What’s loísmo laísmo leísmo?

January 2, 2017

I think there are a lot of people thinking direct and indirect object pronouns are confusing because they look similar. But, in some Spanish speaking countries actually prefer one to the other, and it is called loísmo/laísmo or leísmo.

Loísmo/laísmo means to use “lo” or “la” where it has to be “le”. For instance, usually, it has to be “le hablé anoche” but they would say “lo hablé anoche“. Grammatically speaking, using an indirect object pronoun would be correct, but they still use a direct object pronoun for a logical reason. They are not using it wrong, but they use it to give listener more detailed information about the object of the sentence.

For example, Le hablé anoche. could mean 3 things. Either “I talked with him” or “I talked with her” or “I talked with you”, since her, him and you are all le in their pronoun form.

However, using direct object pronouns make the object a little more obvious, and easier to tell.

Lo hablé anoche. I talked with him/you.

La hable anoche. I talked with her/you.

On contrary to loísmo/laísmo, there is a tendency to use le “leísmo”. It is mainly used in Spain.