Overview

Direct objects receive the action of a verb in a sentence Direct object pronouns replace that noun. Just like personal (subject) pronouns replace the subject noun in a sentence, direct object pronouns replace the direct object noun in a sentence which can be a person or a thing. Almost all of our favorite sentences have direct objects in them: I love you, Call me, etc.

Direct Object Pronouns

Singular Plural
1st person me (me) nos (us)
2nd person te (you, familiar) os (you, familiar plural)
3rd person lo, la (him, her, you formal) los, las (them, you, formal plural)

Examples

Below you will find some examples. The direct objects are all in bold and are always the word or phrase that receives the action from the verb.

Placement

In affirmative sentences with one simple verb, the direct object pronoun comes before the verb.

  • Yo te quiero. (I love you.)
  • me quieres. (You love me.)

  • Yo veo a Caterina. (I see Caterina.)

  • Yo la veo. (I see her.)

  • Carmen lee el libro. (Carmen reads the book.)

  • Carmen lo lee. (Carmen reads it.)

  • Manuel tiene la flor. (Manuel has the flower.)

  • Manuel la tiene. (Manuel has it.)

  • Maria tiene tres libros. (Maria has three books.)

  • Maria los tiene. (Maria has them.)

  • Mi hermano compra dos camisas. (My brother buys two shirts.)

  • Mi hermano las compra. (My brother buys them.)

Attaching the Direct Object Pronoun

In the case of infinitives, present participles, and affirmative commands you can attach the direct object pronoun to the end of the verb, or you can put it before the first verb.

  • Estoy limpiándola. La estoy limpiando. (I am cleaning it.)
  • Voy a hacerla. La voy a hacer. (I am going to do it.)

Command Placements

Attach direct object pronouns to the end of affirmative commands, but place them before a negative command.

  • Léalo. (Read it.)
  • No lo lea. (Don´t read it.)

Exercises

1) Rewrite each sentence using the correct direct object pronoun. Remember to match the gender and number and pay attention to your placement!

  1. Mi hermano tira la pelota.
  2. ¡Estudia el español!
  3. Papá está bebiendo .
  4. Manuela tiene dos vestidos.
  5. ¡No comas los tomates!

Answers

  1. Mi hermano la tira.
  2. ¡Estúdialo!
  3. Papá está bebiéndolo. OR Papá lo está bebiendo.
  4. Manuela los tiene.
  5. ¡No los comas!