Direct Object Pronouns («Pronombres de Complemento Directo») are a collection of pronouns which point to the person or thing that receives directly the action of the verb.
Here is the full list of Direct Object Pronouns in Spanish and their meaning in English:
te singular you
lo, la him, her, it, formal singular you
os plural you
los, las them, formal plural you
Direct Object Pronouns point to the thing or person directly receiving (not doing!) the action of the verb.
¿Me quieres? = Do you love me?
Sí, te quiero = I love you.
La tengo en mi casa = I have it at home («it» referring something of feminine singular, it could be a table for example).
Laura nos conoce = Laura knows us
Os vemos = We see you guys
Los he perdido = I have lost them («them» referring to something masculine plural, it could be books)
In all of the examples above, Direct Object Pronouns go right before the verb. That is their most usual placement. However, there are verb tenses, for which the Direct Object Pronoun can be attached at the end of the verb. Click here to learn all about the Placement of Direct, Indirect and Reflexive pronouns.
The role of 3rd person forms: «lo, la, los, las»
3rd person Direct Object Pronouns («lo, la, los, las») replace a noun that receives the action of the verb.
The most frequent reason to use these pronouns is having mentioned the noun already, and not wanting to repeat it.
-¿Quién tiene el muñeco? = Who has the doll?
– Marta lo tiene. = Marta has it. (instead of repeating «the doll»)
– ¿Has visto mis gafas? = Have you seen my glasses?
– Sí, las he visto. = Yes, I have seen them. (instead of repeating «your glasses»)
Conozco la ciudad. La conozco muy bien. = I know the city. I know it very well. (instead of repeating «the city»)