Language Guide
Pronouns
Indirect Object Pronoun Placement

Indirect Object Pronoun Placement

Overview

Indirect object pronouns follow the same placement rules as direct object pronouns.

Sentences with Simple Verbs

In sentences with simple verbs (verbs made up of only one word), the indirect object pronoun goes before the noun.

Affirmative Sentences

Le tiro la pelota a Miguel.
I throw the ball to Miguel.
 
Me compra una rosa.
He buys me a rose.
 
Mi madre te compró un libro.
My mother bought you a book.
 

Negative Sentences

No le tira la pelota a Miguel.
He doesn’t throw the ball to him.
 
No me compra una rosa.
He doesn’t buy a rose for me.
 
Mi madre nunca te compró un libro.
My mother never bought you a book.
 

Sentences with Compound Verbs

In sentences with compound verbs (verbs made up of multiple words), there are two options for where the indirect object pronoun can go.

1. Place the indirect object pronoun before the conjugated verb.

Les voy a contar un secreto.
I am going to tell you a secret.
 
Nos está sirviendo la cena.
She is serving us dinner.
 

2. Attach the indirect object pronoun to the verb or gerund.

Voy a contarles un secreto.
I am going to tell you a secret.
 
Está sirviéndonos la cena.
She is serving us dinner.
 

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

Commands

Indirect object pronouns are attached to affirmative commands, but are placed between the verb in negative commands.

Dame el libro.
Give me the book.
 
Háblame de ti.
Tell me about yourself.
 
No me des el libro.
Don’t give me the book.
 
No le des nada.
Don't give him anything.
 

Note the addition of the accent on háblame.You can find more about adding accents when using direct object pronouns here!

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