Practice Makes Perfect: Spanish Pronouns and Prepositions, Premium 3rd Edition (2016)

Part I. PRONOUNS

Chapter 10. Indirect object pronouns

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The indirect object answers the questions “To whom?” and “For whom?” with regard to the verb in a sentence or clause. In other words, the indirect object tells where the direct object is going.

Consider the sentence, “I give you the gift” (OR “I give the gift to you”). The direct object is “the gift,” because this answers the question “What do I give?” The indirect object, then, is “you” because I am giving the gift to“you.” “You” is where the gift is going.

In the sentence “He buys me flowers” (OR “He buys flowers for me”), the direct object is “flowers” (because that is what he buys), and the indirect object is “me” (because I am the one for whom he buys the flowers.)

Indirect object pronouns in Spanish are as follows:

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In a sentence with an indirect object, there is always a direct object, either stated or implied. In the sentence “My grandmother writes me every week,” “me” is the indirect object, because my grandmother is writing something (a note, a letter, a postcard, a text) to me. The direct object is understood.

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In the following sentences, identify the direct and indirect objects and write each object (in English) on the appropriate line, including those cases where the direct object is understood.

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Pronoun placement in affirmative sentences

In Spanish, in an affirmative statement or clause with one verb, the indirect object pronoun immediately precedes the conjugated verb.

In English, however, there are two possibilities for placement of the indirect object pronoun in sentences with one verb: (1) between the verb and the direct object, or (2) in a prepositional phrase following the direct object.

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Complete each sentence with the appropriate indirect object pronoun.

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Traducción

  1I tell him the truth.

_______________________________________________________

  2He doesn’t tell me the truth.

_______________________________________________________

  3We give her the flowers, and she gives us the money.

_______________________________________________________

  4I write them a letter every week.

_______________________________________________________

  5They write to us every month.

_______________________________________________________

  6She sings him a song.

_______________________________________________________

  7John is my assistant (el ayudante), and I tell him everything.

_______________________________________________________

  8I always tell her that she’s pretty.

_______________________________________________________

  9I send them a card (la tarjeta) for their anniversary.

_______________________________________________________

10What do they give you [sing., informal] for your birthday every year?

_______________________________________________________


Pronoun placement in negative sentences

In a negative statement or clause with one verb, the indirect object pronoun is placed between the word “no” (or other term of negation) and the conjugated verb.

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Traducción Unless otherwise indicated, use the second-person singular Spanish form for English you.

  1He doesn’t tell me anything.

_______________________________________________________

  2I don’t tell him anything.

_______________________________________________________

  3They never send him anything because they don’t know his address.

_______________________________________________________

  4I don’t give her money because she never says (to me) “thank you.”

_______________________________________________________

  5The waiter doesn’t sing “Happy Birthday” to you.

_______________________________________________________

  6Why don’t they tell her the truth?

_______________________________________________________

  7Why don’t they buy you [pl., informal] a new laptop?

_______________________________________________________

  8I serve them dinner, but they never thank (dar las gracias) me.

_______________________________________________________

  9If you [pl., formal] don’t ask me questions (hacer preguntas), I don’t tell you lies.

_______________________________________________________

10We don’t lend (prestar) them money.

_______________________________________________________


Pronoun placement in affirmative sentences with two verbs

In a statement or clause that contains two verbs, the first verb is conjugated and the second one remains in the infinitive form. In Spanish, there are two options for placement of the indirect object pronoun:

1. Place the indirect object pronoun immediately before the first verb, which is conjugated.

2. Attach the indirect object pronoun directly to the second verb, which is the infinitive form of the verb.

Note that both options are used in writing and in conversation; however, the second option is used more frequently.

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Complete each sentence with the correct indirect object pronoun attached to the infinitive.

  1. Quiero dar el libro a Jorge.

Quiero ________________ el libro.

  2. Necesitamos decir la verdad a ellos.

Necesitamos ________________ la verdad.

  3. Ella tiene que prestar el dinero a mí.

Ella tiene que ________________ el dinero.

  4. Debéis alquilar (to rent) el barco a ellos.

Debéis ________________ el barco.

  5. Nadie puede decir nada a ti.

Nadie puede ________________ nada.

  6. Prefiero enviar un mensaje de texto a Marta.

Prefiero ________________ un mensaje.

  7. Ellos esperan cantar la canción a vosotros.

Ellos esperan ________________ la canción.

  8. El presidente debe decir la verdad a nosotros.

El presidente debe ________________ la verdad.

  9. La madre necesita mostrar el amor a su niño.

La madre necesita ________________ el amor.

10. Un cómico puede contar chistes (jokes) a nosotros.

Un cómico puede ________________ chistes.

11. El arquitecto va a diseñar una casa para mí.

El arquitecto va a ________________ una casa.

12. Voy a preparar paella para ustedes.

Voy a ________________ paella.

13. Voy a decir mi nombre a ellos.

Voy a ________________ mi nombre.

14. Juan sólo puede vender los cigarrillos a los adultos.

Juan sólo puede ________________ los cigarrillos.

15. El mesero debe servir la cena a nosotros con más rapidez.

El mesero debe ________________ la cena con más rapidez.


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Traducción Translate each of the following sentences into Spanish, making changes to the indirect objects as follows: For items 1 through 5, place the indirect object pronoun before the conjugated verb. For items 6 through 10, attach the indirect object pronoun to the infinitive.

  1I want to give him a gift.

_______________________________________________________

  2He needs to tell me the truth.

_______________________________________________________

  3We should write her a letter.

_______________________________________________________

  4You [sing., informal] should write to us more often (más a menudo).

_______________________________________________________

  5You [pl., formal] have to tell them the truth.

_______________________________________________________

  6We should give them olive oil (el aceite de oliva).

_______________________________________________________

  7He wants to buy her a diamond (el diamante).

_______________________________________________________

  8When he comes to our house, he always wants to bring (traer) us something.

_______________________________________________________

  9I can’t send you [sing., informal] these vases (el florero) through the mail (por correo).

_______________________________________________________

10You [pl., informal] need to tell him something.

_______________________________________________________


Pronoun placement in questions and negative sentences with two verbs

In Spanish questions and negative statements with two verbs, the indirect object pronoun can be placed before the conjugated verb or attached directly to the infinitive.

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Respond to each statement or question with two separate sentences in order to show both options for the placement of the indirect object pronoun. Unless otherwise indicated, use the second-person singular Spanish form for English you.

  1Do you want to bring me a kitten?

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

  2We’re not going to show them our latest findings (los hallazgos más recientes).

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

  3Do you want to sell them these paintings?

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

  4Who is going to pay me the money?

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

  5Can you send the furniture (los muebles) to us by (para) Tuesday?

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

  6The artist can’t paint her a picture (el cuadro) by June.

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

  7I’m not going to wash your clothing for you.

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

  8We don’t want to tell you [pl., formal] the bad news (las malas noticias).

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

  9When can you [pl., informal] build (construir) the building (el edificio) for us?

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

10Should you write her such a letter (tal carta)?

_______________________________________________________

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Redundant use of indirect object pronouns

The principal purpose of any pronoun is to replace a noun. However, there are times when it is clearer or more emphatic to use both the pronoun and a + NOUN or a + PRONOUN. When this occurs with the indirect object pronoun, it is usually in third-person situations.

Below is a list of verbs that frequently take both the pronoun and the a + NOUN or a + PRONOUN construction.

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Note that in the preceding examples, the addition of a + NOUN or a + PRONOUN neither replaces nor adds necessary information. The two reasons to include the a + NOUN or a + PRONOUN in a sentence, clarity and emphasis, are illustrated below.

Clarity

The third-person noun or pronoun helps to clarify the ambiguous third-person pronoun le.

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Emphasis

The prepositional phrase adds emphasis to the noun or pronoun.

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Traducción Unless otherwise indicated, use the second-person singular Spanish form for English you.

  1I tell Juan everything.

_______________________________________________________

  2I want to tell him everything.

_______________________________________________________

  3She writes to her aunt every month.

_______________________________________________________

  4Why do you bring so much (tanto) to Mateo?

_______________________________________________________

  5She gives the documents to her attorney (el abogado).

_______________________________________________________

  6She has to give the money to the police (la policía).

_______________________________________________________

  7Margarita is giving (regalar) us a horse!

_______________________________________________________

  8Oliver wants to give (regalar) me a watch from Cartier!

_______________________________________________________

  9What are you making for (a) your friends? I’m making them a cake (la torta).

_______________________________________________________

10I bring them a newspaper every morning.

_______________________________________________________

11I usually buy them [f.] clothing for (para) Christmas.

_______________________________________________________

12What should we buy her?

_______________________________________________________

13Romeo sends Julieta roses on Valentine’s Day.

_______________________________________________________

14Are they going to send you [pl., formal] anything this year?

_______________________________________________________

15George Washington cannot tell a lie (la mentira) to anyone.

_______________________________________________________


Indirect object pronouns with gustar

There is a group of Spanish verbs that use indirect object pronouns in a construction that, to many native English speakers, seems to work in reverse. The most commonly used verb of this type is gustar (“to be pleasing to”).

In English, one would say, “I like the bread,” with “I” as the subject and “the bread” as the direct object. In Spanish, one would say, Me gusta el pan. This means literally “The bread is pleasing to me,” with “the bread” now the subject of the sentence (instead of “I”). In this Spanish sentence, “I” has become the indirect object in the form of the Spanish me.

Because the meaning of the Spanish sentence is “the bread is pleasing to me” (since the indirect object often contains or implies the preposition to), the indirect object pronoun is needed. This construction is used for the verb gustar and other verbs that are used like gustar.

The verbs in this section nearly always appear in their third-person singular and plural forms. The things that are being discussed have their effect on people: “Chicago fascinates me,” “traffic bothers you,” “autobiographies interest her,” “gossip is not important to him.”

To work with gustar and verbs like gustar, use the following pattern:

INDIRECT OBJECT PRONOUN + THIRD-PERSON [sing. or pl.] VERB + NOUN

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When working with gustar and verbs like gustar, remember the following points:

1. With the verb gustar, if what is liked (or is pleasing) is an action rather than a thing, substitute the infinitive of the appropriate verb for the noun.

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2. To clarify the person being referred to in the third person, precede the clause with a + the person’s name or a + PRONOUN.

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3. Adding the person’s name or repeating a pronoun adds emphasis.

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4. When a noun is used in the abstract, Spanish uses the definite article, whether the referent noun is singular or plural.

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5. When what is liked (or is pleasing) is simply “it,” as in the sentence “I like it,” the English word “it” is not translated into Spanish. The word “it,” as the subject of the Spanish sentence is simply understood. This is also true for the plural form “them.”

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6. To negate a sentence of this type (for example, “I don’t like …”), place “no” before the indirect object pronoun.

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¿Qué piensas tú? ¿Verdadero o falso?

________   1. Me gusta la comida mexicana.

________   2. Me gustan los dibujos animados (cartoons) en la televisión los sábados por la mañana.

________   3. No me gusta cuando una persona me llama por teléfono a las tres de la mañana.

________   4. Al presidente de los Estados Unidos le gusta la política.

________   5. A Sherlock Holmes le gustan las intrigas.

________   6. En este país, normalmente nos gusta la democracia.

________   7. A muchas personas les gusta celebrar la Noche Vieja (New Year’s Eve) en una fiesta.

________   8. A mí no me gusta ir de compras en una tienda muy grande.

________   9. A mi mejor amigo/amiga le gusta bailar en las discotecas.

________ 10. A un abogado le gusta ganar los casos.

________ 11. No me gusta bailar ni cantar delante de muchas personas.

________ 12. A Donald Trump le gustan muchísimo el dinero y el poder.


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Answer the following questions using gustareither affirmatively or negatively—whichever is true for you. The first item is done for you.

  1. ¿Te gusta la leche?

Sí, me gusta la leche.   OR   No, no me gusta la leche.

  2. ¿Te gustan los dramas de Shakespeare?

_______________________________________________________

  3. ¿Te gusta comer en el coche?

_______________________________________________________

  4. ¿Te gusta limpiar la casa?

_______________________________________________________

  5. ¿Te gustan los platos (dishes) exóticos?

_______________________________________________________

  6. ¿Te gustan las películas de horror?

_______________________________________________________

  7. ¿Te gusta correr?

_______________________________________________________

  8. ¿Te gusta memorizar los verbos españoles?

_______________________________________________________

  9. ¿Te gustan los mosquitos?

_______________________________________________________

10. ¿Te gusta conducir en la hora punta (rush hour)?

_______________________________________________________


Other verbs that take the indirect object pronoun

There are several Spanish verbs that are used like gustar—that is, they take the indirect object pronoun and demonstrate the effect that something or someone has on a person.

Below are several frequently used verbs that are used like gustar. In some cases, a more common way of expressing the meaning in English follows in brackets.

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¿Cuál es verdadero o falso para ti?

________   1. Cuando me duele la cabeza, tomo una aspirina.

________   2. Me importa la verdad.

________   3. La arquitectura de Frank Lloyd Wright me fascina.

________   4. Los anuncios (commercials) en la televisión me molestan mucho y me aburren también.

________   5. Me disgustan las personas que gruñen (to grumble) todo el tiempo.

________   6. A un multimillonario le sobra el dinero.

________   7. A los actores de Hollywood les encanta ganar el Oscar.

________   8. Me falta el dinero para comprar un diamante de cinco quilates (carats).

________   9. A muchos jugadores de tenis les duelen los codos.

________ 10. No me importa tener mucho dinero ni vivir en una casa lujosa.

________ 11. No me interesan los chismes (gossip).

________ 12. A mí me parece que las joyas de Tiffany’s son las mejores.

________ 13. Me vuelve loco/loca el chocolate.

________ 14. A un elefante le bastan dos cacahuates (peanuts).

________ 15. Me caen bien mis amigos.

________ 16. Me cae mal la carne con chocolate.


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Traducción Translate the following sentences into Spanish, using the verbs from the vocabulary box on page 82. For some items, clues to the appropriate verb are given in parentheses. Unless otherwise indicated, use the second-person singular Spanish form for English you.

  1This book fascinates me.

_______________________________________________________

  2I don’t want anything more. I have enough food. (The food is sufficient for me.)

_______________________________________________________

  3She likes everything.

_______________________________________________________

  4I hate this movie. (This movie is disgusting to me.)

_______________________________________________________

  5My eyes hurt.

_______________________________________________________

  6Nothing is important to him and nothing interests him. How (qué) sad!

_______________________________________________________

  7I’m missing a button (el botón) on my shirt.

_______________________________________________________

  8We love your new house!

_______________________________________________________

  9What’s bothering you?

_______________________________________________________

10These magazines seem absurd (absurdo) to me.

_______________________________________________________

11After the holidays (los días de fiesta), they don’t have (any) money left over.

_______________________________________________________

12He hates coffee, but I love it.

_______________________________________________________

13I’m crazy about this play (la obra de teatro).

_______________________________________________________

14I don’t like cookies with raisins. (Cookies with raisins don’t go well with me.)

_______________________________________________________

15She loves sports, but he hates them.

_______________________________________________________


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Traducción This paragraph includes usage of several types of pronouns previously covered, as well as indirect object pronouns.

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Donna’s parents-in-law disgust her. They bother her in every way possible. For starters, they are boring people. They aren’t interested in anything or anybody, and they have no friends because other people do not interest them. They never ask Donna or anybody a question. They bother her because they are so selfish. Her mother-in-law is fascinated by shopping malls and loves to go shopping. Her father-in-law is completely wrapped up in himself. Nothing else is important to him, except his next meal. To Donna, who has many friends and many interests, her in-laws seem to be tragic people.

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