Personal pronouns in Spanish

Subject

Indirect Object

Direct Object

Reflexive
Object

Object of Preposition

Reflex. Obj. of Preposition

yo me me me
te te te ti ti
usted [Ud.] le lo, la se usted
él lo él
ella la ella
nosotros, -as nos nos nos nosotros, -as nosotros, -as
vosotros, -as os os os vosotros, -as vosotros, -as
ustedes [Uds.] les los, las se ustedes
ellos los ellos
ellas las ellas
=I, you, he, she, we, you, they = to me, to you, to him, to her, to us, to you, to them = me, you, him, her, us, you, them = myself, yourself, himself, herself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves = [e.g., from] me, you, him, her, us, you, them = [e.g. from] myself, yourself, himself, herself, etc.
You in Spanish:

= familiar singular form of you (i.e, when on a first name basis).
Usted = formal singular form of  you (i.e., when on a last name basis).
Vosotros = familiar plural form in Spain.
Ustedes = formal plural of  you in Spain, and both the familar & formal plural form elsewhere.

Double object pronouns:

  If a verb has two object pronouns, the indirect goes before the direct object pronoun. 

  If both the direct and indirect object pronouns begin with l, the indirect pronoun is changed to se.

Position of the with-verb object pronouns:

Direct, indirect, and reflexive object pronouns are attached to the end of infinitives, -ndo forms (gerunds), and affirmative commands. They go immediately before all other verb forms.

Special case:

When used with con:

  conmigo
  contigo

___

Some prepositions: a, con, de, en, entre, para, por, sobre, sobre, antes de, después de, frente a, etc.

Special case:

When used with con:

  conmigo
  contigo
  consigo

Example 1: Subject, indirect object, direct object, prepositional object pronouns.

Subject of the verb dan

Direct object

|

|

= “They give it to me.”

Ellos

me 

lo

dan  (a  mí).

|

|

Indirect object (before the direct object)

Object of the preposition a. [Optional prepositional phrase for emphasis.]

Example 2: Subject and reflexive pronouns.

Subject of the verb levanto

|

= “I get up at six o'clock.”
[Literally, “I get myself up at six o'clock.”]

Yo

 me 

levanto  a las seis.

|

Reflexive pronoun (same person as the subject: I , myself)

Example 3:  Placement of object pronouns.  They are attached to the end of affirmative commands, infinitives, and -ndo forms; in all other cases they go immediately before the verb.
¿La carta? ¡Dámela! Affirmative command.  The object pronouns are atached to the end; here, an accent mark is required on the verb. Give it to me!
Voy a dártela.
[Or: Te la voy a dar.]
Infinitive.  The object pronouns are attaced to the end of the verb.  Again note the accent mark. [Here, the pronouns  may also be placed before doy, since the verb phrase voy a dar is composed of both a conjugated form and an infinitive.] I'm going to give it to you.
Estoy dándotela.
[Or: Te la estoy dando.]
Gerund or -ndo form.  [The pronouns may also be placed before estoy since the verb phrase estoy dando is made up of both a conjugated form and an -ndo form. I'm giving it to you.
Te la doy.
No te la doy.
¡No me la des!
Conjugated verb (which is not an affirmative command).  The pronouns can only go immediately before the verb. I'll give it to you.
I won't give it to you.
Don't give it to me!

Example 4: The indirect object pronous change from le/les to se before a direct object pronoun beginning with the letter l (lo, la, los, las).
El libro? Yo se lo mando a él. le lo > se lo “The book? I'm sending it to him.”
La verdad? Ella siempre se la dice a ustedes. les la > se la “The truth? She always tells it to you.”
Los papeles? Nosotros se los ofrecemos a usted. le los > se los “The papers? We'll send them to you.”

Note that this can lead to confusion unless a clarifying  prepositional phrase is added:
Se lo dije. = “I said it to him/her/them/you.” (That is, se could mean six different things: a él, a ella, a ellos, a ellas, a usted, or a ustedes.)

[Practice]

[S210 Main Page]

See also: Pronouns (longer explanation)


Contact: Fred F. Jehle

Home: http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/

Indiana University - Purdue University Ft. Wayne
Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1499 USA

URL: http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/courses/pronouns.htm