Lo – Neuter Object Pronoun

Pronombre objeto neutro

Pronombre objeto neutro
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Direct object pronouns are personal: they replace specific people and things and have masculine, feminine, and plural forms. But lo, the normally masculine singular direct object pronoun, can also be impersonal and neuter. It means "it" when referring to something non-specific or abstract, such as an idea, adjective, situation, or clause.

Por ejemplo…

Lo sé.   I know (that).
Lo siento.   I’m sorry (for that).
No puedo crederlo.   I can’t believe it.
Conchita está lista y también lo estoy.   Conchita is ready and I am too.

Characteristics of the neuter object pronoun

  1. Used with transitive and intransitive verbs
  2. Impersonal, neuter, invariable
  3. Never preceded by a preposition
  4. Often has no English equivalent

 Note that lo is also the masculine direct object pronoun, which refers to something or someone specific.

 Compare…

Debiera ir a la tienda, pero lo olvidé.   I was supposed to go to the store, but I forgot [to go].
     vs    
Juan me dio un libro, pero lo olvidé en el autobús.   Juan gave me a book, but I forgot it on the bus.
Juan me dio una pluma, pero la olvidé en el autobús.   Juan gave me a pen, but I forgot it on the bus.
     
Ella no parece feliz, pero lo es.   She doesn’t seem happy, but she is [happy].
     vs    
La felicidad es muy importante. Búscala todos los días.   Happiness is very important. Seek it [happiness] every day.
     
Como es rico, lo tiene fácil.   Since he’s rich, he has it easy.
     vs    
Me gusta el ciclismo. Es fácil hacerlo.   I like biking. It’s easy to do.

 Related lessons

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Spanish neuter object pronoun

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