INDIRECT OBJECTS & INDIRECT OBJECT PRONOUNS

An indirect object is a noun or pronoun that receives the action of the verb indirectly. It answers the questions to/for whom? (ża/para/por quién?) or to/for what? (ża/por/para qué?)

Indirect objects are usually the recipient of the direct objects, and the preposition a relates the indirect object to the verb.

Juan le escribe a su hermano.

Juan writes to his brother.

 

Juan les habla a Pablo y a Pepa

Juan speaks to Pablo and Pepa.

 

In English the indirect pronoun tends to come after the verb, but in Spanish must be placed BEFORE THE CONJUGATED VERB:

Ex: I tell her the truth. Le digo a ella la verdad.

She never brought me the book. Ella nunca me trajo el libro.

They didn’t let us finish the homework. Ellos no nos permitieron terminar la tarea.

 

In cases where you have a conjugated verb + infinitive construction, the pronoun can be placed beforet he conjugated verb form OR be directly attached to the end of your infinitive:

Ex: I want to tell her the truth.

Le quiero decir a ella la verdad. OR

Quiero decirle a ella la verdad.

 

 

Your indirect object pronouns are:

 

Yo

me to/for me nosotros nos to/for us

te to/for you vosotros os to/for you all

Él,ella,usted

le to/for him, her,you ellos,ellas,ustedes les to/for them, you all




When deciding which indirect object pronoun to use, look for clues in your original sentence or question. Key words such as a + prepositional pronoun (a mí, a ti, a ella, a nosotros, a ustedes, etc.) hint from which subject area you should be choosing.

A mí = me A ti= te A él/ella/usted= le A nosotros= nos A vosotros= os

A ellos/ellas/ustedes= les

 

Don’t forget that when you are using le or les, you MUST preceed it with a + prepositional pronoun, especially in cases where you are using gustar or verbs like gustar:

Le gusta el helado.

WHO likes ice cream? It is unclear….it could be ella, usted or él, since all correspond with "le". To clarify, a + prepositional pronoun must be used.

A ella le gusta el helado.

NOW we know who likes ice cream!

 

If the subjects have names, feel free to insert them in place of the prepositional pronoun:

A Pepa le gusta el helado.

A Javier le gustan los deportes.