Is there a subject pronoun or an object pronoun

Object pronouns

Direct object pronouns

Do you remember what the object in the sentence is? While the subject is actively performing an action, something is being done with the object, so it is passive:

  • Juliana toma un zumo. (Juliana drinks some juice.)

Juliana is that subject, the acting person. predicate is the verb toma and the object is here un zumo. This is a direct object (el objeto directo), which in German is a Accusative object corresponds to. So you ask afterwards with “who or what?”. It is called therefore direct object, because it directly attached to the verb without a connecting preposition.

If you want to refer to a direct object already mentioned in the next sentence, it is linguistically more elegant to replace it with a pronoun instead of naming it again:

  • Juliana toma un zumo. Lo have comprado en el supermercado. (Juliana is drinking some juice. She bought it in the supermarket.)

The direct object pronouns in Spanish take the following forms:

  • me
  • te
  • lo / la (also: le)
  • nos
  • os
  • Come on / read (also: les)

Let's look at a few examples:

  • Ana vende el coche. Ana lo vende. (Ana sells the car. Ana sells it. → singular)
  • Ana vende los coches. Ana Come on vende. (Ana sells the cars. Ana sells them. → plural)
  • Ana compra la flor. Ana la compra. (Ana buys the flower. Ana buys it. → singular)
  • Ana compra las flores. Ana read compra. (Ana buys the flowers. Ana buys them. → plural)

Note: Usually these are direct object pronouns the 3rd person lo and la in the singular and Come on and read in plural. However, if the direct object is males is often the pronoun in Spain le or. les used (in Latin America rather lo or. Come on):

  • Ana conoce el vecino. Ana le / lo conoce. (Ana knows the neighbor. Ana knows him.)
  • Ana conoce los vecinos. Ana les / los conoce. (Ana knows the neighbors. Ana knows them. → plural)

Direct object pronouns: position

Let's look now where direct object pronouns are in the sentence:

  • Juliana toma un zumo.
  • Juliana lo toma.

Do you notice something? Right - while the object (un zumo) in the Spanish sentence the predicate (toma) follows the object pronoun (lo) before the conjugated verb - different than in German:

For sentences with a conjugated verb and a infinitive you can put the pronoun in front of the conjugated verb as well as append it to the infinitive:

  • Juliana lo quiere tomar. (Juliana wants to drink it.)
  • Juliana quiere tomarlo. (Juliana wants to drink it.)

At the gerund it is the same - both positions of the pronoun are allowed:

  • Juliana lo está tomando. (Juliana is drinking it now.)
  • Juliana está tomándolo. (Juliana is drinking it now.)

As you can see, the attached pronoun becomes a Accent in Spanish necessary so that the emphasis of the word does not shift when tomando to tomándolo becomes.

At the affirmed imperative do you always append pronouns to the verb:

  • ¡Tómalo! (Drink it!)
  • ¡Míralo! (Look at him!) (Also possible for male persons: ¡Mírale!)

Again, pay attention to the accent. Also note that pronouns are only added to the verb in the affirmative imperative - bei denied imperative always stand before the imperative!

  • ¡No lo tomes! (Don't drink this!)

The direct object pronouns you should practice a bit to become confident in using them before moving on to the next pronouns.

Indirect object pronouns

Indirect objects in Spanish (objetos indirectos) mostly correspond to the German ones Dative objects. So you ask about them with “who or what?”. Spanish indirect objects are used with the preposition a attached to the verb:

  • Le doy el regalo a Juan. (I give the present to Juan.)

Indirect objects often join Verbs of sensation how interesting, gustar, encantar or parecer on:

  • ¿A Luisa le gusta bailar salsa? (Does Luisa like to dance salsa?)
  • Me encanta el chocolate. (I love chocolate.)

Indirect object pronouns have the following forms:

Indirect object pronouns: position

Good news: The position of direct and indirect object pronouns is exactly the same in all tenses and modes. The indirect object pronouns are also in the normal declarative sentence before the conjugated verb:

  • Ana me busca. (Ana is looking for me.)

For sentences with a infinitive you can add the pronoun to the infinitive again and put it in front of the conjugated verb:

  • Le voy a enviar una carta a mi padre. (I will send a letter to my father.)
  • Voy a enviarle una carta a mi padre. (I will send a letter to my father.)

Also the position of indirect object pronouns in gerund do you already know about the direct object pronouns: They either come before the conjugated verb or you attach them to the verb in the gerund (pay attention to the accent!):

  • Ana me está buscando. (Ana is looking for me right now.)
  • Ana está buscándome. (Ana is looking for me right now.)

At the affirmed imperative pronouns are always appended:

  • ¡Pregúntale! (Ask him!)
  • ¡Compradme un coche! (Buy me a car!)

At the denied imperative however, pronouns are always used in front the conjugated verb:

  • ¡No le preguntes! (Don't ask him!)
  • ¡No me compréis ese coche viejo! (Don't buy me that old car!)

Two object pronouns in the sentence

As in German, you can also do in Spanish two objects in one sentence occur - and both can be replaced by objects. Unlike in German, the Spanish sentence always says first the indirect object pronoun and then the direct object pronoun. Let's look at a few examples:

  • Normal statement: Me lo explicas ahora. (You explain that to me now.)
  • Infinitive: ¿Me lo puedes explicar? / ¿Puedes explicármelo? (Can you explain that to me?)
  • Gerund: Me lo estás explicando bien. / Estás explicándomelo bien. (You explain this to me well.)
  • Affirmed imperative: ¡Explícamelo! (Explain that to me!)
  • Negative imperative: ¡No me lo expliques! (Don't explain this to me!)

Another rule applies to Meeting of direct and indirect object pronouns to note: come both le / les as well as lo / la / Come on / read in a sentence before, the indirect pronoun becomes, thus le / les, by se replaced. Example:

  • ¿Se lo explico? (Should I explain to him?)
  • Sí, ¡explícaselo! (Yes, explain it to him!)

Finally, let's look at a few Example sentences with two pronouns to practice the topic a little:

  • ¿Ana te ha dado el regalo? (Did Ana give you the gift?) - Sí, me lo ha dado. (Yes, she gave it to me.)

  • ¿Nos mandáis read photos? (Do you send us the photos?) - Sí, os read mandamos. (Yes, we will send it to you.)

  • ¿Le muestras la casa a Juliana? (Will you show Juliana the house?) - Sí, se la muestro. (Yes, I'll show her.)

  • ¿Os he explicado bien el tema de los pronombres? (Did I explain the subject with the pronouns to you well?) - Sí, nos lo has explicado bien. (Yes, you explained it to us well.)