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Spanish Indirect Object Pronouns

What are the Spanish Indirect Object Pronouns?

Indirect object pronouns 1, 2, 3 in spanish

Learn how to use the Spanish indirect object pronouns. The indirect object tells us where the direct object is going.

Indirect object pronouns 1

  1. The indirect object answers the question “to whom?” or “for whom” the action of the verb is performed.

 When a pronoun takes the place of the name of the indirect object, use the following pronouns:

Subject – Obj. Prep. Pronouns

Yo (I) – me

Tú (You)(Informal) – te

Él /Ella(He/She) – le               

Usted (You)(Formal) – le

Nosotros(as)(We) – nos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal) – os

Ustedes(You)(Formal) – les

Ellos(as)(They) – les

 

Note: In an affirmative statement with one verb, the indirect object pronoun comes immediately before the conjugated verb.

e.g.

José me trajo una rosa
Joseph brought me a rose.
Joseph brought a rose for me.

José te trajo una rosa.
Joseph brought you a rose.
Joseph brought a rose for you.

José le trajo una rosa.
Joseph brought her a rose.
Joseph brought a rose for her.

José  nos trajo una rosa.
Joseph brought us a rose.
Joseph brought a rose for us.

José os trajo una rosa.
Joseph brought you-all (informal) a rose.
Joseph brought a rose for you-all.

José les trajo una rosa.
Joseph brought them a rose.
Joseph brought a rose for them.

 

e.g.

me trajo
he brought me

me trajeron
they brought me

me trajiste
you brought me


Note: The IO pronouns “le” and “les” present a special problem because they are ambiguous. That is, they can stand for different things.

le
to (for) him
to (for) her
to (for) you-formal

les
to (for) them
to (for) you-all-formal


e.g.

Ella le prepara espaguetis

She prepares spaghetti for him

She prepares spaghetti for her

She prepares spaghetti for you (formal)


Ella les prepara espaguetis

She prepares spaghetti for them

She prepares spaghetti for you-all (formal)

 

Note: Since “le” and “les” can mean more than one thing, a prepositional phrase is often added to remove the ambiguity.

e.g.

Ella le prepara a él espaguetis – She prepares spaghetti for him

Ella le prepara a ella espaguetis –She prepares spaghetti for her

Ella le prepara a usted espaguetis- She prepares spaghetti for you (formal)

Ella les prepara a ellos espaguetis – She prepares spaghetti for them

Ella les prepara a ustedes espaguetis – She prepares spaghetti for you-all (formal)

 

Note: Sometimes a prepositional phrase is added not for clarity, but rather for emphasis.

e.g.

José  me da a mí la llave.
Joseph gives me the key. (emphasizing that the key is given to me and not to someone else)

José te da a ti la llave.
Joseph gives you the key. (emphasizing that the key is given to you and not to someone else)

Indirect object pronouns 1, 2, 3 in spanish

Spanish Indirect object pronouns 2

When a pronoun takes the place of the name of the indirect object, use the following pronouns:

Subject – Obj. Prep. Pronouns

Yo (I) – me

Tú (You)(Informal) – te

Él /Ella(He/She) – le               

Usted (You)(Formal) – le

Nosotros(as)(We) – nos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal) – os

Ustedes(You)(Formal) – les

Ellos(as)(They) – les

 

Note: In a “negative statement” with one verb, the indirect object pronoun comes between the negative word and the conjugated verb.

e.g.

José no me trajo una rosa
Joseph doesn’t brought me a rose.
Joseph doesn’t brought a rose for me.

José no te trajo una rosa.
Joseph doesn’t brought you a rose.
Joseph doesn’t brought a rose for you.

José no le trajo una rosa.
Joseph doesn’t brought her a rose.
Joseph doesn’t brought a rose for her.

José  no nos trajo una rosa.
Joseph doesn’t brought us a rose.
Joseph doesn’t brought a rose for us.

José no os trajo una rosa.
Joseph doesn’t brought you-all (informal) a rose.
Joseph doesn’t brought a rose for you-all.

José no les trajo una rosa.
Joseph doesn’t brought them a rose.
Joseph doesn’t brought a rose for them.

 

Compare the affirmative statements with their negative counterparts.

e.g.

Affirmative

Negative

José me trajo una rosa

José no me trajo una rosa

José te trajo una rosa.

José no te trajo una rosa.

José le trajo una rosa.

José no le trajo una rosa.

José nos trajo una rosa.

José  no nos trajo una rosa.

José os trajo una rosa.

José no os trajo una rosa.

José les trajo una rosa.

José no les trajo una rosa.


The indirect object pronouns “le” and “les” present a special problem because they are ambiguous. That is, they can stand for different things.

le
to (for) him
to (for) her
to (for) you-formal

les
to (for) them
to (for) you-all-formal

 

e.g.

José no le trajo una rosa

Joseph doesn’t brought her a rose.
Joseph doesn’t brought him a rose.
Joseph doesn’t broughtyou (formal)  a rose.

José no les trajo una rosa

Joseph doesn’t brought them a rose.
Joseph doesn’t brought you-all (formal) a rose.

Note: Since “le” and “les” can mean more than one thing, a prepositional phrase is often added to remove the
ambiguity.


e.g.

Ella no le prepara a él espaguetis – She doesn’t prepare him spaghetti

Ella no le prepara a ella espaguetis – She doesn’t prepare her spaghetti

Ella no le prepara a usted espaguetis – She doesn’t prepare you (formal) spaghetti

Ella no les prepara a ellos espaguetis – She doesn’t prepare them spaghetti

Ella no les prepara a ustedes espaguetis – She doesn’t prepare you-all (formal) spaghetti

 

Note: Sometimes a prepositional phrase is added not for clarity, but rather for emphasis.

e.g.

José  no me da a mí la llave.
Joseph doesn’t gives me the key. (emphasizing that the key is given to me and not to
someone else)

José no te da a ti la llave.
Joseph doesn’t gives you the key. (emphasizing that the key is given to you and not to someone else)

 

spanish language school valencia

Indirect object pronouns 3

When a pronoun takes the place of the name of the indirect object, use the following pronouns:

Subject – Obj. Prep. Pronouns

Yo (I) – me

Tú (You)(Informal) –  te

Él /Ella(He/She) – le               

Usted (You)(Formal) – le

Nosotros(as)(We) – nos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal) – os

Ustedes(You)(Formal) – les

Ellos(as)(They) – les

 

Note: In sentences with two verbs, there are two options regarding the placement of the indirect object pronoun.

  1. Place it immediately before the conjugated verb
  2. Attach it directly to the infinitive

e.g.

Place it immediately before the conjugated verb

Tú  necesitas dar la llave.
You  need to give me the key.

Ella nos debe prestar el dinero.
She must lend us the money.


e.g.

Attach it directly to the infinitive

Necesitas darme la llave.
You  need to give me the key.

Ella debe prestarnos el dinero.
She must lend us the money.

 

Look now how it works:

e.g.

Tú necesitas dar la llave. – You  need to give me the key.

Necesitas darme la llave. – You  need to give me the key.

Ella nos debe prestar el dinero. – She must lend us the money.

Ella debe prestarnos el dinero. – She must lend us the money.

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