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9.1.17: G.5.3- Direct and Indirect Object Pronouns—a review and one step further (los pronombres de objeto directo y de objeto indirecto—un repaso y un paso más)

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    235658
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    In this unit we will learn to use pronouns to replace both the direct and indirect object in the same sentence, but first, please review the explanations of direct and indirect object pronouns from Unit 4. Seriously, this will help you with the next step!

    Now that you remember about how direct and indirect object pronouns are formed and how they function in Spanish, we are ready to learn more about their positions in a sentence and how to combine them in the same sentence.

    The Placement of Direct and Indirect Object Pronouns

    1. When there is only one verb in the sentence, the pronoun is placed BEFORE the conjugated verb.
      1. Direct Object Constructions:

        Ejemplo(s):
        Veo a la chica. La veo.
        I see the girl. I see her.

        El chico compra el coche. Lo compra el chico. (El chico lo compra.)
        She’s probably in the library.
      2. When there is a conjugated verb and an infinitive in a sentence, the pronouns may be positioned BEFORE the conjugated verb or AFTER and CONNECTED TO the infinitive.
        Ejemplo(s):
        Le dije la verdad a mi hermano. Le dije la verdad.
        I told my brother the truth. I told him the truth.

        La instructora les asignó la tarea a los estudiantes ayer.
        The instructor assigned the homework to the students yesterday.

        La instructora les asignó la tarea ayer.
        The instructor assigned the homework to them yesterday.

        Notice that in the second example the indirect object pronoun “les” is included along with the actual indirect object “los estudiantes”. This is an idiosyncrasy of Spanish grammar because the indirect object pronoun is absolutely redundant. This is the case in ALL Spanish sentences in which the indirect object is overtly expressed: you MUST include the indirect object pronoun (me, te, le, etc.) in all sentences that have an indirect object, but may also name the indirect object using “a” (a mí, a los profesores, etc.). You may remember this with respect to GUSTAR-like constructions (which are also indirect object constructions).

        Quick review! Do you remember what the grammatical function of “el juego” is?
        Click to reveal answer:

        The subject of the sentence!

        If this is unclear, please review Verbs like Gustar.
    2. When there is a conjugated verb and an infinitive in a sentence, the pronouns may be positioned BEFORE the conjugated verb or AFTER and CONNECTED TO the infinitive.
      1. Direct Object Constructions:

        Ejemplo(s):

        Los chicos quieren comprar las entradas. → Los chicos las quieren comprar. OR Los chicos quieren comprarlas.
        The boys want to buy the tickets. The boys want to buy them.

        Necesito leer el libro. → Lo necesito leer. OR Necesito leerlo.
        I need to read the book. I need to read it.

        Debes buscar la respuesta. → La debes buscar. OR Debes buscarla.
        You should look for the answer. You should look for it.
      2. Indirect Object Constructions:

        Ejemplo(s):

        Ella te quiere dar el dinero mañana. OR Ella quiere darte el dinero mañana.
        She wants to give you the money tomorrow.

        Les voy a enseñar el español a mis hijos. OR Voy a enseñarles el español a mis hijos.
        I am going to teach my children Spanish.

    The Order of Direct and Indirect Object Pronouns in the Same Sentence

    The next logical question is, “What do you do when you want to use a direct object pronoun AND an indirect object pronoun in the same sentence?”

    1. The indirect object pronoun is ALWAYS placed before the direct object pronoun.
      Ejemplo(s):
      Mi mamá me mandó un email la semana pasada.
      My mother sent me an email last week.

      Mi mamá me lo mandó la semana pasada.
      My mother sent it to me last week.

      This is also true when the sentence contains a verb phrase (conjugated verb + infinitve):
      Ejemplo(s):
      Ella te quiere dar el dinero mañana. OR Ella quiere darte el dinero mañana.
      She wants to give you the money tomorrow.

      Ella te lo quiere dar mañana. OR Ella quiere dártelo mañana.
      She wants to give it to you tomorrow.

      Did you notice the accent mark over the á in dártelo? This is necessary to maintain the correct stress pattern: DARtelo. So any time you add two pronouns to an infinitive, you will add an accent to the end of the infinitive (-AR, -ER, or -IR).
    2. One last step and one more type of “se”.

      Hopefully, this has been clear so far, but this final point may be a little tricky at first: When the indirect object “le” or “les” (3rd person singular or plural) is combined with ANY direct object pronoun, LE and LES change to SE.

      Ejemplo(s):
      Le dije la verdad a mi hermano. → Se la dije.
      I told my brother the truth. I told him it.

      • Step 1. Le la dije.*
      • Step 2. Se la dije.

      Ejemplo(s):
      La instructora les asignó la tarea a los estudiantes ayer. → La instructora se la asignó ayer.
      The instructor assigned the homework to the students yesterday. The instructor assigned it to them yesterday.
      • Step 1. La instructora les la asignó ayer.*
      • Step 2. La instructora se la asignó ayer.

      This is also the case with constructions that contain verb phrases:

      Ejemplo(s):
      Les voy a enseñar el español a mis hijos. OR Voy a enseñarles el español a mis hijos. → Se lo voy a enseñar. OR Voy a enseñárselo.
      I am going to teach my children Spanish. I am going to teach it to them.
      • Step 1. Les lo voy a enseñar.* OR Voy a enseñarleslo.*
      • Se lo voy a enseñar. OR Voy a enseñárselo.

      The accent mark over the á is there for the same reason as before—to maintain the correct stress pattern: enseÑARselo.

      *Note: Right now our goal is for you to be able to produce these constructions when you are writing (when you have time to think about the rule and check your work). For most learners of Spanish, the ability to produce double object construction in spontaneous speech is developed at a much later stage of acquisition, so be patient with yourself. (We will be, too!)


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