Indirect Objects

Spanish indirect objectsObjetos indirectos

An indirect object is a person that someone or something does something to indirectly. In the simplest sentences, the indirect object directly follows a verb + preposition, so it’s very easy to see the effect that the verb has on that person.

Por ejemplo…

Da unas flores a su amiga.   He’s giving flowers to his friend.
Hablo a José y Ana.   I’m talking to José and Ana.

The indirect object is the person that receives the action of the verb in a sentence. To find the indirect object, ask "To whom?"

Da unas flores a su amiga.   He’s giving flowers to his friend.
Le da unas flores.   He’s giving her flowers.
To whom is he giving flowers? – His friend –> her.
     
Hablo a José y Ana.   I’m talking yo José and Ana.
Les hablo.   I’m talking to them.
To whom am I talking? José y Ana –> them.

Spanish indirect object pronouns

1st person me  me   nos us
2nd person te you os you
3rd person le him, her, you, it les them, you

Indirect object pronoun placement

Like direct object pronouns, Spanish indirect object pronouns are usually placed in front of the verb.

Le hablo.   I’m talking to him.
Les escribe.   He writes to them.
Te doy el pan.   I’m giving the bread to you.
Ella me contestó.   She answered me.

With infinitives, present participles, and affirmative commands, pronouns can get attached to the end – learn more.

Le voy a decir.   I’m going to tell him.
Voy a decirle.  
Les quiero traer el regalo.   I want to bring the gift to them.
Quiero traerles el regalo.  

Notes

Trouble deciding between an indirect objects and a direct object? The general rule is that if the person is preceded by a preposition (with the exception of the personal a) that person is an indirect object. If s/he is not preceded by a preposition, s/he is a direct object.

When third person indirect and direct pronouns are used together, the indirect pronoun changes to selearn more.

Test: Indirect object pronouns

Related lessons

Spanish lesson plans Spanish lesson plans

Learn French En français