Skip to main content
Humanities LibreTexts

9.1.12: G.4.2- Indirect Object Pronouns (los pronombres de objeto indirecto)

  • Page ID
    235653
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    Form

    English

    Subject Pronouns Indirect Object Pronouns
    I me
    you you
    he/she/it him/her/it
    we us
    you (guys/all) you
    they them

    Spanish

    Subject Pronouns Indirect Object Pronouns*
    yo me
    te
    él/ella* le
    nosotros/as nos
    vosotros/as os
    ellos/ellas les

    * Note: These look a lot like the direct object pronouns. Note the difference in the 3rd person singular and plural. Indirect object pronouns are not marked for the gender of the noun they replace.

    Indirect object pronouns are placed before a conjugated verb and before or after an infinitive.

    Ejemplo(s):

    --(Ellos) me regalaron un coche.
    They gave me a car.

    --Me van a regalar un coche.
    They are going to give me a car.

    --Van a regalar me un coche.
    They are going to give me a car.

    Uses of Indirect Object Pronouns

    1. Type One:

      Ejemplo(s):
      --El chico le da el reloj a la chica.
      The boy gives the watch to the girl.

      In this sentence, the direct object (el reloj) answers the question “gives what?” and the indirect object answers the question “to whom?”
    2. Type Two:

      Ejemplo(s):
      --Le gusta el helado a la chica.
      The girl likes ice cream.

      --A la chica le gusta el helado.
      The girl likes ice cream.

      All “gustar-like” constructions are actually indirect object constructions. In Spanish, ice cream is the subject of the sentence and must agree with the verb gustar, resulting in a literal translation of “Ice cream is pleasing”. The indirect object answers the question “to whom is the ice cream pleasing?” In this case, the answer is, "to the girl."

    Other verbs that function like gustar:

    • encantar
    • fascinar
    • animar
    • aburrir
    • hacer pensar
    • interesar
    • estimular
    • deprimir
    • molestar

    This page titled 9.1.12: G.4.2- Indirect Object Pronouns (los pronombres de objeto indirecto) is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by KU Open Language Resource Center via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.