Indirect Object pronouns in Spanish

In both English and Spanish, verbs can take both direct and indirect objects. You learned in [insert link to lesson 30 here] that direct objects are the recipients of the verb's actions. Indirect objects are the people affected by the action without being directly acted upon. In a sentence like "I gave her a gift," gift is the direct object because it is what is being given. "Her" is the indirect object because it is affected by the direct object indirectly. Sometimes this is communicated in English by using prepositions, as in "I baked cookies for her" or "I sent a package to them."

Here are the indirect object pronouns and their English equivalents:
Me [me]
Te [you]
Le [him/her/you formal]
Nos [us]
Os [you all formal]
Les [them/you all formal]

You may have noticed that, except for le and les, these are the same as the direct object pronouns. Spanish speakers are able to understand the differences in context by understanding who or what the pronouns are referring to. As with direct object pronouns, indirect object pronouns are placed before the verb.

Examples:
Luis me da flores. [Luis gives me flowers.]
Luis te da flores. [Luis gives you flowers.]
*Luis le da flores. [Luis gives him/her/you flowers]
Luis nos da flores. [Luis gives us flowers.]
Luis os da flores. [Luis give you all flowers.]
*Luis les da flores. [Luis gives them/you all flowers.]

*To clarify sentences like these, sometimes "a + subject pronoun/name" will be added to the end of the sentence.
Examples:
Luis le da flores a él. [Luis gives him flowers.]
Luis le da flores a María. [Luis give Maria flowers.]
Luis le da flores a ustedes. [Luis gives you flowers.]
Luis les da flores a sus hermanas. [Luis gives flowers to his sisters.]
Luis les da flores a ustedes. [Luis gives you all flowers.]

Some more examples:
Mis padres no me dan sificiente dinero. [My parents don't give me enough money.]
Su madre le prepara el almuerzo. [His mother makes him lunch.]
Luis les da agua a los flores. [Luis gives water to the flowers.]
Mis abuelos me escribieron una carta. [My grandparents wrote me a letter.]
Le quiero comprar un diamante a mi mujer. [I want to buy a diamond for my wife.]

Related Links:
Direct Object Pronouns in Spanish
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