A direct object pronoun directly receives the action of the verb. It answers whom/chi or what/cosa.
- Cosa mangi? Mangio il pane. Lo mangio.
- Chi ami? Amo te. Ti amo.
An indirect object pronoun indirectly receives the action ;) and answers to whom/a chi?
- Chi piace a Marco? La ragazza piace a Marco. Lei gli piace.
- A chi scrivi? Scrivo a mia madre. Le scrivo.
There are two pieces of good news. 1) the difference between IOP and DOP is only third person, and 2) often you can figure out which is which by doing an a preposition check:
- Le scrivo una lettera / Scrivo una lettera a lei / IOP
In this case in particular you'll notice that Let's watch him! / DOP / Guardiamolo! So if gli means the action is being indirectly received, what does that mean? There isn't really an equivalent of this in English, but in Italian you could also say Guardiamo dentro casa sua! Guardiamo dentro la sua casa! Here are a few more to help clarify:
- Guardiamogli negli occhi / Let's look in his eyes
- Guardiamogli nelle tasche / Let's look in his pockets
- Guardiamogli la ferita / Let's look at his wound
Hope this was somewhat useful. In the meantime, we'll work on making more helpful exercises for all of you :)
Thanks so much -I think this was confusing a lot of people, myself included! I have put the link in the Italian FAQ thread.
Are they watching him or his house? Or are they watching him from inside their (the watchers') house. How am I supposed to know?
This sentence is very confusing.
Direct object pronouns, indirect object pronouns, and reflexive pronouns, when used with the affirmative imperative (the same is with participle and gerund) , are attached to the end of the verb to form one word. The only exception is loro, which is always separate.
My train of thought:
guardiamogli = guardiamo + gli (indirect object pronoun) = let's look + a lui/a loro = let's look at him/ at them
So my final translation would be "Let's look at him/at them inside the house"
So I made couple of mistakes in my reasoning. :)
- guardare = to look at
- Since "guardiamo" and "gli" are joined together even if I am well aware that "gli" is an indirect object pronoun I was still perceiving it like it was directly receiving the action of the verb (like a direct object pronoun)