Unit 5.2

Indirect Complement Pronouns

Contributors

Introduction

Pronouns [pronombres] are words that replace nouns (people, animals, facts or things) to avoid repetition.

Indirect complement pronouns (IC) [pronombres de complemento indirecto (CI)] do not refer to the subject, and they serve to replace the indirect complement in the sentence.

Form

The indirect complement (IC) pronouns have the following forms:

Pronombre personal Pronombre de CI
Yo me
te
Él/Ella/Usted le*
Nosotros/-as nos
Vosotros/-as os
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes les*

* The IC pronouns le and les, placed before the CD unstressed pronouns lo, la, los and las, become se:

  • Le la escribo. ⇒ Se la escribo;
  • Le las traigo.Se las traigo.

Indirect complement (IC) pronouns have the following characteristics:

  • some of the IC pronouns are invariable, and some are variable:
    • invariable forms (1st and 2nd person forms) are me, te, nos and os;
    • the variable forms in number only (3rd person forms) are le (sing.) and les (pl.);
  • they are used to replace the IC of the sentence in order not to repeat the noun;
  • they are placed before the verb in the indicative, subjunctive and negative imperative and after the affirmative imperative, infinitive and gerund (in which case they form one word);
  • the position of the IC pronoun is variable in the most common periphrases, e.g., ir a + infinitive (voy a escribirle / le voy a escribir);
  • IC atonic pronouns are preferred to tonic pronouns (le escribo × escribo a ella);
  • they are used with verbs such as gustar, doler, encantar and interesar;
  • they must be used even when the IC appears in the sentence explicitly as a noun (le escribo a María);
  • If we want to specify the gender of the IC, we must also use the IC tonic pronoun (le escribo a ella).

Examples

  • Me dijo “hola” cuando éramos vecinos;
  • Me puse las lentillas para escribirte mejor la citación para tu exmujer;
  • Os estoy enviando / Estoy enviándoos la invitación para la fiesta de cumpleaños;
  • Él le dio el regalo y ella se lo dio a él. Luego nosotros les dimos los regalos a ambos y ellos nos los dieron a nosotros;
  • Las jóvenes les dieron un abrazo a sus mamás y sus mamás se lo dieron a ellas;
  • Tu cita te está esperando, pero no le des dos besos. Dale uno, que es extranjero.

Use

Indirect complement (IC) pronouns refer to a person, animal or thing known or mentioned.

IC pronouns with the verbs interesar and encantar have predicate function (meaning of semantic experiencer) but not subject position.

Summary

Indirect object pronouns (IC) can be used instead of the indirect object and do not refer to the subject. They answer the questions ¿A quién/qué? and ¿Para quién? and are usually used with verbs such as gustar, parecer, encantar …

In Spanish, when a pronoun lo immendiately follows the IC pronoun (le or les), la, los or las as a direct object, the first pronoun is replaced by se.

For example:
— «¿Le compraste un perrito a Ana? -No, le compré un gatito» Le replaces Ana to avoid repetition;
— «Le mandé una carta a David. Se la mandé ayer» = Se replaces David  to avoid repetition;

Check the contents of the {Form} section. Then move on the {Example} sections, which shows you the usage in context.

Related

Pronouns are words that replace nouns to avoid repetition. Direct complement pronouns stand-in for the direct object in the sentence. Indirect object pronouns are used to replace the indirect object in the sentece.

Exercises


The exercises are not created yet. If you would like to get involve with their creation, be a contributor.



Translations

This book is available in:
Español (original) | français | Italiano | Polskie

Contributors

License