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Indirect object pronourns

I just don't get Spanish indirect object pronouns and the explanation just is not sufficient. The verb tenses seem all wrong! Can anyone help me with this?

April 15, 2013



Moving this thread to the Spanish discussion where more people will be able to jump in :)


I should have said 'indirect object pronouns' - but the query remains/


Hi, Arthurva; I'm Spanish, so let's see if I can help. The basic thing to remember is the verb needs to agree in both number and gender with the subject, NOT the indirect object pronoun. An example:

Juan [nos] da el libro. (Juan gives (dar) [us] the book (el libro))

JUAN (Subject / who) NOS (I.O / whom) DA (Verb) EL LIBRO (D.O. / what)

The verb "dar" is here "da" because it's 3rd person, singular (Juan = he).

If the problem is with not shown subjects as in:

Nos da el libro.

The verb doesn't agree with anything because the subject isn't shown (it's usual in Spanish), but that's precisely how we know who gives us the book, since the verbal form shows it's a 3rd person singular, so we can save the "(s)he/it" and understand it anyway.

Is that what you were asking? Hope it was useful and clear, but feel free to ask again if it isn't, I'll see what I can do ;]


Many thanks Babella! Maybe you could also help me with these ones I have a problem with - they come from the Duolingo tests as do the answers - ?no te gusta el arroz? - Do you not like rice? The subject is ' you' so the verb should be gustas ... so why is it gusta? Another example is No me gusta un verano - I do not like the summer. The subject is 'I', so the verb should be gusto, but it is gusta. and finally, - A quien no le gustan los sabados - Who does not like saturdays. 'quien' is the subject and is singular ... not sure which person - but gustan is 3 rd person plural. This kind of thing totally mystifies me. Your kind help would be much appreciated!!!! Many thanks!!


You're welcome! I'm glad it helped :]

About the examples you mention, as you see they all use the verb "gustar" (like) and this verb works in a different way (same as some others*). In this case the subject isn't the person as we usually think, but the thing that provokes the action. Example: in "no me gusta el verano", I 'receive' the dislike that 'the summer' provokes.

As long as you use "gustar" in its basic composition (person + gustar + thing), you'll only need to use the verb's 3rd person (because it agrees with "it" (the thing)). "Me gustan las manzanas" (I like apples), "les gusta el chocolate" (they like chocolate), "┬┐os gusta la fruta?" (do you like fruit?). So you just need to see if the thing that is liked is singular or plural (and then the tense, of course).

*Such as "encantar" (love (liking a lot)), "faltar" (lack), "quedar" (remain), "parecer" (seem), "doler" (hurt), "aburrir" (bore), etc.


Many thanks, Babella!! That is really fabulous and does explain it - even though it is weird! I guess its just an exception I have to learn to work with. I appreciate your effort and time to explain this.


You're welcome, Arthurva :] It's a bit weird indeed, but I'm sure you'll do it naturally with time and practice. Good luck!

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