Tonic Pronouns are used for emphasis and outside of verb constructions.
You will notice that these tonic pronouns are very similar to object pronouns. Tonic pronouns come after the verb, just as in English. However, object pronouns are used more frequently.
When will I use tonic pronouns?
1. To emphasize or specify the object:
I’m giving this to you. You’re giving it to me!? Je te le donne. Tu le donnes à moi!?
Did he give it to him or to her? Est-ce qu’il l’a donnée à lui ou à elle?
I gave it to her, not him.* Je l’ai à elle, pas à lui.
*In this case, lui (as an indirect object pronoun) can mean to him or to her whereas lui (as a tonic pronoun) only means him.
2. When you need to say me/you/us/they/etc outside without a verb.
Me too! Moi aussi.
Who made the cake? Him. Qui a fait le gâteau? Lui.
Who are you taking to? To her. À qui parles-tu? À elle.
3. Combine tonic pronoun with même to say myself, oneself, herself, etc.
I didn’t convince myself of it. Je n’en ai pas convaincu moi-même.
Is Jack there? Speaking. Jacques? Lui-même.
WARNING: Do not use tonic pronouns outside of these two instances. You cannot use tonic pronouns in place of object pronouns (me, te, se, lui, etc)
Mise en Pratique
1. Follow this link and take the quiz to test your knowledge on tonic pronouns. >Allez-y>
2. Take this other quiz to practice some more. >Allez-y>