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Spanish Direct Object Pronouns (I).

I have being receiving some e-mails asking for explanations about the use of the Spanish Direct pronouns. In this lesson we'll study, first, what's a Direct Object (D.O.), and then its corresponding pronouns.

Direct Object
Direct Object, in a sentence, is the thing, person or event receiving (or affected by) the action of the verb. Here we have an example:

María está comiendo un bocadillo.
Mary is eating a sandwich.

In this sentence, the verb is está comiendo and the Direct Object is un bocadillo. As you can see, un bocadillo is, in this case, the object affected by the verb.

Other way to find the Direct Object in a sentence is "asking the verb" What? (¿Qué?). I'll give you another example:

- ¿Qué está comiendo María? un bocadillo. --> "Un bocadillo" is the Direct Object.
- (What is Mary eating? A sandwich)

There is still another way we can use to "discover" the D.O. in a sentence: We need to transform the sentence to the passive voice.
María está comiendo un bocadillo. (Active voice)
(María is eating a sandwich)

Un bocadillo es comido por María.(Passive voice)
(A sandwich is eaten by María)

Now that we have the passive sentence, its subject (in this case Un bocadillo) is the Direct Object of active sentence.

Other examples:

Mi hermano tiene un libro. (Mi brother has a book) // Ellos no quieren comer arroz. (They do not want to eat rice) // Me gusta beber agua. (I like to drink water)

(Direct objects in red)

Now that we can identify direct objects, let's review the SPANISH D.O. PRONOUNS:

SINGULAR

ME (Me) - Él me ha ayudado mucho. (He has helped me a lot)

TE (You) - Te amo. (I love you)

LO (Him -people-; It -masculine object)
Lo traje aquí (I brought him here.)
Cógelo. (Take it.)


LA (Her -people-; It -feminine object-)
Mi hermano la ayuda siempre. (My brother always helps her)
Bébela. (Drink it) [i.e. "el agua"--> Bebe el agua = Bébela]


LE* (Him).
*This pronoun can be used as a Direct Complement referring to masculine genre people. We can either say:

Le he mirado (I have looked at him)
Or
Lo he mirado (I have looked at him)


PLURAL

NOS (Us)- Ellos nos quieren. (They love us)

OS (You [plural]) - Ellas os odian. (They (f) hate you)

LOS (Them -people-; Them -masculine objects)
Los ví ayer (I saw them yesterday.) (i.e. "I saw my brothers yesterday")
Cógelos. (Take them.) (i.e. "Take the books")


LAS (Them (f) -people-; Them -feminine objects-)
Yo las llamo todos los días. (I call them everyday.) (i.e. "I call my sisters everyday")
Cómelas. (Eat them) [i.e. "las patatas"à "Eat the potatoes"]


LES* (Them)
*This pronoun can be used as a Direct Complement referring to masculine genre people. We can either say:

Les he mirado (I have looked at them)
Or
Los he mirado (I have looked at them)

For any question of comment, feel free to e-mail me or just post a message at the forum.

¡Que tenga un buen día!
Angeles F.
VOCABULARY IN THIS LESSON (alphabetical order):
agua = water
amar = to love
arroz = rice
ayer = yesterday
ayudar = to help
beber = to drink
bocadillo = sandwich
coger = to take
comer = to eat
es comido por = (it) is eaten by
está comiendo = (she) is eating
hermano = brother
libro = book
me gusta = I like
mirar = to look
mucho = a lot
odiar = to hate
patatas = potatoes
siempre = always
todos los días = everyday
traer = to bring
ver = to see


Recommended material:I write monthly articles for "Think Spanish" ("Piensa en español") since 2002. All "Think Spanish" articles are written in Spanish, and they include a Spanish/English glossary. You'll also have the option to buy this magazine including a CD. Nice way to learn about Spanish language and customs!

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