Let’s see first the difference between both types of objects we were talking about:

  • A Direct Object receives the action of the verb
  • An Indirect Object is who/whom/what the action of the verb is being done for.

Confused? Let’s take a simple sentence.

  • I want to buy flowers for my girlfriend – Quiero comprar flores para mi novia

In this sentence:

  • The action verb is “to buy”,
  • The direct object would be “the flowers”, since that’s we what we are buying
  • The indirect object is “my girlfriend”, since the action is being done for her

A shortcut to easily remembering this is by knowing that in Spanish an indirect object will always be preceded by prepositions like “a” and “para, as the action is intended for someone or something else.

Using the above example, we can replace the indirect object (the girlfriend) with the proper pronoun that we will learn in the next lessons:

  • I want to buy her flowers – Quiero comprarle flores

We can also replace the direct object (the flowers) with the proper pronoun:

  • I want to buy them for my girlfriend – Quiero comprarlas para mi novia

And, obviously, we can replace both objects with the proper pronouns:

  • I want to buy them for her – Quiero comprarselas