Redundant Object Pronouns

Spanish redundant object pronoun s
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Objetos reiterados

In Spanish, an object pronoun, either direct or indirect, is often used in addition to the actual noun or pronoun that it would normally replace. In some cases, this redundant object pronoun is required, while other times it’s simply stylistic. This lesson explains the general tendencies when repeating object pronouns, but please note that there is a great deal of variation from one Spanish-speaking region to another.


In order to emphasize the direct or indirect object of a sentence, a redundant object pronoun may be placed before the verb.

1. The redundant pronoun is required when the actual direct or indirect object precedes the verb.

Por ejemplo…

Eso lo quiero yo.   That’s what I want.
Eso no lo sé.   That I don’t know.
A las chicas las he visto ayer.   I saw the girls yesterday.
A Pablo le envié flores.   I sent flowers to Pablo.

 This is very common with indirect object pronoun verbs like gustarle.

Por ejemplo…

A Juan le gusta el chocolate.   Juan likes chocolate.
A mí me interesan los animales salvajes.   I’m interested in wild animals.

2. However, when the object follows the verb, repeating the pronoun is usually (optional).

Por ejemplo…

(Le) estoy hablando a mi hermano.   I’m talking to my brother.
(Le) traigo unos libros a la escuela.   I’m taking some books to the school.
Mi idea (le) pareció al profesor la más interesante.   My idea seemed the most interesting to the teacher.
(Le) envié flores a Pablo.   I sent flowers to Pablo.

A + prepositional pronoun

When you have a plus a prepositional pronoun, you also need a direct or indirect object pronoun.

Por ejemplo…

La estoy buscando a ella.   I’m looking for her.
Me dijeron a mí ayer.   They told me yesterday.

 Note that while the object pronoun is required in these two examples, the preposition + pronoun (a ella / a mí) are optional; they’re there for emphasis, such as if someone says ¿Lo estás buscando? (Are you looking for him?) and you answer No, la estoy buscando a ella. (No, I’m looking for her.) If you don’t need that sort of emphasis, you don’t need redundancy – you can just say La estoy buscando.

Le for les

The redundant pronoun les is often replaced by le.

Por ejemplo…

Tóquele a todas las puertas.   Knock on all the doors.
Quiero darle a los niños un regalo.   I want to give the children a gift.

 Related lessons

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Objets reiterados

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