Getting to Know Spanish Direct Object Pronouns - dummies

Getting to Know Spanish Direct Object Pronouns

By Gail Stein

Conversational Spanish relies on the inclusion of direct object pronouns to create a more natural feel. Direct object pronouns are replacement words for direct object nouns. They help you avoid unnecessary, continuous repetition of nouns. So how can you weave these wonder words into your vocab? Start by getting to know the basics.

Direct object nouns or pronouns answer the question “Whom or what is the subject acting upon?” Direct objects may refer to people, places, things, or ideas. A direct object pronoun simply replaces a direct object noun and agrees with it in number and gender.

In both English and Spanish, a direct object noun follows the subject and its verb: Veo la casa. (I see the house.) Unlike in English, however, you usually place a Spanish direct object pronoun before the conjugated verb: La veo. (I see it.) Following are the various Spanish direct object pronouns.

Spanish Direct Object Pronouns
Singular Pronouns Meaning Plural Pronouns Meaning
Me Me nos us
Te you (familiar) os you (polite)
Lo him, it, you los them, you
La her, it, you las them, you

Here are some sentences that show how you use Spanish direct object pronouns:

  • Él me comprende. (He understands me.)

  • ¿Los periódicos? Yo los leo cada día. (The newspapers? I read them every day.)

People often use le rather than lo in Spain to express you (masculine) or him. Lo is used as a direct object pronoun in Spanish America. The plural of lo and le is los, which means them or you, as in the sentences Lo [Le] cuido (I care for him) and Los miro (I watch them).

Don’t be tricked by these pronouns. Always remember that the verb in your sentence must agree with the subject pronoun.