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Spanish Direct Object Pronouns (II).


After having reviewed the concept of Direct Object (D.O.) Pronouns and learned their Spanish forms (See Spanish Direct Object Pronouns (I)), the next step is studding their location in the sentence.

RULES

  • Spanish Direct Object pronouns are located before the verb, in affirmative sentences with one verb.

    Yo bebo agua --> Yo la bebo.

    This is an affirmative sentence, with one verb ("bebo"). In this case, the D.O. pronoun ("la") replaces "agua", a feminine noun. "la" is placed before the verb. Note that in English, the D.O. pronoun, for affirmative sentences with one verb, is located after the verb:

    I drink water -->I drink it
  • Negative sentences, with one verb: the D.O. pronoun must be placed between the negative word and the verb.

    Affirmative sentence:
    Yo bebo agua --> Yo la bebo. (I drink water --> I drink it)

    Negative sentence:
    Yo no bebo agua --> Yo no la bebo. (I do not drink water --> I do not drink it)
  • What about sentences with two verbs? In this case, we have 2 options, both valid and correct:

    (Note that in this type of sentences we conjugate one of them, and the other one is presented in infinitive)

    First option: We can place the pronoun before the conjugated verb.
    Second option: We can place the pronoun, attached, after the infinitive.

    Here we have some examples:

    Quiero cantar una canción. (I want to sing a song)

    In this sentence, the conjugated verb is "Quiero", and the infinitive (second verb) is "cantar". We'll use the D.O. pronoun "la" to replace the noun "canción":

    Fist option: La quiero cantar (I want to sing it)
    Second option: Quiero cantarla (I want to sing it)
    Note that whenever a Direct Object / Indirect Object pronoun is placed after an infinitive, present participle and affirmative commands, this pronoun is attached to it, without spaces. ("cantarla").

    Some examples:

    With infinitive: ¿Puedes coger las flores? --> ¿Puedes cogerlas?

    "Puedes" is the conjugated verb, and "coger" is the infinitive. The Direct Object is "las flores". You can see we had replaced "las flores" with the pronoun "las", which is attached at the end of the infinitive.

    With Present Participle: Estoy comiendo manzanas --> Estoy comiéndolas

    With affirmative commands: ¡Compra los lápices! --> ¡Compralos!

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
beber = to drink
canción = song
cantar = to sing
coger = to get, to take
comer = to eat
¡compra! = buy!
estoy comiendo = I am eating
flores = flowers
lápices = pencils
manzanas = apples
¿Puedes...? = Can you...?


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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Content copyright © 2014 by Angeles Fernández. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Angeles Fernández. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Angeles Fernández for details.

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