Position of direct and indirect object pronouns with infinitive/gerund and affirmative commands

When there are direct and indirect object pronouns in a sentence with a conjugated verb that is followed by an infinitive or a gerund, the position of the pronouns can be:

  • In front of the verb structure. 

¿Todavía no has recibido la carta? Seguro que ella la va a escribir mañana.
Have you not received the letter yet? I am sure she'll write it tomorrow.

¿Estás cantando tu canción favorita? Sí, la estoy cantando.
Are you singing your favourite song? Yes, I am singing it.

  • Right after the infinitive/gerund and connected to it.

¿Todavía no has recibido la cartaSeguro que ella va a escribirla mañana.
Have you not received the letter yet? I'm sure she'll write it tomorrow.

¿Estas cantando tu canción favorita? - Sí, estoy cantándola.
Are you singing your favorite song? - Yes, I'm singing it.

Look at these other examples:

Es el cumpleaños de Joaquín. Tengo que enviarle una tarjeta.
It is Joaquín's birthday. I have to send him a card.

Es el cumpleaños de Joaquín. Le tengo que enviar una tarjeta.
It is Joaquín's birthday. I have to send him a card.

Rafa y Luis son simpáticos. Quiero invitarles a mi fiesta.
Rafa and Luis are nice. I want to invite them to my party.

Rafa y Luis son simpáticos. Les quiero invitar a mi fiesta.
Rafa and Luis are nice. I want to invite them to my party.

Affirmative commands

When there are direct and indirect object pronouns in a sentence with an affirmative command the pronouns must be placed right after the command and connected to it. It cannot be placed in front.

Read and listen to these examples:

Los filetes están listos. ¡Cómanlos ahora mismo!
The steaks are ready. Eat them now!

¿Quieres que lleve los libros? -Sí, traelos por favor.
Do you want me to take the books? -Yes, please bring them.

¡Dame las llaves!
Give me the keys!

Muéstrale el camino.
Show him the way.

Remember that there are sentences which have more than one object pronoun. In these cases, the indirect pronoun must be placed first, and the direct pronoun after, not the other way around. Both pronouns must be together.

Here are some more examples:

Quiere comprárselos.
She wants to buy them for him.

Se los quiere comprar.
She wants to buy them for him.

¡Cómpraselos!
Buy them for him!

Los quiere comprar se.

Examples and resources

Rafa y Luis son simpáticos. Les quiero invitar a mi fiesta.
Rafa and Luis are nice. I want to invite them to my party.


- ¿Quieres comprar un regalo? -Si, lo quiero comprar.
- Do you want to buy a present? - Yes, I want to buy one.


Se los quiere comprar.
She wants to buy them for him.


¿Estás cantando tu canción favorita? Sí, la estoy cantando.
Are you singing your favourite song? Yes, I am singing it.


¿Estas cantando tu canción favorita? - Sí, estoy cantándola.
Are you singing your favorite song? - Yes, I'm singing it.


¿Todavía no has recibido la cartaSeguro que ella va a escribirla mañana.
Have you not received the letter yet? I'm sure she'll write it tomorrow.


Quiere comprárselos.
She wants to buy them for him.


¿Todavía no has recibido la carta? Seguro que ella la va a escribir mañana.
Have you not received the letter yet? I am sure she'll write it tomorrow.


Muéstrale el camino.
Show him the way.


- ¿Ves a las chicas? - No, no las veo.
- Do you see the girls? - No, I do not see them.


Rafa y Luis son simpáticos. Quiero invitarles a mi fiesta.
Rafa and Luis are nice. I want to invite them to my party.


Los filetes están listos. ¡Cómanlos ahora mismo!
The steaks are ready. Eat them now!


¡Dame las llaves!
Give me the keys!


Es el cumpleaños de Joaquín. Le tengo que enviar una tarjeta.
It is Joaquín's birthday. I have to send him a card.


Adela, pásame la foto, necesito pegarla en el álbum.
Adela, pass me the photo, I need to paste it in the album.


¡Cómpraselos!
Buy them for him!


¿Quieres que lleve los libros? -Sí, traelos por favor.
Do you want me to take the books? -Yes, please bring them.


Es el cumpleaños de Joaquín. Tengo que enviarle una tarjeta.
It is Joaquín's birthday. I have to send him a card.


Q&A

Les

Kwiziq community member

19 July 2018

2 replies

Request vs command and pronoun order

in the micro quiz, the option of “por favor Marta, les trae unas copas de vino” is considered incorrect. However, it could be a request rather than a command, using a more formal 3rd person Ud form, for example, where Marta is an older person than the speaker. I consider this option as possibly correct, and certainly NOT incorrect - it just doesn’t fit with the lesson very well, but that doesn’t make it wrong.

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

20 July 2018

20/07/18

Buenos días Les,

Either as a command or a formal request, you still need to place the pronoun right after the verb (as one word), so the two possible answers for this question "Please Marta, bring them some glasses of wine",

1. Por favor Marta, traeles unas copas de vino.

2. Por favor Marta, tráigales unas copas de vino.

Un saludo

Inma

Les

Kwiziq community member

20 July 2018

20/07/18

Thank you.
Thinking...