Do you already know how to use the demonstrative adjectives in Spanish? If your answer is “yes”, it is time to start working with the demonstrative pronouns or, PRONOMBRES DEMOSTRATIVOS in Spanish. If not click on the link to learn about the adjectives first.
Category: Level A2
Resources for elementary students
We have worked with reflexive pronouns before, but do you know we can use reflexive pronouns to express reciprocity? The plural pronominal/reflexive pronouns (nos, os, se) are used to express “each other” or “to each other.” Let’s see how the reciprocal verbs and pronouns work in Spanish.
Se abrazan (They hug to each other or they hug themselves).
Because the above statements could have a reflexive meaning as well, one may add one of the following phrases to clarify, but this is optional since the context of the sentence is going to be very helpful.
Se abrazan el uno al otro (they hug to each other).
Using double objects pronouns in Spanish implies working with direct object pronouns (D.O.P.), indirect object pronouns (I.O.P.) and reflexive pronouns and their collocations. So first at all, I advise you to review these topics individually (by clicking on the link) if you don’t feel very confident about them.
Anyway, you can find all these pronouns in the chart below.
The difference between QUÉ and CUÁL is probably one of those things my students struggle the most. This is because both can be translated as “what” and “which” but, unlike English, they are not interchangeable. Let´s see some tips that I think will help you:
Object pronouns -direct and indirect object pronouns- substitute the noun. In English these are ‘me’, ‘him’, ‘her’ and so on. For example, in the sentence ‘Give Sam the pen,’ Sam is a noun, which can be changed to ‘Give her the pen.’ In Spanish the pronoun either comes before the verb as a separate word or after joined with the verb, when are used with affirmative imperative, an infinitive or a gerund. For example:
Le da el boli (he is giving her the pen).
Voy a darle el boli (I am going to give her the pen).
‘Dale el boli’ (give her the pen).
Estoy dándole el bolí (I am giving her the pen).
Object pronouns in Spanish
¿Puedes hacerme una tostada? (Can you make me a toast?)
Os llamo manaña (I will call you tomorrow).
¿Te gusta este libro? (Do you like this book?)
Direct and indirect object pronouns in Spanish
As you can see object pronouns are a little more complicated in Spanish and that is because they change depending on whether you are referring to the direct or indirect object. Direct and indirect objects are nothing to be afraid of – you have them in English.
How direct and indirect objects work
The majority of sentences have two objects. The direct object is the noun or pronoun on the receiving end of the action for example, ‘Pass me the pen’ – it is the pen here that is receiving the action (by being passed around). The indirect object is the person or entity for whom you are doing the action.
In the above sentence the indirect object is ‘me’. Another way to say this would be ‘Pass the pen for me’. In English indirect objects are often indicated with the prepositions ‘for’ or ‘to.’ For example, ‘Explain the problem to us’ – the problem is the direct object while ‘us’ is the indirect object. With pronouns this is ‘Explain it to us.’ In the Spanish equivalent of this sentence the direct object is signified with ‘lo’ and the indirect with ‘nos.’ So it would be ‘explícamelo’ – The indirect object goes first followed by the direct (or in other words ‘lo’ and ‘la’ go at the end). Explain to him the problem would be ‘Explícale el problema.’
The LE, LO, LA rule
If I were to say in Spanish (Give them to them) I would end up with ‘Daleslas.’ These are far too many ‘l’ words for comfort. To avoid the Repetition of all those ‘l’ sounds ‘le’ and ‘les’ change to ‘se’ when paired with ‘lo,’ ‘la’, ‘los’ or ‘las.’ So the above sentence would be ‘Dáselas.’ More examples ‘Explícaselo’ (explain it to her). ‘Prestárselo’ (lend him/them it).
Remember you can contact you tutor with any question you have about direct and indirect object pronouns in Spanish. Don’t you have a personal Spanish tutor yet? Also you can try our workshop about personal pronouns. Now, it is time to practice what you have learned with our quizzes.
Nos gusta el flamenco (We like flamenco or literally “flamenco pleases us”).
Even though flamenco comes after gustar is the subject of the sentence and therefore the ending of the verb agree with flamenco instead of with we (learn more about gustar).
There are many other verbs like gustar in Spanish. In fact, practically most of the Spanish verbs can be used like gustar, but careful because they usually change their original meaning. Let’s see some of them. Continue reading Verbs like GUSTAR (A2)
Spanish verb DAR (to give) usually trouble students because it is irregular in the present and preterite tense and also can be found in many colloquial expressions that are difficult to understand in English.
Click on the link to learn full conjugation of dar in the different tenses. Below you can find some colloquial expressions with dar (translated into English) that you are going to find very useful. Finally, practice everything that you have learned with our quizzes.
Do you know how to say in Spanish “to be wet behind the ears“
It is said…
Estar todavía en pañales
(to be still in nappies)