Object Pronouns

Direct Object Pronouns

  • Direct object pronouns in Spanish replace the noun that directly receives the action of the verb. For instance, in the sentence “I see the cat”, ‘the cat’ is the direct object. In Spanish, it could be replaced by the pronoun ‘lo’: “Veo al gato” would become “Lo veo”.
  • Direct object pronouns agree in gender and number with the nouns they replace: lo (him, it, you formal masculine singular), la (her, it, you formal feminine singular), los (them masculine or mixed gender, you formal plural), las (them feminine, you formal feminine plural).
  • Note that these pronouns are placed before the conjugated verb: e.g. “La veo” (I see her).

Indirect Object Pronouns

  • Indirect Object Pronouns replace the noun that indirectly receives the action of the verb. These indicate to whom or for whom the action is done.
  • They are: me (to/for me), te (to/for you informal), le (to/for him, her, it, you formal), nos (to/for us), os (to/for you informal plural in Spain), les (to/for them, you formal plural).
  • These pronouns are also placed before the conjugated verb: e.g. “Le di el libro” (I gave him/her the book).

Placement with Infinitives, Gerunds and Commands

  • When the object pronouns are used with infinitives, gerunds or commands, they can be attached at the end of these forms. For instance: “Voy a hacerlo” (I am going to do it), “Estoy escribiéndote” (I am writing to you), “Dímelo” (Tell me it).

Double Object Pronouns

  • When a sentence has both a direct and an indirect object pronoun, the indirect comes first: “Se lo di” (I gave it to him/her).
  • When ‘le’ or ‘les’ is followed by ‘lo’, ‘la’, ‘los’, or ‘las’ it changes to ‘se’ to make it easier to say: e.g. “I gave it to him” would be “Se lo di”, not “le lo di”.

Reflexive Pronouns

  • Reflexive Pronouns indicate that the subject of the verb is performing the action on itself (e.g. ‘She looks at herself in the mirror’ - ‘Ella se mira en el espejo’).
  • The reflexive pronouns are: me (myself), te (yourself informal), se (himself, herself, itself, yourself formal), nos (ourselves), os (yourselves informal), se (themselves, yourselves formal).