Direct Object Pronouns: Part II


  1. The written lesson is below.
  2. Links to quizzes, tests, etc. are to the left.


Remember, a direct object receives the action of the verb.

Bill hit the ball.
“Ball” receives the action of the verb “hit.”

Sherry reads the book.
“Book” receives the action of the verb “reads.”

And, the direct object can also be a person.

Sherry hit Bill.

Also, the direct object answers the question “what?” or “whom?” with regard to what the subject of the sentence is doing.

Bill hit the ball.
Bill hit what? The ball.

Sherry hit Bill.
Sherry hit whom? Bill.

Often, it is desirable to replace the name of the direct object with a pronoun.

Example 1

Paul bought the flowers. He took the flowers home and gave the flowers to his wife.

Example 2

Paul bought the flowers. He took them home and gave them to his wife.

When the pronoun replaces the name of the direct object, use the following pronouns:

me (me)
te (you-familiar)
lo, la (him, her, it, you-formal)

nos (us)
os (you-all-familiar)
los, las (them, you-all-formal)

In a negative sentence with one verb, the direct object pronoun is placed between the negative word and the conjugated verb.

Affirmative Sentence

I buy the books.
Compro los libros.
Los compro. (I buy them.)

Negative Sentence

I don’t buy the books.
No compro los libros.
No los compro. (I don’t buy them.)

Compare the following affirmative statements with their negative counterparts.

Los compras.
No los compras.

Guadalupe siempre lo estudia.
Guadalupe nunca lo estudia.

Ellos nos conocen.
Ellos no nos conocen.

Remember, don’t try to translate word-for-word. Instead, think in terms of phrases, or concepts. For example, the sentence “No los compras” contains two concepts:

  1. los compras (you buy them)
  2. no (makes the whole sentence negative)