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How to Use Direct Object Pronouns in Spanish

Here you will learn about how Spaniards use direct object pronouns.

You will find a list of examples with audio to help you better understand the concepts and to practice your listening skills. In addition, we provide a list of links where you will be able to practice the concepts explained here.

Let’s get started!

NOTICE: some of the links in this posts are affiliate links. If you purchase something, I will receive a commission. However, your purchase price will remain unchanged.

What are Direct Object Pronouns?

Firstly, we will start defining what a direct object is.

A direct object is the noun (what or who(m)) that receives the action of the verb.

  • Veo el libro. → I see the book.
  • Susana compra flores. → Susana buys flowers.
  • Llamamos a María. → We call María.

Then, a direct object pronoun is a pronoun that replaces the direct object. By doing so, you avoid unnecessary repetitions of the direct object (the noun).

Additionally, the pronouns agree in number (singular, plural) and gender (feminine, masculine) of the noun they replace.

Here is a list with all the direct object pronouns and their equivalence in English.


You (informal)
It (masculine)
You (formal, masculine)
It (feminine)
You (formal, feminine)
You all (informal, Spain)
Them (masculine)
You all (formal, masculine)
Them (feminine)
You all (formal, feminine)

How do Direct Object Pronouns Work?

A direct object pronoun can refer to a thing, a person or a noun phrase.


When the pronoun refers to a thing, we are answering to the following question: what does receive the action of the verb?

  • Vemos una película. → We see a movie.
    • La vemos. → We see it.
  • Pedro conduce un coche. → Pedro drives a car.
    • Pedro lo conduce. → Pedro drives it.


On the other hand, when the pronoun refers to a person (or a pet), we are answering to next question: Who(m) does receive the action of the verb?

When the direct object refer to a specific person (or pet), we use the personal a.

  • Abrazaron a Ana. → They hug Ana.
    • La abrazaon. → They hug her.
  • Juan acaricia a su perro. → Juan pets his dog.
    • Juan lo acaricia. → Juan pets it.

In Spain, it is very common to use the pronouns le and les instead of lo/la/los/las when referring to people.

Mainly, this happens when the direct object refers to a male person (le instead of lo).

If you are interested about this topic, we wrote an article about it.


Unlike the previous cases, a noun phrase just use more words.

  • El tornado destruyó el edificio que está cerca del río. → The tornado destroyed the building that is close to the river.
    • El tornado lo destruyó. → The tornado destroyed it.
  • Alfredo tiene el coche de sus sueños. → Alfredo has his dream car.
    • Alfredo lo tiene. → Alfredo has it.

Where are These Pronouns Placed?


In affirmative statements, negative statements, and questions, the direct object pronoun goes before the conjugated verb.

  • Alberto lo dijo. → Alberto said it.
  • ¿Lo dijo Alberto? → Did Alberto say it?
  • Alberto no lo dijo. → Alberto didn´t say it.


With present participles the pronoun can go before the form of estar or attached to the end of the present participle.

  • Nosotros lo estamos enviando. → We are sending it.
  • Nosotros estamos enviándolo. → We are sending it.


In verb + infinitive constructions the pronoun can either go before the first verb or attached to the infinitive.

  • La vamos a enviar en dos días. → We are going to send it in two days.
  • Vamos a enviarla en dos días. → We are going to send it in two days.


With commands, the pronouns gets tacked on the end of the verb in affirmative commands, and placed before the conjugated verb in negative commands.

  • ¡Hazlo ahora! → Do it now!
  • No los toques. → Don´t touch them.

Where to Practice the Direct Object Pronouns

Gap Fill Exercises
Oral Practice
Written Practice

Final Thoughts

I hope this post helps you understand direct object pronouns in Spanish.

I advise you to practice with the examples here and try to make up some on your own. Also, practice with the exercises that you will find in the links mentioned above.

If you want, I can help you practice with these tenses by using them while having a conversation during our online Spanish conversation classes.

Also, we can practice in the comment section below by answering the following questions and filling the blank spaces :

  • ¿Tienes una casa en la playa?
    • Sí, ___ tengo.
    • No, no ___ tengo.
  • ¿Estás enviando un documento?
    • Sí, ___ estoy enviando.
    • No, no estoy enviándo___.
  • La mesa está sucia. ¡Límpia___!

Hola and hi, I am Inés and I am the author of all the posts in the ConvoSpanish blog. My goal is to offer free content for people to practice their Spanish. Creating and maintaining the blog takes a lot of my free time however, due to my love of sharing Spanish with you, I will keep adding and updating the content in the blog. If you like the content of this post and believe that it helps you, please consider donating. I need coffee to keep me going while creating the posts. Aren´t they worth at least a cup of coffee? 😛 Any amount is appreciated. Donations will be used to support the free blog.

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