Direct Object Pronoun Placement

Overview

Direct object pronouns don't always go in the same place in a sentence. Their placement often depends on the type of sentence being used (such as simple vs. compound and indicative vs. imperative) and whether the sentences is affirmative or negative.

Sentences with Simple Verbs

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

Yo la veo.
I see her.
 
Carmen no lo lee.
Carmen doesn't read it.
 
Manuel la tiene.
Manuel has it.
 
María no los tiene.
Maria doesn't have them.
 
Mi hermano las compra.
My brother buys them.
 

Infinitives and Present Participles

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

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

Note the accent on limpiándola. This is used to preserve the stress on the correct syllable.

Affirmative and Negative Commands

  • Direct object pronouns are always attached to the end of affirmative commands.
  • Direct object pronouns always go between the negative word (no, nunca, etc.) and the verb in negative commands.
Léalo.
Read it.
 
No lo leas.
Don't read it.
 
Sácala.
Take it out.
 
Nunca la saques.
Never take it out.
 

Note the addition of the accent to the affirmative command forms. You can find more about adding accents when using direct object pronouns here!

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