Indirect Object Pronoun Verbs

Verbos con objetos indirectos
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Verbos afectivos

There are a couple dozen Spanish verbs which must be conjugated with an indirect object pronoun. This grammatical construction does not exist in English, but it’s not difficult once you get used to it.

Por ejemplo…

Me gusta esta canción.   I like this song.
Nos falta un coche.   We don’t have a car.

Verbs that require indirect object pronoun

 Note: le represents the pronoun with the infinitive.

aburrirle   to bore
apasionarle   to be passionate about
bastarle   to be sufficient
caerle bien
caerle mal
  to like (someone)
to dislike (someone)
chiflarle   to really like
convenirle   to suit, be good for
costarle   to be difficult
darle asco   to disgust
disgustarle   to disgust
dolerle   to be painful
encantarle   to love something
engancharle   to get hooked by/on
entretenerle   to entertain
entusiasmarle   to be excited about something
faltarle   to be missing something, to not have
fascinarle   to fascinate, to be fascinated by
gustarle   to like
hacerle falta   to need something
importarle   to care about something, to mind
interesarle   to be interested in
molestarle   to bother
parecerle   to see
picarle   to itch
preocuparle   to be worried about
quedarle   to have something left
sobrarle   to have more than enough of something
tocarle   to be one’s turn
volverle loco   to really like, be driven wild

How do these Spanish verbs work?

  1. The indirect object precedes the verb.
  2. The verb can only be conjugated in the third person singular or plural, depending on the grammatical number of the subject which follows.
  3. In negatives, no precedes the indirect object pronoun.

For example: "I care about school." School is singular, so the verb, importar, will be in the third person singular, and we end up with Me importa la escuela (literally "School is important to me").

In the sentence "I like books," the subject is plural, so the verb will be conjugated in the third person plural: Me gustan los libros (literally "Books are liking to me").

"I don’t like books" = No me gustan los libros.

Indirect object pronoun verbs can also be used with an infinitive as the subject.

Por ejemplo…

Nos gusta leer.   We like to read.
No nos gusta leer.   We like to read.

Indirect object pronoun verb conjugations

gustarle – to like
me gusta el libro.    me gustan los libros.
te gusta el libro. te gustan los libros.
le gusta el libro. le gustan los libros.
nos  gusta el libro.   nos gustan los libros.
os gusta el libro.   os gustan los libros.
les gusta el libro.   les gustan los libros.

 Note: Le can refer to him, her, it, or you (Ud.) and les can refer to them or you (Uds.), so to clarify, you can add a + person at the beginning of the sentence:

A él le gusta el arte.   He likes art.
A Ana le quedan 100 pesos.   Ana has 100 pesos left.
A ellos les entusiasma viajar.   They are excited about traveling.

 Remember that the preposition a must be used whenever a verb is followed by a person – learn more.

More about Spanish indirect object pronoun verbs

Spanish quiz Indirect Object Verb Quizzes

Think you’ve got it? Test yourself on verbos afectivos:

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Spanish indirect object pronoun verbs

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