Indirect object pronouns (Pronombres personales de complemento directo) usually are the person receiving the direct object (Complemento directo) or thing that is affected by the direct object. They replace the indirect object in a sentence. The indirect object answers the question "to whom" or "for whom" (a quién o para quién) something is done. Take a look at this example. Pepe regaló flores a María(to María). As you can see María receives the direct object. Therefore we can use the indirect object pronoun as follows: Pepe le regaló flores. (He gave her flowers)
The Spanish Indirect object pronouns (Pronombres personales de complemento indirecto) are, me (me), te (you), le (it,him,her) , nos (us), os (you) and les (them). They must agree in number with the nouns they replace. Mostly, these pronouns are the same as the pronouns of direct objects (Pronombres personales de complemento indirecto), with the exception of the third person. Watch the video, read the additional explanation, and take the quiz.
The pronoun in Spanish is usually placed in front of the verb.
Juan le regaló un libro. (Juan gave her a book.)
María nos compró las entradas. (María bought us the tickets)
BUT. When there is a conjugated verb plus an infinitive in a sentence, there are two places where indirect object pronouns can be located.
Example : Juan quiere regalar una rosa a María.
Before the conjugated verb. (Juan le quiere regalar una rosa.)
After the conjugated verb, attached to the ending of the infinitive. (Juan quiere regalarle una rosa.)
The same rule applies to the gerund (-ing).
Example : Juan está leyendo el libro a María.
Before the conjugated verb. (Juan le está leyendo el libro.)
After the conjugated verb, attached to the ending of the gerund. (Juan está leyéndole el libro.)
It is common to use the indirect object and the indirect object pronoun together when talking of people in Spanish. This is so, in order to clarify to whom we are referring for first time.
¿Qué Ie dijo Juan? (¿a él? / ¿A ella?) (To him/her?)
¿Qué Ies dijo Juan? (¿a ellos? / ¿A ellas?) (To whom exactly?)
So that, we will use the indirect object and the indirect object pronoun together to make it clear.
¿Qué Ie dijo Juan a María? (to her)
¿Qué Ie dijo Juan a su hermano? (to him)
¿Qué Ies dijo Juan a sus padres? (to them)
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Pronouns in Spanish