Direct object pronouns in Spanish: Basic grammar (A2)

Direct object pronouns (PRONOMBRES DE COMPLEMENTO DIRECTO) only can replace a direct object. First of all, we must know that direct objects receive the action of the verb in a sentence and they can be a thing, an animal or a person, look at the example.

Direct Object Pronouns in SpanishMessi golpeó el balón (Messi hit the ball)

Messi golpeó a Ronaldo ( Messi hit Ronaldo)

On the left, you have the list of the  Spanish direct object pronouns, and continue reading to see how they work.

1. Also, the direct object answers the question “what?” or “whom?” with regard to what the subject of the sentence is doing.

Messi hit the ball : Messi hit what? The ball.

Messi hit Ronaldo: Messi hit whom? Ronaldo.

2. Often, it is desirable to replace the name of the direct object with a pronoun (A pronoun is a word that is used instead of the name of a person or thing).

He perdido mi llaves ¿Las has visto? (I have lost my keys, have you seen them?).

No sé nada de Carmen ¿La has visto? (I haven’t heard from Carmen. Have you seen her recently?).

3. Word order with the direct object pronouns

  • The direct object pronoun usually comes BEFORE the verb.

Ahí están las llaves, ¿no las ves? (The keys are there, don’t you see them?).

Tu hija no nos conoce. (Your daughter doesn’t know us).

¡Ayúdame! (Help me!).

¡Síguenos! (Follow us!).

  • In orders and instructions telling someone NOT TO DO something, the pronoun doesn’t join onto the end of the verb.

¡No me ayudes! (Don’t help me!)

¡No nos sigas! (Don’t follow us!)

¡No los toques! (Don’t touch them).

  • If the pronouns is the object of an infinite (the to form of the verb) or a gerund (the –ing form of the verb), you always add the pronoun to the end of the verb to form one word you always add the pronoun to the end of the verb to form one word, unless the infinitive or gerund follows another verb.

Se fue después de arreglarlo. (He left after fixing it.)

Escuchándolo, aprenderás. (You will learn by listening to it).

  • Where an infinitive or gerund follows another verb you can put the pronoun either at the end of the infinitive or gerund or before the other verb,

Vienen a vernos / Nos vienen a ver (They are coming to see us).

Estoy comiéndolo / Lo estoy comiendo (I am eating it).

4. Be careful not to mistake the direct object pronouns with the indirect object pronouns.  Also, it is good you review personal pronouns introduction.

Now, it is time for you to practice what you have learned with our quizzes, just click on the link. Remember you can contact your tutor for any question you have. Don’t you have a Spanish personal tutor yet? By the way ¿Sabes lo que es el loismo y el laismo? 

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