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Direct and Indirect Object Pronouns
I'm having a difficult time understand the Direct and Indirect object pronouns in Spanish. In sentences like "Voy a comprarte un regalo" it's easy to understand because the sequence in which the words are placed are the same in English. "I'm going to buy you a gift" but when I come across sentences like, "Ella me dio el dinero" I get confused because the sequence is off. I want to begin to thinking in Spanish and this is probably my biggest obstacle. Can someone give me advice on this subject?
One of the main problems for an English speaking person learning Spanish is word order and this is especially true when it comes to object pronouns. Once you get used to a different way of aranging the parts of a sentence it will never againg be an issue. Another tricky thing you will have to get used to about indirect object pronouns is the fact that we often use them in a sentence that has already an explicit indirect object. This must sond really awkward to English speaking natives.
You will find very good grammar explanations on this site: http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/dopro1.htm
I'm having a difficult time understanding the Direct and Indirect object pronouns in Spanish. In sentences like "Voy a comprarte un regalo" it's easy to understand because the sequence in which the words are placed are the same in English. "I'm going to buy you a gift" but when I come across sentences like, "Ella me dio el dinero" I get confused because the sequence is off. I want to begin to thinking in Spanish and this is probably my biggest obstacle. Can someone give me advice on this subject?
Direct and indirect pronouns always come before the conjugated verb when there is only one verb in the sentence:
- Objeto directo(blue)
Veo a la chica. La veo.I see the girl. I see her.
El chico compra el coche. Lo compra el chico. (El chico lo compra)The boy buys the car. He buys it
- Objeto indirecto(red)
Le dije la verdad a mi hermano. Le dije la verdad.I told my brother the truth. I told him the truth.
La instructora les asignó la tarea a los estudiantes ayer.The instructor assigned the homework to the students yesterday.
La instructora les asignó la tarea ayer.The instructor assigned the homework to them yesterday.
Notice that in the first sentence the indirect object pronoun “les” is included along with the actual indirect object “los estudiantes”. This is an idiosyncrasy of Spanish grammar because the indirect object pronoun is absolutely redundant. This is the case in ALL Spanish sentences in which the indirect object is overtly expressed: you MUST include the indirect object pronoun (me, te, le, etc.) in all sentences that have an indirect object, but may also name the indirect object using “a” (a mí, a los profesores, etc.). You may remember this with respect to GUSTAR-like constructions (which are also indirect object constructions).
Les gusta el juego a los niños. Les gusta el juego.
Hi Malcolm, my name is Uri Quintal. I am a profesional online ESL and Spanish teacher graduated from the Arizona State University in Phoenix, Az. I hope I helped you a little to understand how pronouns work in Spanish, I know at the very beginning it can seem really tough but it is just a matter of practice and you will get used to them. I also offer some different courses for non native spanish speakers in order to help students not only to be able to speak another language but to think in another language. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested. Have a nice day!
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