Practice with Direct and Indirect Object pronouns -- for Beginners -- Week 5

Practice with Direct and Indirect Object pronouns -- for Beginners -- Week 5


In Spanish, some verbs always take an indirect object, even if a direct object is not stated. Three of those verbs are used for communication: hablar, decir and contar (meaning “to tell” or “to relate” as a story). I believe the idea behind this is that there is assumed to be something said, told or related. These verbs always contain the idea that a message is being communicated to another person or group of people.

An example can be found in a recent post (http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/138398/indirect-vs.-direct-objects-help) with the question of reporting something to the police. In English, we might say “I will tell the police.” It looks like “police” is the direct object, but in Spanish it’s an indirect object. The sentence would translate “Le contaré al policía.” As you know “le” is always an indirect object. To make the sentence more complete you could say “I will tell the police what happened.” Or “Le contaré al policía lo que sucedió.”, or simply “Se lo contaré.” In this English sentence, it becomes clearer that “police” is the indirect object.

Other verbs that fit this category include: explicar, mostrar, gustar, telefonear, robar. There are many others. If you look at them with the question in mind “is there something implicit in the verb that would be the direct object (a message, a possession, etc.)? If there is, then the verb probably requires an indirect object as well.

Remember that if you have an indirect object in the sentence, an indirect object pronoun must precede the verb.


“He stole my watch.” “Me robó el reloj” or “Me robó el reloj a mí.” Or “Me lo robó.”

“I robbed him.” “Le robé”

This week’s exercises:

Remember to translate the original sentence, then re-write it replacing the direct and indirect objet nouns with pronouns. Don’t look at the answers from others until you have posted your own.

Example: “I bought the peanut butter.” “Compré la mantequilla de maní.” “La compré.”

Sentences to translate:

You can learn Spanish at Span¡ishD!ct.com.

He enjoys reading the newspaper.

I am painting the ceiling white.

Good luck

updated FEB 14, 2012
posted by CalvoViejo
Great explanation Calvo. :) - galsally, MAY 3, 2010
Would you beleive that after way too many years of learning Spanish off and on, I just came across this information about a week ago? Thanks! - Valerie, SEP 28, 2010

16 Answers


Hi, thanks for your help! I definitely have problem with I.O. Pronouns

A.) You can learn Spanish at SpanishDict.com:

Puedes aprender español en SpanishDict.com

Lo puedes aprender

B.) He enjoys reading the newspaper

Le gusta leer el periódico

A él, le gusta leerlo

c.) I am painting the ceiling white

Estoy pintando el techo blanco

Lo estoy pintando blanco

updated SEP 28, 2010
posted by SpanishTara
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