Reflexive Pronouns VS Direct Object Pronouns VS Indirect Object Pronouns

Reflexive Pronouns and Direct and Indirect Object Pronouns are very similar in their forms, but the 3rd person singular forms are different.

Reflexive PronounsSingularPlural
1st PersonMe myselfNos ourselves
2nd PersonTe yourselfOs yourselves
3rd PersonSe her/himSe themselves

 

Direct Object PronounsSingularPlural
1st PersonMe meNos us
2nd PersonTe youOs you
3rd PersonLo/La her/himLos/Las them

 

Indirect Object PronounsSingularPlural
1st PersonMe meNos us
2nd PersonTe youOs you
3rd PersonLe her/himLes them

Let’s take a look at orders or rules in constructing sentences with 2 different pronouns.

Reflexive pronoun+Direct object pronoun

With these pronouns, a reflexive pronoun comes first, then a direct object pronoun follows.

Me lo pongo.

They also can be placed just after the infinitive or progressive form of a verb.

Me lo estoy poniendo. / Estoy poniéndomelo.

Indirect object pronoun+direct object pronoun

An indirect object pronoun comes first, and a direct object follows.

¿Por qué no me lo dijiste?

When DOP and IOP are used in the same sentence, the order of the pronouns has to be IOP DOP.

¿Por qué no me lo dijiste? Why didn’t you tell me that?

And, you cannot put pronouns aside.

  • Te lo puedo explicar.
  • Puedo explicártelo.

Lo puedo explicarte

X Te puedo explicarlo

 

However, if the 3rd person pronouns are used together, “le/les” has to take “se”.

¿Por qué le lo dijiste?

¿Por qué se lo dijiste?

Why did you tell him that?

 


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