Orden de dos pronombres complementos
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Sometimes one pronoun just isn’t enough. A Spanish sentence might need both a direct and indirect object, or a reflexive pronoun plus an object. These "double pronouns" cannot be separated, but the word order is very simple.
Be sure you fully understand how to use each type of pronoun before continuing with this lesson.
No matter which two of the three you need, and where you place them in the sentence, the pronouns are always in this order:
Reflexive + Indirect
|Eso nunca se nos ocurrió.
|That never occurred to us.
|Se me cayó la cara de vergüenza.
|My face fell in shame.
Reflexive + Direct
|Me lo prometí.
|I promised it to myself.
|You should buy them for yourself.
Indirect + Direct
|Nos lo da.
|He’s giving it to us.
|Te las muestro.
|I’m showing them to you.
Remember that though the order of the double pronouns themselves is fixed, their placement in the sentence can vary. They usually precede the verb(s) they modify, but in the case of infinitives, present participles, and affirmative commands, they can get attached to the end – learn more.
Double object pronoun replacements
When a third person indirect object pronoun (le or les) precedes a third person direct object pronoun (lo, la, los, or las), the indirect pronoun must be changed to se. The context should let you know whether the se is replacing le or les.
Por ejemplo …
|Se lo da.
|He’s giving it to them.
|Se lo muestro.
|I’m showing it to her.
This replacement is not optional; native Spanish speakers would never say
le lo or les lo.
However, when se stands for les and is followed by the neuter pronoun lo, Spanish speakers in Latin America will often replace lo with los for clarification.
Por ejemplo …
|No one told them.
|It’s true, I assure you.
|Nadie se lo dijo.
|Es verdad, se lo aseguro [a Uds].
|Nadie se los dijo.
|Es verdad, se los aseguro [a Uds].
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