Indirect and Direct Object Pronouns Posted by Bridgette on Jun 28, 2020 in Grammar
Oh, pronouns! Last week we saw them in certain expressions. This week, let’s take a look at indirect and direct object pronouns in more detail.
Learning these little important tidbits in any language always seems to be a bit of a pain, and in Italian it’s no different. But without them we would sound repetitive and strange! So here is a quick explanation:
Indirect Object Pronouns
IDOPs will be used to answer the question “to whom?” or “for whom?”
We will see these IDOPs with verbs that take the preposition ‘a’ in Italian. You will see that some verbs take an IDOP in Italian even though in English the verb is direct.*
Let’s see some of these common IDOP verbs:
Scrivere a qualcuno – to write to someone
*Dare a qualcuno – to give to someone
*Telefonare a qualcuno – to call to someone
Mandare a qualcuno – to send to someone
Portare a qualcuno – to bring to someone
*Domandare a qualcuno – to ask to someone
Dire a qualcuno – to say to someone
Parlare a qualcuno – to speak to someone
**Piacere a qualcuno – to like [be pleasing] to someone (Italians say that is liking [pleasing] to me.)
Here are the IDOPs:
Mi piace giocare – I like to play (Literally, playing is pleasing to me)
Mi piaci – I like you (you are pleasing to me)
Le scrivo una lettera – I am writing a letter to her.
Ci domandi qualcosa? – Are you asking (to) us something?
*Non gli parlo – I’m not speaking to them
*Non parlo loro – I’m not speaking to them
* In the third person plural form, there are two possibilities as seen in the example above. You could either use “gli” and put it before the verb, or use “loro” and put it after the verb.
Direct Object Pronouns
DOPs answer the question “who?” and “what?” These are used with verbs that do not take the preposition ‘a’ in Italian.
Some verbs that take direct object pronouns In Italian, that are actually indirect in English:
Ascoltare – to listen to
Aspettare – to wait for
Cercare – to search for
Guardare – to look at
Notice there is no need for the preposition in Italian! Below you will find the complete list of DOPs and then some examples:
Mi ascolti? – Are you listening (to) me?
Lo aspetto – I am waiting (for) him
Li cerchiamo – We are looking (for) them
Mi invita – He is inviting me
Lo compro – I’m buying it
Double Object Pronouns
In sentences where you need to use both a direct and indirect object pronoun, these pronouns will combine and slightly change. Essentially, the vowel in mi, ti, ci, vi changes from ‘i’ to an ‘e’, and then in the gli form an ‘e’ is added and the pronouns are combined into one word.
Check out the table below to see the combinations:
Me lo prenderesti? – Would you loan it to me?
Glielo scrivo – I’m writing it to him
Ve li domandiamo – We ask it to all of you
Would you like to practice? Check out this link for some indirect, direct, and combined object pronoun practice! Let me know how it goes in the comments below!