Direct and Indirect Object Pronouns

Spanish Tutorial

Direct and Indirect Object Pronouns


Remember how funny it was to hear Yoda speak in the Star Wars films? That’s because word order matters in sentences. Unfortunately, translating thoughts from one language to another isn’t always smooth sailing and you might sounds like Yoda if you don’t know the rules. Here are some tips on formulating Spanish sentences so that your Direct and Indirect object pronouns are correctly ordered for smooth a translation.

Sample Problem

Question source

Key (f): familiar (F): formal

Direct Object Pronouns
(f) te
(F) lo, la
(f) os
(F) los, las
Indirect Object Pronouns
(f) te
(F) le
(f) os
(F) les
English Equivalent

When you have both direct and indirect object pronouns in the same sentence, the indirect object pronoun comes first.

Ellos me los dan.
They give them to me.
IO pronoun- me
DO pronoun- los

Ella te la vende.
She sells it to you.
IO pronouns- te
DO pronoun- la

When both pronouns begin with the letter L, chance the first pronouns to “se”. This avoids tongue twisting.

le lo = se lo
le la = se la
le los = se los
le las = se las
les lo = se lo
les la = se la
les los = se los
les las = se las

When forming negative sentences, place negatives before the first pronoun.
Example: *No* se lo tengo = I don’t have it for you.

Because the pronouns “se” can have multiple meanings, it is helpful to use prepositional phrases for clarification.

When pronouns come before the conjugated verb, make the sentence negative by placing the negative word directly before the pronouns.
Example: Ella *no* me lo debe explicar


¡Espero que esto te ayude!

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