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Basic grammar: Verbs with Two Objects Posted by on Nov 18, 2010 in Spanish Grammar

Some verbs in Spanish can have both direct and indirect objects. Remember that indirect objects always have a preposition. The direct objects are in red, the indirect ones in blue.

Él escribió una carta para mí. – He wrote a letter to me.

When you want to trim the sentence down and say “He wrote it to me” there are some changes.

Él me la escribió. – He wrote it to me.

Notice that the indirect object pronoun comes first, then comes the direct object.

Now see what happens to third persons, both in the singular and plural:

Él le dio una flor a ella. – He gave a flower to her.

If you were to replace a ella with an object pronoun, you’d use le, right?

Él le la dio. – He gave it to her.

But for euphonic reasons, this doesn’t sound good, so in these cases we change le with se and it only happens when both are object pronouns.

Él se la dio. – He gave it to her.
se – a ella (to her)
la – the flower

Some more examples:

Ella le escribió la carta a él/ella. – Ella se la escribió.

Ella les escribió la carta a ellos/ellas. – Ella se la escribió.

Él les escribió las cartas a ellos. – Él se las escribió.

Él compró los DVDs para ella/él. – Él se los compró.

Now let’s practice. Change the following sentences to shorter ones by using object pronouns like the sentences above.

1. Ella le dio un juguete a él. (She gave him a toy.)

2. Hemos comprado este regalo para ti. (We have bought you this gift.)

3. La maestra explicó el problema a las niñas. (The teacher explained the problem to the girls.)

4. El cartero trajo la correspondencia para nosotros. (The mailmain brought us the mail.)

5.  El abuelo les dio los caramelos a ustedes. (Grandpa gave you sweets.)

6. Su madre le compró un vestido a ella. (Her mother bought her a dress.)

7. Ella le prestó el abrigo a Julio. (She loaned Julio her sweater.)

8. Le he contado todo a mi amiga. (I told my friend everything.)

9. Me vendiste tu coche a mí. (You sold your car to me.)

10. No le digas eso a ella. (Don’t say this to her.)

Write your anwers on the comments part! Nos vemos prontito.

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About the Author: Adir

English / Spanish teacher and translator for over 20 years. I have been blogging since 2007 and I am also a professional singer in my spare time.


Comments:

  1. Marketta:

    Thanks for another opportunity to study the double object pronouns. Although I am an intermediate student, mastering double object pronouns has been one of the most difficult gramatical concepts for me to master. The good news is that each time it is presented a little more sinks in. It is finally beginning to “sound” correct. That is the real test of understanding for me.