Language Guide
Pronouns
Direct and Indirect Object Pronouns in Spanish

Direct and Indirect Object Pronouns in Spanish

Quick Answer

Spanish direct object pronouns (pronombres de objeto directo ), such as lo , and Spanish indirect object pronouns (pronombres de objeto indirecto ), such as le , are used in place of nominal direct and indirect objects.

There are a few important rules that must be followed when using direct object pronouns and indirect object pronouns together.

But first, let's review Spanish direct and indirect object pronoun forms!

Spanish Direct Object Pronoun and Indirect Object Pronoun Forms

Direct Object PronounIndirect Object PronounEnglish
me
 
me
 
me
te
 
te
 
you
lo , la 
le
 
him, her, it, you
nos
 
nos
 
us
os
 
os
 
you (all)
los , las les them, you (all)

And now for the rules!

Maintaining Order

When direct and indirect object pronouns are used together in a sentence, the indirect object pronoun goes in front of the direct object pronoun.

Marcos nos trajo la comida a nosotros.
Marcos brought the food to us.
 
Marcos nos la trajo.
Marcos brought it to us.
 
Mi madre está comprándome una pizza.
My mom is buying me a pizza.
 
Mi madre está comprándomela.
My mom is buying it for me.
 
Dame el control remoto.
Give me the remote control.
 
melo.
Give it to me.
 
No quiero decirte la verdad.
I don’t want to tell you the truth.
 
No quiero decírtela.
I don’t want to tell it to you.
 

Notice that when object pronouns are attached to a verb, it's often necessary to add an accent in order to preserve the natural stress of the verb.

Changing Le to Se

The indirect object pronouns le and les change to se when followed by the direct object pronouns lo, la, los and las.

le/les -> se before lo, la, los, las

Le digo el cuento a María.
I tell the story to María.
 
Se lo digo.
I tell it to her.
 
Mi abuelo les compró los regalos a los niños.
My grandfather bought gifts for the children.
 
Mi abuelo se los compró.
My grandfather bought them for them.
 

Negatives

When a sentence with object pronouns is negative, the negative word (for example, no  or nunca ) directly precedes any object pronouns.

No te la tengo.
I don’t have it for you.
 
Ella nunca compra helado para sus hijos. Ella nunca se lo compra.
She never buys ice cream for her kids. She never buys it for them.
 

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