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How to use Direct Object Pronouns in Spanish
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Lesson 10: Assignment

How to use Direct Object Pronouns in Spanish

Learnign Spanish verbs

Spanish Verb Vocabulary


Learning Direct Object Pronouns in Spanish

Before we get started, let's have a look at our vocabulary word list. This is your last vocabulary list for the "basic level" section, yet it is probably one of the most important. Once you become familiar with this vocabulary list, then you can proceed in learning direct object pronouns (DOP's.). This means you will get to use more verbs in phrases, so studying this verb list is extremely important. It is almost as if you are learning magic.

More Useful Spanish Phrases to Learn

Lesson 10 Spanish Vocabulary



Direct Object Pronouns List

DOP Phrase Practice

After learning all of these DOP's, lets try using some of them in some example phrases.

"I love him"
Click for a hint (To him, I love)
Click for the answer "Lo amo"


"I love her"
Click for a hint (To her, I love)
Click for the answer "La amo"


"I call her"
Click for a hint (To her, I call)
Click for the answer "La llamo"



Try Some More Tricky Phrases

"He calls them"
Click for a hint (To them, he calls)
Click for the answer "Los llama"


"(Do) you love me?"
Click for a hint (To me, You love?)
Click for the answer "¿Me amas?"

What is a "Direct Object Pronoun?"

The technical definition of a DOP is "a pronoun that directly receives the action of a verb." Right now this might sound really confusing, but let's look over an example phrase using the verb "recordar" so you get a feel for how DOP's are used in Spanish.

The phrase "I remember you" translates to "Te recuerdo"

Why? Because te is the DOP for "you," and "recuerdo" means "I remember." You might think it should be said "Recuerdo tú", but that is utterly and completely INCORRECT!

A Simple Way to Look at Direct Object Pronouns

Direct Object Pronouns can be internally expressed as:

"To someone, (conjugated verb)"

If you wanted to say "I remember you," then you would really say "To you, I remember" because that's what "te recuerdo" literally translates to in English.

A Perfect Example of a DOP

Have you ever heard anyone say "Te amo" in Spanish? This phrase means "I love you," but let's find out why  it means that.

Since we know that "amar" means "to love," then we know that "amo" is the conjugated form of the verb that means "I love."

Now let's piece it all together. Remember the syntax for DOP's goes like this:
To someone, (conjugated verb)

In that case, we can substitute it all in like this: Te, (amo)
(which literally means "To you, I love.") It's that simple!

Direct Object Pronoun Practice Phrases

When you feel somewhat comfortable with this method of using DOP's, then we are going to look at another way to express them. For now, let's see if you can translate these phrases on your own.

Notice that the example phrases above here do not specify who actually does the action. For example:

"Te ama" could either mean "He loves you" or "She loves you."

In order to be specific about who does the action, we say the regular pronoun first and then say the rest. Check out the example below.

Saying the Pronoun Before the Rest

"He loves you"
(He, to you, he loves)
Click to see the answer "Él te ama"

I love you
(I, to you, I love)
Click to see the answer "Yo te amo"

More DOP Practice!

"He gives me pain"
Click for a hint (To me, he gives, pain)
Click for the answer "Me da dolor"


"They give me pain"
Click for a hint (To me, they give, pain)
Click for the answer "Me dan dolor"


"They give us pain"
Click for a hint (To us, they give, pain)
Click for the answer "Nos dan dolor"


Attaching DOP's to the End of an Infinitive

Remember. Infinitive verbs are the root form of a verb. For example: to walk, to eat, and to talk  are all examples of infinitive verbs. When you have an infinitive verb and a DOP included together in a phrase, then you can always attach the two together. This is actually pretty easy. Let's look at some examples:

"I want to buy it"
click for translation Lo quiero comprar
(or)
click for translation Quiero comprarlo

"I'm going to eat you"
click for translation Te voy a comer
(or)
click for translation Voy a comerte

Keeping Direct Object Pronouns Simple

It really makes it look confusing when we look at DOP's in technical terms, so let's try looking at it from a new perspective. In order to make it less confusing, let's remember that you should always start off with who does the action like you normally would in English. For example:

"I... love you" becomes "Yo... te amo"

(Putting it this way helps to keep it simple, and it let's you get a better idea of who you are talking about instead of having to think backwards for Spanish translations.)

Nice Job on Your Progress!

You are doing a remarkable job! I hope you are catching on a little more each time you practice. If you are having trouble now, just give it time and let it sink in. Direct object pronouns can be pretty tricky, but they are used so much. DOP's are an essential part of speaking Spanish. In that case, I have listed below some more practice phrases for you to study. Let's see how well you can translate them.




Review Direct Object Pronouns in Spanish »

Last updated: 2017

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