Double Object Sentences

Direct object pronouns and indirect object pronouns are placed in front of the verb. Since it is common to have both an indirect and direct object pronoun in a sentence, they will both be directly in front of the verb. In such sentences, the indirect object pronoun always precedes the direct object pronoun.

When there are direct and indirect object pronouns in the same sentence, follow the formula: the I.O.P. (Indirect Object Pronoun) then the D.O.P. (Direct Object Pronoun. Both precede the conjugated verb.

               Subject + I.O.P + D.O.P + verb + rest of sentence.

In the following examples, the first sentence establishes what the actual direct object of the sentence is, and the second sentence uses a direct object pronoun to replace it. The indirect object is in bold and the direct object is underlined to help you visualize what noun changes into what pronoun and where they are placed in the sentence. Notice that once you change the direct object to a pronoun, you must remove the direct object pronoun based on the formula above. These techniques will help you understand object pronouns.

The use of se


When two object pronouns beginning with the letter l (le, les, la, lo, las, los) are used together, the first pronoun, which is always the I.O.P., changes to se. The following examples tackle this situation. The indirect object is in bold and the direct object is underlined to help you visualize what noun changes into what pronoun and where they are placed in the sentence.

Here's another way to think of it: le and les change to se when placed before lo, la, los, or las.

Adding two object pronouns to verbs

Object pronouns can be attached either to the end of a present participle form of the verb or to the end of an infinitive form of the verb, as well as placed in front of a conjugated form of the verb. If you are using two object pronouns, they will be together wherever you choose to place them.

Adding two pronouns to the end of an infinitive messes up the natural stress and requires you to add an accent mark to the vowel before the final – r of the infinitive. You can add one pronoun to an infinitive without adding an accent, but you must add a written accent if you attach two object pronouns to the end of an infinitive. For example:

You learned earlier that you must add an accent mark to a present participle if even one pronoun is added. Since a present participle ends in a vowel, even one pronoun added to the end will mess up the natural stress. So you must add an accent to the vowel before the – ndo of the gerund if you add either one or two pronouns.

There is always a conjugated verb in every sentence, so you can always put both object pronouns in front of the conjugated form of the verb. Do not, however, place one pronoun in front of the conjugated form of the verb and attach the other object pronoun to the end of an infinitive or present participle.