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3.2.3: Los objetos directos y los pronombres de los objetos directos

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    Direct object nouns and direct object pronouns

    Direct object nouns

    In a sentence, the "direct object noun" is what/whom the verb affects "directly". A direct object can be "people, animals, things, ideas, or events".

    The photos below show that: A sentence in Spanish usually begins with a subject pronoun, followed by a verb. If there is a direct object in the sentence, it usually follows the verb. To identify a direct object in a sentence, answer the question "verb (affecting) what?" (left photo) or "verb (affecting) whom?" (right photo). In Spanish, if the direct object noun is a person or a pet, it is preceded by the word "a" which is called the "personal a"; there is no English equivalent for this construction. 


    Direct object pronouns

    "Direct Object Pronouns" are words that replace "direct object nouns" to avoid repeating a noun already mentioned. The direct object pronouns for replacing the direct object nouns are:

    Singular Plural
    me = me nos = us
    te = you os = you
    lo = you (m.); him; it (m.) los = you (m.); them (m.)
    la = you (f.); her; it (f.) las = you (f.); them (f.)

    Placement of the direct object pronouns (DOP)

    What can be confusing is the place where the direct object pronoun is placed in the sentence in Spanish. Observe the differences between English and Spanish below:

    English: Spanish:

    Subject Pronoun + Verb + DOP

    I Study it. [Spanish]

    I hear them. [the boys]

    Subject Pronoun + DOP + Verb

    Yo lo estudio. [lo = español]

    Yo los escucho. [los = los chicos]

    As shown in the chart, the direct object pronoun (DOP) marked in blue, is placed before the conjugated verb (but after the subject pronoun). If the sentence is negative, the negative word "no" precedes the DOP:

    Subject Pronoun + DOP + Verb

    Yo (no) lo estudio. [lo = español]

    Yo (no) los escucho. [los = los chicos]

    When the infinitive or present participle is used, there are two options for direct object pronoun placement: before the conjugated verb, or attached to the infinitive or present participle. When a pronoun is attached to a present participle, an accent mark is added. Note that the direct object pronoun and the explanation of the direct object being replaced is marked in blue in the chart.

    Subject Pronoun + DOP + Verb in the infinitive OR Subject Pronoun + Verb in the infinitve+DOP

    Yo lo voy a estudiar.  [lo = español]

    Yo los voy a escuchar.  [los = los chicos]



    Yo voy a estudiarlo.   [lo = español]

    Yo voy a escucharlos.  [los = los chicos]

    Subject Pronoun + DOP + Verb in the present progressive OR Subject Pronoun + Verb in the present progressive+DOP

    Yo lo voy a estudiando.  [lo = español]

    Yo los voy a escuchando.  [los = los chicos]



    Yo voy a estudiándolo.   [lo = español]

    Yo voy a escuchándolos.  [los = los chicos]


    ¡A Practicar juntos!