meaning verbs that require an object.

Now meet the less known breed called “ditransitive verbs.”

It may sound complicated at first, but once you know what it stands for, it suddenly becomes très facile: As their name says, these are verbs which need one direct object and one additional object introduced by a preposition.

The prefix “di-” in “ditransitive” simply means “two.”

Of course, with a few good examples, things will be much easier to understand.

We’ll give today some of such verbs which go with the preposition “à“, equivalent of the English preposition “to“:

Admettre (to accept), appeler (to call), annoncer (to announce), autoriser (to authorize), conduire (to drive), dire (to tell), forcer (to force), inviter (to invite), obliger (to oblige), rendre (to return), suggérer (to suggest.)

Here is how these verbs can be used in French sentences:

  • Admettre un étudiant à l’université (To accept a student to the University.)
  • Appeler quelqu’un à la réception (To call someone to the reception.)
  • Annoncer la nouvelle à quelqu’un (To tell the news to someone.)
  • Autoriser les enfants à regarder la télé (To allow the kids to watch TV.)
  • Conduire les enfants à l’école (to drive the kids to school.)
  • Dire la vérité à quelqu’un (To tell the truth to someone.)
  • Forcer le traitement au malade (To force the treatment to the sick.)
  • Habituer son amis à parler en français (To get one’s friends to speaking French.)
  • Inviter ses amis au mariage (To invite one’s friends to the wedding.)
  • Obliger les gens à consommer plus (To oblige people to consume more.)
  • Rendre l’argent à son propriétaire (To give back the money to its owner.)
  • Suggérer une proposition à notre équipe (To suggest a proposition to our team.)

→ Fore more French grammar on the Transparent French Blog, read:


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  1. Pauline:

    Was the use of “depuis” an error in the recent word of the day post? “Avez-vous déjà admiré la vue depuis le haut d’un barrag”?

    • Hichem:

      @Pauline Bonjour Pauline, and thank you for your question!

      The use of depuis is actually correct in the French Word of the Day, since “depuis“, in addition to its usual sense of “since“, can mean “from.”

      Depuis le haut d’un barrage” is also correct, although it would be better to simply say “du haut“, as you suggested.

      I hope this helps, and don’t hesitate to ask more questions if you want!

      – Hichem

  2. Pauline:

    I wonder if du haut would be more correct than depuis le haut?