Spanish direct object pronouns
Direct object pronouns (pronombres de objeto directo ) replace a direct object, which is a noun that receives the action of a verb.
- Mauricio prepara el bizcocho. (Mauricio prepares the sponge cake.):
- Mauricio lo prepara. (Mauricio prepares it.)
Direct object pronoun forms
|me||me||José me extraña. (Juan misses me.)|
|te||you||No te ví en la reunión. (I do not see you at the meeting.)|
|lo*||him, it (masc.), you (form.)||Lo cociné yo anoche. (I cooked it last night.)|
|la||her, it (fem.), you (form.)||La necesito ahora. (I need her now.)|
|nos||us||Nos invitaron a su boda. (They invited us to their wedding.)|
|os||you||Os espero en Málaga. (I will wait for you in Malaga.)|
|los||them (masc.), you (form.)||Los compré en una tienda muy barata de Valencia. (I bought them in a very cheap shop in Valencia.)|
|las||them (fem.), you (form.)||Las respecto muchísimo. (I respect them a lot.)|
* In some parts of Spain, you may hear LE instead of lo when the object is a man.
Ví a Pablo: Le ví ayer. OR Lo ví ayer. (I saw him yesterday.)
As in English, direct object pronouns refer to something or someone previously mentioned.
They avoid repetition.
Echo mucho de menos a mi madre. La necesito ahora. (I miss my mother so much. I need her now.)
Direct object pronouns generally precede verbs (both simple and compound ones).
- Has visto mi falda? La has visto? (Have you seen my skirt? Have you seen it?)
- No, no la he visto. (No, I haven't seen it.)
Anyway, direct object pronoun placement depends on the conjugated form of the verb.
Pay attention to the following cases:
- negative and affirmative commands
1. Placement in commands
With negative commands, the pronoun precedes the verb which refers to the command.
¡No pintes la pared! ¡No la pintes! (Don't paint the wall! Don't paint it!)
With affirmative commands, attach the pronoun to the verb which indicates the command.
¡Ponte la bufanda! ¡Póntela*! (Put your scarf on! Put it on!)
* If the stressed syllable of the verb is the next-to-last one (not counting the pronoun), add the accent mark
2. Placement with infinitive forms
When used with infinitive forms, the pronoun occurs after the verb and it is attached to it.
Llamarlo no me da vergüenza. (Calling him does not make me feel embarassed.)
When in addition to the infinitive there is another verb form, the pronoun may occur before or after the infinitive.
- ¿Vas a comprar un nuevo abrigo? (Are you going to buy a new overcoat?)
- Sí, lo voy a comprar. (Yes, I am going to buy it.)
- Sí, voy a comprarlo. (Yes, I am going to buy it.)
3. Placement with gerund forms
When used with gerund forms, the pronoun occurs after the verb and it is attached to it.
- ¿Habéis hecho los deberes? (Have you done your homework?)
- No, estamos haciendolos ahora mismo. (No, we are doing it right now.)
When in addition to the gerund there is another verb form, the pronoun may occur before or after the gerund.
- Juan te está regalando un ramo de flores. (Juan is giving a bouquet of flowers to you.)
- Juan te lo está regalando. (Juan is giving it to you.)
- Juan te está regalandolo. (Juan is giving it to you.)
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