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Indirect Objects and Their Pronouns
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Indirect Objects and Their Pronouns

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  • 1. Indirect Objects and Indirect Object Pronouns (Los complementos indirectos y los pronombres de complemento indirecto) ¿Me puede mostrar los modelos más económicos?
  • 2. An indirect object is almost always a person (occasionally a thing) that is indirectly affected by the action of the verb. Paco gave the book to me. Paco me dio el libro. What did Paco give? The book. That’s our direct object. To whom did Paco give the book? To me. That’s our indirect object. It is important to distinguish direct objects from indirect objects.
  • 3. The indirect object pronouns in Spanish are as follows: me te le nos os les for people mostly for people and sometimes things Notice that the forms of the indirect object pronouns are identical to the direct object pronouns, except for the third- person singular and plural forms. These are used These are used
  • 4. The prepositional forms that often accompany the object pronouns are as follows: me te le nos os les (a mí) (a ti) (a usted) (a él) (a ella) (a nosotros) (a vosotros) (a ustedes) (a ellos) (a ellas) These are mandatory (for clarification or emphasis) (a Juan) (a Marta) etc. (More about this shortly) These are optional
  • 5. An indirect object indicates to or for whom an action is carried out. An indirect object can also be used to indicate from whom something is bought, borrowed, or taken away. In English these relationships are simply expressed with prepositions. I’ll send the book to Alfredo. I’ll buy the book for Alfredo. I’ll take the book from Alfredo.
  • 6. In Spanish, the to, for, and from relationships are all expressed with an indirect object pronoun and the single preposition a. The verb, then, or the situational context will clarify whether a represents to, for, or from. Le voy a mandar el libro a Alfredo. Le voy a comprar el libro a Alfredo. Le voy a quitar el libro a Alfredo. The repetition of Le with a Alfredo may seem redundant, but Spanish grammar requires the co-occurrence of the indirect object pronoun and the indirect object itself, unless the latter has already been established in the conversation or is understood. to send to to buy for (or from, depending on context) to take away from
  • 7. Notice the following example: ¿Alfredo quiere leer los cuentos? Sí, le voy a mandar el libro. Since the question establishes that Alfredo is the one being referred to, a Alfredo is omitted in the answer. Does Alfredo want to read the stories? Yes, I’m going to send the book to him.
  • 8. Clarification and Emphasis ¿A quién le vas a mandar el libro? Le voy a mandar el libro a Alfredo. The pronouns le and les are ambiguous since they can refer to many different individuals or groups, respectively; thus, the prepositional forms are used to clarify. Notice the following exchange: To whom are you going to send the book? I’m going to send the book to Alfredo. An answer such as Le voy a mandar el libro would obviously not be sufficient.
  • 9. Voy a mandar el libro a Alfredo. . . . is considered ungrammatical. . . . proper Spanish requires the use of the indirect object pronoun. Le voy a mandar el libro a Alfredo. In this case, for instance, le must co-occur with a Alfredo. Clarification and Emphasis Some might then logically ask “Why not just say Voy a mandar el libro a Alfredo.” But . . .
  • 10. Tanto Alfredo como Isabel quieren leer el libro. ¿A quién le vas a mandar el libro primero? Clarification and Emphasis Prepositional forms are also used to emphasize. Notice the following exchange. Both Alfredo and Isabel want to read the book. Who are you going to send it to first? Primero le voy a mandar el libro a él (a Alfredo). First I’m going to send the book to him (to Alfredo). Again, an answer such as Primero le voy a mandar el libro would not be sufficient.
  • 11. The indirect object pronoun is normally not used, however, when the indirect object is considered corporate, as opposed to personal. Omission of the indirect object pronoun Voy a mandar el libro a la biblioteca. I’m going to send the book to the library. Donamos dinero a la Cruz Roja. We donate money to the Red Cross.
  • 12. Indirect object pronouns, like all object pronouns, come in front of the conjugated verb . . . . . . or after and attached to an infinitive . . . Le voy a mandar el libro a Alfredo. Voy a mandarle el libro a Alfredo. . . . or a gerund. Estoy mandándole el libro a Alfredo.
  • 13. As mentioned, occasionally a thing can be expressed as an indirect object. They’re going to put a new engine in the car. Van a ponerle un motor nuevo al coche. Think of the installation of the new engine as an action that is being carried out on the car.
  • 14. Remember that the indirect object pronoun in Spanish can represent (at least) three different relationships. Paco gave the book to me. Paco me dio el libro (a mí). Paco took the book from me. Paco me quitó el libro (a mí). Paco bought the book for me. Paco me compró el libro (a mí). All three—to, from and for— are represented by the single preposition a in Spanish.
  • 15. FIN

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