Placement of the pronouns
Now we go over the most difficult part of the pronouns: the placement.
There are several scenarios whereby the placement of indirect object pronouns will change, depending on the form of the action verb in the sentence.
1) Indirect Object Pronoun + A Conjugated Verb
When the main verb is conjugated, we can only use the pronoun before the verb
- Pronoun + conjugated verb
- My son gave me a beautiful dress – Mi hijo me regaló un vestido hermoso
- I will buy the house, it is an incredible offer – Les compraré la casa, es una oferta increíble
2) Indirect Object Pronoun + Infinitive Verb
Normally, when there is an infinitive verb in the sentence, it is preceded by a conjugated verb. You need to be careful not to confuse this with the previous scenario (conjugated verbs).
In this case, we have two options.
We can place the pronoun before the conjugated verb, or after the infinitive verb.
- Pronoun + conjugated verb + infinitive verb
- Conjugated verb + infinitive verb + pronoun
For example, we can translate the below sentence both ways and the meaning will be the exact same.
English: Do you want to help us with homework?
- Nos quieren ayudar con la tarea?
- Quieren ayudarnos con la tarea?
3) Indirect Object Pronoun + Progressive Verb
Similar to the previous one, this one normally works with two verbs, one conjugated and the other verb in its progressive form
In this case, we can put the pronoun before the conjugated verb or after the progressive verb
- Pronoun + conjugated verb + progressive verb
- Conjugated verb + progressive verb + pronoun
Once again, the below sentence could be translated in two different ways without changing the meaning.
English: They are doing us a great favor
- Nos están haciendo un gran favor
- Están haciéndonos un gran favor
4) Indirect Object Pronoun + Imperatives
For commands, we use the imperative mode and can add pronouns after the verb:
Verb (imperative) + pronoun
- Give us the report before noon please – Entréganos el reporte antes del mediodía por favor
- Remind me to buy food for the dog – Recuérdame comprar comida para el perro
5) Indirect Object Pronoun In The Negative Form
This form is relatively straight-forward.
No + indirect object + verb
- Do not do this to us – No nos hagas esto
- Daniela did not tell them anything about the meeting – Daniela no les dijo nada sobre la reunión
- They are not doing well – Ellas no lo están haciendo bien
- She hasn’t written to him in months- Ella no le ha escrito en meses