Direct and indirect object pronouns

Direct and indirect object pronouns

When discussing something and/or someone already referred to, we can reduce repetition by using direct and indirect object pronouns. In english we might change the phrase “I gave the book to ellen” to “I gave it to her“.

The thing (the book in this case) is known as the direct object.
Who the book is for (appears before the direct object pronoun in spanish) is the indirect object (for her).

Maria has given me the cheque.
María me ha dado el cheque.

Maria has given it to me.
María me lo ha dado.

If the indirect object pronoun and the direct object pronoun both start with the letter “L”, the first pronoun (the indirect) changes to “se” (to make it easier on the tongue).

I’m bringing the phone to her right now.
Ahora mismo le traigo el telefono

I’m bringing it to her right now.
Ahora mismo le→se lo traigo.
Ahora mismo se lo traigo.

Pronouns are also able (optional) to be attached to verbs that are in the infinitive or present participle:

I am going to send you some books
Voy a mandarte algunos libros

I am going to send them to you
Voy a mandártelos
OR/ Te los voy a mandar

When dealing with affirmative (note, not negative) commands however the indirect/direct object pronouns must be attached:

Buy me the book now!
Cómprame el libro ahora!

Buy it for me now!
Cómpramelo

Here are some other examples of indirect/direct object pronouns in use:

She gave us a gift
Ella nos dio un regalo

She gave it to us
Ella nos lo dio

She gave it to us
Ella nos lo dio

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