Personal Pronouns: Forms and Functions

Introduction | Subject | Direct Object | Indirect Object | Reflexive | Placement Rules | Prepositional | Redundancy | Personal Pronoun Summary
  • Function of the indirect object
    • The Indirect object refers to the entities (most often persons) receiving the indirect action of the verb, to whom something is given, taken away, explained, shown, etc. In Spanish, more than in English, someone who benefits or loses as a result of the action has the function of the indirect object in a sentence.
    • It is used with gustar-type verbs.
    • The pronouns are unstressed.
    • Placement: right before or attached to end of a verb form (see placement rules).
    Singular Plural  
  1st person me nos  
  2nd person te os  
  3rd person le1, 2 les1, 2  
  1. Unlike direct object pronouns, 3rd person pronouns show no gender:
    • ¿Le explicas la lección a Mario?
    • ¿Le muestras la computadora a María?
  2. Le, les change to se before direct object lo, la, los, las.
    • ¿Le dan Uds. la carta a Juana? Sí, se la damos.
  • Examples
    • ¿Cuánto me das por mi coche? Te doy mil dólares.
    • Pablo le explica la lección a Juana.
    • A las chicas les gusta el postre.
    • La madre le quita el cuchillo al niño.
    • Señora, ¿nos puede usted firmar el documento?