Indirect Object Pronouns in Spanish

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  • 0:01 What are Indirect Objects?
  • 1:57 Indirect Object…
  • 3:26 Practicar
  • 5:29 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Pablo Serna

Pablo has taught college Spanish at the University of Missouri and Central Methodist University, and has a master's degree in Spanish literature.

In this lesson, we will learn about indirect object pronouns, what they are and how they are used in Spanish. We'll also distinguish them from direct object pronouns. You will have a chance to practice writing sentences with indirect object pronouns.

What are Indirect Objects?

In the previous lesson, we learned that direct objects are nouns that receive the action of the verb. Por ejemplo, Ella crea un archivo. Ella is the subject, crear is the verb and archivo is the direct object.

Now, let's look at indirect objects. These are nouns that answer the question to whom or for whom the action is done. Por ejemplo, Juanita le dice la verdad a Carlos. First let's ask, what noun is receiving the action of the verb? La verdad (the truth). Then, to whom is the truth being told? To Carlos. Now we can see that Juanita is the subject, decir is the verb, verdad is the direct object and Carlos is the indirect object. Carlos is the answer to the question, to whom is the truth being told?

As with direct objects, while speaking, it is common to turn an indirect object noun into a pronoun when the listener understands the context and doesn't need clarification. If someone asks you, 'Who lent Erin the jacket', you will most likely respond with the pronoun 'her' because the person asking knows the conversation is about Erin. Jackie lent the jacket to her. You might even use double object pronouns by not even saying jacket: Jackie lent it to her. But we will save double object pronouns for the next lesson.

Indirect Object Pronouns in Spanish

Before we practice indirect object pronouns in Spanish, we need to learn the pronouns. Look at the table of indirect object pronouns.

The indirect object pronouns are as follows:

Singular Forms
me me
te you
le you (formal), him, her, it

Plural Forms
nos us
os you (familiar)
les you (formal), them

Notice me, te, nos and os are the same as the direct object pronouns. Le and les are different because they only agree in number, not gender. The direct object pronouns agree in both gender and number.

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