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Learn Spanish: Indirect Object Pronouns

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Spanish Pronunciation
Spanish Gender and Articles
Spanish Subject Pronouns
Spanish Verb Ser
Spanish Plural Nouns and Adjectives
Calendar in Spanish
Spanish Cardinal and Ordinal Numbers
Spanish Prepositions
Telling Time in Spanish
Spanish Verb Hay
Spanish Verbs Present Tense

Spanish Verb Ir
Spanish Verb Tener

Spanish Verb Estar
Ser
vs. Estar

Spanish Possessive Adjectives
Spanish Possessive Pronouns
Spanish Stem-Changing Verbs
Spanish Prepositions Por vs. Para
Spanish Demonstratives
Spanish Direct Object Pronouns
Spanish Indirect Object Pronoun
Direct + Indirect Object Pronouns
Spanish Verb Gustar
Weather in Spanish
Spanish Reflexive Verbs (coming soon)
Spanish Verb Acabar
Spanish Verb Volver
Spanish Past Tense - Pretérito
Spanish Informal Commands
Spanish Plural Familiar Commands
Spanish Nosotros Commands (coming soon)

Spanish Past Tense - Imperfecto
Preterit vs. Imperfect
Spanish Past Participles
Spanish Present Perfect Tense
Spanish Past Perfect Tense
Spanish Formal Commands
Spanish Subjunctive Mood
Spanish Future Tense
Spanish Conditional Tense

 

 

Indirect Object Pronouns (I.O.P.)

 

Learn Spanish: Direct Object Pronouns in Spanish

This learn Spanish grammar lesson goes over the second type of Spanish object pronouns, the indirect object pronoun (I.O.P.) In a sentence, the Indirect Object is the second, or indirect recipient of the action of the verb. That is, the person or person for whom or to whom an action is done. The indirect object answers the questions: for whom or to whom?

To whom? Yo te di un libro. I gave a book to you.
For whom? Maria me compró una chaqueta. Mary bought a jacket for me.

These are the forms:

Me To or For me
Te To or For you (informal)
Le To or For him/her/you (formal)
Nos To or For us
Os To or For you all (only used in Spain)
Les To or For them/you all

The I.O.P. is placed before a conjugated verb.

Tus padres te dan dinero.

Your parents give you money. (give money to you)

Mi hermano me compró un suéter. My brother bought me a sweater. (bought a sweater for me)

When you use a verbal phrase (a verb that has more than one word), you can place the indirect object pronoun before the verbal structure or attached to the infinitive or the gerund, similar to D.O.P.'s.

Can I give you the book now? Puedo darte el libro ahora?
Te puedo dar el libro ahora?
I am explaining them the lesson. Estoy explicandoles la lección.
Les estoy explicando la lección.

Notice that by using "le" or "les" one cannot tell if it's for him, her, you, them, or you all. In order to clarify this to the reader or listener, you can add the folowing:

le
les
a él a ellos
a ella a ellas
a usted a ustedes

See for example:

Le estoy escribiendo a él I'm writing to him.
Ella va a enviarles a ustedes un documento. She is going to send you all a document.

There are some verbs that always take the I.O.P. because they imply a receiver or a listener.

Dar to give
Explicar to explain
Mandar to send
Enviar to send
Regalar to give a gift
Pedir to request
Preguntar to ask a question
Comprar to buy
Decir to say
Escribir to write
Responder to respond

See for example:

¿Ella les explicó el problema a ustedes? Did she explain the problem to you (all)?
Voy a mandarte una carta. I am going to send you a letter.
Le quiero comprar a ella una regala. I want to buy her a gift.