Lesson 6

Grammar – Object Pronouns

Direct Object Pronouns

While the subject of a sentence initiates an action (the verb), the direct object is the one that is affected by the action. A direct object pronoun is used to refer to the direct object of a previous sentence:

El chico come la manzana.
Él la come.
The boy eats the apple .
He eats it .

The following table shows the six types of direct object pronouns:

nosotrosnosus, we
vosotrososyou (plural)
elloslosthem (masculine)
ellaslasthem (feminine)

Note: In Spain, le and les are used as the masculine direct object pronoun only when referring to people. If the antecedent of a direct object is masculine but non-human, lo or los are used instead. In most other Spanish speaking places, lo and los are used instead of le and les.

Indirect Object Pronouns

An indirect object is an object that would be asked for with To whom…? or From whom…?. It is called indirect because it occurs usually together with a direct object which is affected directly by the action:

La mujer da una manzana al chico.
La mujer le da una manzana.
The woman gives an apple to the boy .
The woman gives him an apple.

The apple is given by the woman (direct). The boy gets the given apple (indirect – depends on the apple being given).
Here is a table with all of the Spanish indirect object pronouns:

SubjectIndirect ObjectEnglish
yometo/from me
teto/from you
él/ella/ustedleto/from him/her/you
nosotros/nosotrasnosto/from us
vosotros/vosotrasosto/from you
ellos/ellas/ustedesleto/from them/you

Position Of Object Pronouns (Double Object Pronouns)

So far we have only seen sentences with one object pronoun. If there is both a direct and an indirect object pronoun, the indirect pronoun usually comes first:

Te compro una bicicleta .
Te la compro.
I buy you a bike.
I buy it for you.

Also, when both object pronouns are in the third person (either singular or plural), the indirect pronoun changes from le/les to se:

El profesor le da unos libros.
El profesor se los da.
The professor gives her the books.
The professor gives them to her.

In sentences that contain an infinitive or a participle, the object pronoun may be either placed before the conjugated verb or it maybe attached to the infinitive/participle:

Carmen puede cantar el himno nacional.
Carmen puede cantarlo. or Carmen lo puede cantar.
Carmen can sing the national anthem.
Carmen can sing it.

It is possible to have the two rules above working at the same time: A combination of direct and indirect pronouns that is attached to an infinitive/participle:

Quiero mostrarte una casa.
Quiero mostrártela.
I want to show you a house.
I want to show it to you.

Vocabulario (Vocabulary) – La comida (The food)

Las comidasThe meals
el desayunobreakfast
desayunar, tomar el desayunoto have breakfast
el almuerzolunch
almorzarto have lunch
la cenadinner
cenarto have dinner
la comidafood, meal
comerto eat

In Spain and some other countries, comida is the midday meal.

Las comidasThe meals
el desayunobreakfast
desayunar, tomar el desayunoto have breakfast
la comida (el almuerzo)lunch, main meal
comer (almorzar)to eat, to lunch
la cenadinner
cenarto have dinner

In other countries, for example Chile, comida is the last meal in the day.

Las comidasThe meals
el desayunobreakfast
desayunar, tomar el desayunoto have breakfast
el almuerzolunch
almorzarto have lunch
la comida (la cena)dinner, main meal
comer (cenar)to eat, to have dinner

Instead of saying desayuno, comida y cena (Spain) or desayuno, almuerzo y comida (Chile, Colombia), it’s safer to say desayuno, almuerzo y cena.
The word comida has several meanings

  • food Me gusta la comida mexicana
  • meal El desayuno es la principal comida del día
  • lunch La comida es a las 2 PM
  • dinner La comida es a las 9 PM
Las FrutasFruits
la bananabanana
el plátano (Spain, Chile, Perú)
el banano
la cerezacherry
la guinda
el damascoapricot
el albaricoque (Spain)
el durazno (Sp. Am)peach
el melocotón (Spain)
la fresastrawberry
la frutilla (Argentina, Chile, Uruguay)
el kiwikiwi fruit
la manzanaapple
la naranjaorange
la perapear
la piñapineapple
el ananá
la uvagrape
la ciruelaplum
Las VerdurasVegetables
la cebollaonion
la lechugalettuce
la espinacaspinach
la papa (Sp. Am.)potato
la patata (Spain)
el pepinocucumber
el aguacateavocado
la palta (Argentina, Chile, Uruguay)
el tomatetomato
la zanahoriacarrot
el zapallo (Argentina, Chile, Uruguay)pumpkin, squash
la calabaza (Spain)
los porotos (Argentina, Chile, Uruguay)beans
los frijoles (Mexico)
las alubias (Spain)
las caraotas

Note that due to the pervasive influence of English, in many supermarkets there is a section called Vegetales instead of Verduras. They mistranslate vegetable, forgetting that this is not the same as English vegetal (relating to plants).

  • Legumbres means the same thing as verduras (vegetables).
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