Double Object Pronouns  

Double Object Pronouns

The term “double object pronoun” refers to using direct and indirect object pronouns together. All the possible combinations of double object pronouns are shown in the table below:

me lo (la, los, las) - - nos lo (la, los, las)

te lo (la, los, las) - - os lo (la, los, las)

se lo (la, los, las) - - se lo (la, los, las)

Juan le compró la pizza a Betty.
John bought the pizza for Betty.
Juan se la compró.
John bought it for her.
Mi amiga me compra el libro.
My friend buys the book for me.
Mi amiga me lo compra.
My friend buys it for me.
¿A quién le vas a regalar el libro?
To whom are you going to give the book?
Se lo voy a regalar a mi hermano.
I'm going to give it to my brother.
Theory

We have seen how direct object pronouns work in sentences and we have studied the forms. Let's take a quick look at the chart of the direct object forms to review.
DIRECT OBJECT PRONOUNS

  
ME             me                  US             nos 
YOU            te                  YOU ALL        les
YOU (respect)  le                  THEM (males)   los
HIM            lo                  THEM (females) las
HER            la 

You may remember that we did some practice sentences with these pronouns. We used the verb "ayudar" which means "to help". Let's review some of these patterns to make sure that they are fresh in our minds.

    Mary is going to help me.
    I hope that helps me.
    Mary, can you help me?
    Mary, I want you to help me.
    John, I can help you.
    John, Mary says that she is going to help you.
    I don't know if Mary can help John.
    Do you know if Mary can help him?
    Mary says that she wants John to help her.
    Mary wants you to help her.
    I am going to help Mrs. Garciiia.
    Mrs. Garciiia wants me to help her.
    John helped her.
    Mrs. Garciiia was hoping that John would help her.
    Mr. Garciiia says that he wants you to help him.

We also have studied sentences with indirect object pronouns. These are the pronouns that we use when we say that something is being transferred to someone else. For example, if someone says, "John is lending her the money", we really mean, "John is lending the money to her". John is not lending her, he is lending the money. The direct object is what he is lending. The indirect object tells us who the money is being transfered to.

Here is the chart of the indirect object pronouns. Notice that there are only five of them, while there were nine direct object pronouns. That is because two of the indirect object forms have more than one meaning.

INDIRECT OBJECT PRONOUNS

TO ME                                            me 
TO YOU                                           te 
TO YOU (sir/madam), TO HIM, TO HER               le 
TO US                                            nos 
TO YOU ALL, TO THEM (males), TO THEM (females)   les 

Let's review some sentences using indirect object pronouns to make sure that they are fresh in our mind.

    Mary is going to lend me the money.
    John wants you to lend him the money.
    John, I am going to lend you the money.
    Mary didn't lend him the money.
    I hope that Mary lends us the money.
    We want Mary to lend us the money.
    The boys want us to lend them the money.
    I don't know if we can lend them the money.
    I think that we are going to lend them the money.
    Do you know if Mary is going to lend them the money?

The direct pronoun "lo" which we use for "him" can also be used for "it" when we replace an "O" category verb. The pronoun "la" which means "her" can also be used for "it", but we use it in place of an "A" category verb. Keeping this in mind, we could have a sentence in which both the indirect object and the direct object are pronouns, ("...lend it to her"). Remember that we place object pronouns in front of the verb (single word or phrase). If we have both a direct object pronoun and an indirect object pronoun and both have to be in front of the verb, there must be a sequence. One has to come before the other. In Spanish, the indirect object pronoun always comes first, followed by the direct object pronoun. In other words, we would not say, "she is lending it to me", but rather, "she to me it is lending".

Let's see how this would work in a sentence in Spanish. Suppose that we want to say that Mary is lending me the money. We would have the following:

  • Mariiia me presta el dinero.

Now we want to take out "el dinero" and substitute the word "it" for the direct object. Since "dinero" is an "O" noun, the word for "it" in this case will be "lo".

  • Mariiia me lo presta.

Notice that the indirect object pronoun "me" ("to me") comes before the word "lo" ("it"). If we were substituting for a noun of the "A" category, we would have used "la".




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