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Personal Pronouns: Forms and Functions
Introduction | Subject | Direct Object | Indirect Object | Reflexive | Placement Rules | Prepositional | Redundancy | Personal Pronoun Summary
PLACEMENT RULES FOR DIRECT OBJECT, INDIRECT OBJECT AND REFLEXIVE PRONOUNS

While performing different functions in a sentence, these three pronoun types are grammatically similar. They are all unstressed.They are all verb-bound, ie placed right before or right after a verb form. The placement rules are as follows:

 
  • The pronouns are placed before:
    • A conjugated verb (ie, any indicative or subjunctive form):
      • Me divierto en las fiestas.
      • Les voy a vender el coche a ellos.
      • El periódico es terrible.  No lo leo nunca.
    • A negative imperative:
      • No te pongas impaciente.
      • No me hables de esas cosas.
      • Ese postre no para ti.  No lo comas.
  • They are attached to the end of:
    • An affirmative imperative:
      • Amelia, levántate.  Es hora de salir.
      • Ana, dalele las tazas a Mamá.
      • Los platos son deliciosos. Pruébenlos.
    • An infinitive:
      • Pensamos casarnos en junio.
      • Nadie quiere sentarse cerca de la ventana.
      • A present participle:
      • Yo estoy preparándome para salir.
      • Luisa está secándose las manos.
  • Leftward movement of pronouns: A pronoun can be moved to the left, from the end of an infinitive or present participle to the left of a conjugated verb, with no change in meaning. Both placements are common.
    • Voy a comerlos.→Los voy a comer.
    • Yo me estoy preparando.→Me estoy preparando.
 
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