Redundant Object Pronouns

Objetos reiterados

In Spanish, you will often see an object pronoun, either direct or indirect, used in addition to the actual noun that it would normally replace. This redundant object pronoun may be required or simply stylistic. This lesson explains the general tendencies, 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.

Eso lo quiero yo.   That is what I want.
Eso no lo sé.   That I don’t know.
Dinero lo tengo a montones.   I have tons of money.
A Pablo le envié flores.   I sent flowers to Pablo.

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

(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.

Relative Clauses

Redundant pronouns may be used in relative clauses as a sort of reminder of the direct or indirect object.

Tengo que hacer muchas cosas que no las comprendo.   I have to do a lot of things that I don’t understand.
¿Cómo se llama el niño a quien le cuidas?   What is the name of the boy you are taking care of?

Le for les

The redundant pronoun les is often replaced by le.

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.

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