There are various kinds of pronouns, but this is about just two kinds – DIRECT & INDIRECT OBJECT– now we’re going to learn how to use them – you’ll need a lot less words to say what you want to say, & although it’s confusing at first, when you get into what I call ‘YODA MODE’ (think Star Wars) you’ll find it so easy!
DIRECT OBJECT PRONOUNS
Remember – the Direct Object is the ‘thing’ that the action is being done TO.
It goes before the conjugated verb
Juan buys the car– Juan compra el coche
Juan buys it – Juan lo compra
When two verbs are used, it can be placed before the conjugated verb OR tagged onto the end of a full form of the verb / infinitive or the gerund / ING
Quiero comprar los zapatos– Los quiero comprar – Quiero comprarlos
Estamos comprando las sábanas– Las estamos comprando – Estamos comprándolas
NB. The pronoun can ONLY be tagged onto the end of the infinitive (full form) or the gerund (ING). I cannot be tagged onto anything else. For instance, when using one of the ‘perfect’ tenses, it can only be placed before the conjugation of HABER, not after the past participle :
Habían vendido la casa – La habían vendido.
INDIRECT OBJECT PRONOUNS
Remember – the Indirect Object, is WHO the action is being done FOR
It is placed before the conjugated verb
Juan buys the car for me – Juan me compra el coche
And then to use them both at once, we put the Indirect Object pronoun first…………….
Juan buys it for me
Juan me lo compra
If both pronouns start with ‘L’ – we change the first one to ‘se’
I buy it for Juan
se lo compro (a Juan)
As when using just the Direct Object pronoun, if using two verbs, they can be placed either before the conjugated verb or tagged onto the end of a full form of the verb / infinitive or the gerund / ING.
This is where people seem to become confused. The most common mistake is to over think & ‘decide’ that someone else is doing the action, & change the conjugation of the verb – make it ‘fit’ someone else. Of course that is wrong; it’s still the same person doing the same thing to the same object for the same person – so the ‘VERBY BIT’ doesn’t change.
DON’T MESS WITH THE VERBY BIT!!
All we are changing is what the verb is being done TO (the Direct Object) & who the verb is being done FOR (the Indirect Object). The Indirect Object pronoun (FOR) always goes before the Direct Object pronoun (TO), and it’s best to keep them together, too. (At least while you’re learning to use them!!)
Here are some more examples:
Will you mop the floor for me María?
¿Fregarás el suelo para mí María?¿Me lo fregarás? María
I have prepared this paella for you & Javi, María.
He preparado esta paella para tí y Javi, María (vosotros)
Os la he preparado, María.
They were cleaning the car for Javi & María
Estaban limpiando el coche para Javi & María (ellos)
Se lo estaban limpiando / Estaban limpiándoselo