Object pronouns


Remember we saw with the bartender’s greeting:

 

¿Qué te pongo?

… how object pronouns often go before the verb in Spanish while subject pronouns disappear?

Some more examples: Watch the colors.


Te traigo la cuenta.
I’ll bring you the check.
¿Nos podéis dejar los vasos?
Can you leave us the glasses?
No me ponga más vino, por favor
Don’t [you] pour me more wine, please.

 

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The positive imperative is an exception to this order. We’ve discussed it a couple of times. So no subtitles to keep you on your toes.

Ejemplos:

4. Tráeme la cuenta

5. Déjanos los vasos.

6. Ponme más vino, por favor.

Watch out
¡Presta Atención!

Watch what happens when we replace all of the objects (wine, check, glasses) in the above sentences, with a second object pronoun (it; them), colored for gender.

1. Spanish

Te la traigo

English

I’ll bring you it or I’ll bring it to you

2. Spanish

¿Nos los podéis dejar?

English

Can you leave us it or can you leave it for us.

3. Spanish

No me lo ponga, por favor.

English

Don’t pour me it, please, or don’t pour it for me.

4. Spanish

Tráemela.

English

Bring me it or bring it to me.

5. Spanish

Déjanoslo.

English

Leave us it or leave it for us.

6. Spanish

Pónmelo.

English

Pour me it or pour it for me.

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Write this next part down.

1. Gender plays a role. “la” is used because “la cuenta” is feminine; “lo” & “los” due to “el vino” being masculine. All objects have a gender so there is no pronoun for “it” in general.

2. Grammar rules dictate the object pronouns’ order and the need for a different color to represent the direct object. It receives the verb’s action or shows the end result (“the check”, “the wine” in the examples), while the indirect object  receives the direct object and is often preceded by a preposition (“to”, “for”, “from”, etc).

 

Estás…

head-148207_1280

No pasa nada

English

“Are you…” (Temporary to be)

“No big deal”. Literal [read: incorrect] translation: “It happens nothing”.

There is a structure that for once in Spanish isn’t flexible.

 

For sentences (positive & negative) & questions, the order of object pronouns is:

 

Indirect obj + direct obj+ verb + subject pronoun (optional).

Ejemplos

  1. “¿Te la traigo (yo)?” [la cuenta]
  2. Él no me la trae. [el agua]
  3. Os lo dejamos (nosotros). [un momento]
  4. Se los pueden traer [los platos]
  5. Te lo corto [el pollo]

 

For the imperative.

 

Verb + indirect object + direct obj (no subject).

Don’t forget that these are almost always said together which sometimes results in accents to indicate the vowel to stress.


Ejemplos:

  1. Pónmela (el agua] a mí)
  2. Déjanoslo (un momento a vosotros)
  3. Traeselos (los platos a ellos)

A pronoun chart. Remember the Spanish alphabet and pronunciation, ie “meh”, “teh”…, when reading.


Ábrelo y estudia

Spanish pronoun chart

se” is the pronoun used when there are two objects in the third person, singular or plural, masculine or feminine.

Ejemplos en español

  • El camarero trae la cerveza a tu hijo.
  • Él se la trae.
  • La camarera pone el vino a tu hija.
  • Ella se lo pone.

English

  • The waiter brings beer to your son.
  • He brings it to him.
  • The waitress pours wine for your daughter.
  • She pours it for her.

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Información importante

Finite verbs, usually dealing with emotion, such as “gustar” (to like), “encantar” (to love) & “importar” (to mind), use “le” (sing) & “les” (plr) , for object pronouns.

We suggest you read the grammar point that deals with the subject, instead of a new themed lesson. In order to express, if you “like” or “dislike” the food, “don’t mind” the smoke or if it “bothers” you, this counter-intuitive structure is how you must do it, or else risk conveying the opposite of you wants.

Also, in some parts of Spain, “le, les” is used for “him” and “them”, instead of “lo” & “los”, which is used only for things. It’s common enough to be known as “Leísmo” with an entry in the English Wikipedia.  It’s a natural mistake for English speakers to make, too, because it gives each of our object pronouns a direct translation. The Spanish Royal Academy has stated this type of usage is incorrect so we won’t delve into or condone it, even if Leísmo is still a bad habit we sometimes slip into ;-).

 

[WpProQuiz 18]

 

paco_thumbnailOur game, “Paco Says“, starring my son Paquito, has been specifically designed to help you learn this and other structures. It’s important to get familiar with the placement of the object pronouns, otherwise no one will understand you. If you have a question about this point, let us know in the comment section and we’ll answer it.

 

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