Welcome to our grammar lesson about Direct Object Pronouns in Spanish.
Direct Object Pronouns (“Pronombres de Complemento Directo”) are a collection of pronouns which point to the person or thing that directly receives the action of the verb.
Learning the forms is easy, the challenge is mostly in knowing when to use them, and where to place them inside the sentence.
Let’s learn everything about Direct Object Pronouns in Spanish! At the end of the lesson, you’ll find a Quiz and an Exercise for practice.
1. Direct Object Pronouns – Forms
Here is the list of Direct Object Pronouns in Spanish and their meanings:
|lo, la||him, her (also, both can mean "it" or formal "you")|
|los, las||them (also, formal "you guys")|
2. Use of Direct Object Pronouns
Direct Object Pronouns point to the person or thing directly receiving (not doing!) the action of the verb.
Do you love me?
Sí, te quiero.
Yes, I love you.
Laura nos conoce.
Laura knows us.
We see you guys.
In the case of the third person pronouns specifically (“lo, la, los, las”), they replace a noun. We use them when we don’t want to keep repeating that noun endlessly:
¿Conocéis a Miguel?
Do you guys know Miguel?
Sí, lo conocemos.
Yes, we know him. (instead of saying “we know Miguel”)
¿Tienes la mesa?
Do you have the table?
Sí, la tengo en mi casa.
Yes, I have it in my house.
¿Has perdido los libros?
Have you lost the books?
No, no los he perdido.
No, I haven’t lost them.
¿Él compra las botellas?
Does he buy the bottles?
Sí, él las compra.
Yes, he buys them.
3. Placement of Direct Object Pronouns in the Sentence
One of the challenges about Direct Object Pronouns is knowing where to place them inside the sentence.
That actually depends on the verb tense. For most tenses, we place these pronouns before the verb (as seen in the example sentences in this lesson). But there are a few cases where they go attached at the end of the verb.
We have made a separate lesson where we explain that in detail, so make sure to read our Lesson about the Placement of Direct and Indirect Object Pronouns.
4. Practice Direct Object Pronouns
Take this short Quiz to test your knowledge about this topic:
In the following dialogs, fill the gaps in your mind or on a piece of paper using Direct Object Pronouns (in one case, attached to a verb). Then check the solutions below:
Álvaro, ¿tienes mi móvil?
Sí, _____ (1) tengo.
¿Sabes la respuesta a esta pregunta?
No, no _____ (2) sé.
¿Has puesto las tijeras sobre la mesa?
Sí, _____ (3) he puesto ahí.
¿Quieres leer estos libros?
Sí, quiero __________ (4).
Solutions to the Exercise: 1 = lo, 2 = la, 3 = las, 4 = leerlos