Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Indirect Object Pronouns

me – to/for me
te – to/for you (fam. sing.)
le – to/for you (form. sing.), him, her it
nos – to/for us
os – to/for you (fam. pl.)
les – to/for you (form. pl.), them

  • Indirect object nouns and pronouns are the second recipient of the action of the verb. They usually answer the questions to whom? or for whom? in relation to the verb. The word to is frequently omitted in English. Indirect object pronouns have the same form as direct object pronouns, except in the third person: le, les. Examples:
  • I’m giving her the present tomorrow.
    Could you tell me the answer now?
    El profesor nos va a hacer algunas pregunlas.
    ¿No me compras una revista ahora?

  • Like direct object pronouns, indirect object pronouns (los pronombres del cornplemento indirecto) are placed immediately before a conjugated verb. They may also be attached to an infinitive.
  • No, no te presto el coche. – No, I won’t lend you the car.
    Voy a guardarte el asiento. | Te voy a guardar el asiento. – I’ll save your seat for you.

  • Since le and les have several different equivalents, their meaning is often clarified or emphasized with the preposition a and the pronoun objects of prepositions.

    Voy a mandarle un telegrama a Ud. (a él, a ella). – I’m going to send you (him, her) a telegram.
    Les hago una comida a Uds. (a ellos, a ellas). – I’m making you (them) a meal.

  • When there is an indirect object noun in a sentence, the indirect object pronoun is almost always used in addition. This seemingly repetitive construction is very common in Spanish, especially with third person forms.
  • Vamos a decirle la verdad a Juan. – Let’s tell Juan the truth.
    ¿Les guardo los asientos a Jorge y Marta? – Shall I save the seats for Jorge Marta?

  • Verbs frequently used with indirect objects include dar (to give), decir (to say; in tell), escribir, explicar, hablar, mandar (to send), ofrecer (to offer), pedir (i), preguntar (to ask), prestar (to lend), prometer (to promise), recomendar (ie), regalar (to give as a gift), and servir (i). Note: ofreceryo ofrezco, like conocer.

Dar and decir are almost always used with indirect object pronouns in Spanish.
¿Cuando me das el dinero? – When will you give me the money?
¿Por qué no me dice Ud. la verdad, señor? – Why don’t you tell me the truth, sir?

Note: In Spanish it is necessary to distinguish between the verbs dar (to give) and regalar (to give as a gift). Also, do not confuse decir (to say or to tell) with hablar (to speak) or pedir (to ask for; to order) with preguntar (to ask [a question])

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