Mukkapazza has just posted a very helpful explanation under "Guardiamogli in casa!". I have re-posted it here for convenience:
Great brainstorming! 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 :)
Because the concepts flow in a different way to English. "Guardiamo" = let's look (let's watch) "dentro" = inside. "gli" = his....etc. This becomes "Guardiamogli dentro il computer"
thats the first time i've seen 'gli' refer to 'his' as well. Does it mean the same as:
"Guardiamo dentro il suo computer!"
Or is there some difference? Maybe we can't follow 'guardiamo' with 'dentro'?...
I thought the pronouns that got attached to verbs like that were either direct or indirect, yet "his" in this case, is possessive, no? And in Duo's translation, it's attached to the verb, not the computer. (I still don't get it.) But thanks.
A similar sentence construction is used with body parts -e.g. "mi lavo le mani", where the possessive adjective is omitted. However that is a reflexive construction. See this link (scroll down to body parts): http://italian.about.com/od/grammar/a/italian-possessive-adjectives.htm I haven't noticed the above type of construction, but I will take note and ask my teacher!
But the reflexive for this would be guaridamoci, rather than guardiamogli as above
Yes, but it might be a similar example of where you can omit the possessive. I am a bit sceptical myself. I found examples on google of "guardiamogli in bocca", "guardiamole negli occhi", and "guardiamogli dentro la lista" (let's look for him on the list, which is different to the forms here), but no examples like "guardiamogli dentro il computer" and "guardiamogli in casa" in this lesson (translated as "let's look inside his computer/ house"). It would be good if the language experts would comment.