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Grammar Basics



Spanish 101A

Spanish 101B

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We know that we can always place the Direct and Indirect Object Pronouns directly before a conjugated verb. But we can also attach them to an infinitive, a present participle or a command, just like any other pronoun

When we place the double object pronouns on the end of an infinitive or a present participle, we must still keep them in the IO DO order.

Yo les estoy explicando las reglas a ustedes.

In the sentence above, the Direct Object is not in a pronoun form, so there are no Double Objects.

But when we convert las reglas to the pronoun las, we need to combine the DO and ID pronouns. We have 2 options (because we have two verbs combined):

1. Yo se las estoy explicando (remember that les-->se las IO DO)

2. Yo estoy explicándoselas. (the pronouns attach directly to the preent particple forming one word)

Another example with an infinitive:

1. Tomás nos va a servir el café a nosotros.

2. Tomás nos lo va a servir. --or-- Tomás va a servírnoslo.

Notice that we place accent marks on the present participles and infinitives to preserve the normal pronunciation of the verbs.

If you aren't sure where to put the accent, cover up the pronoun/s and say the verb naturally. The stressed syllable is where you put the accent:

*Nosotros vamos a prestarselos--?
And now where do we put the accent...?

  • 1) Take off the pronouns: Prestar - [selas]

  • 2) Find the normal stresses syllable: presTAR

  • 3) Write the accent mark and attach pronouns: prestár + [selas]

  • 4) Nosotros vamos a prestárselos.

Let's look at another example:

*El ladrón está robandoselo

  • 1) robando - [selo]

  • 2) roBANdo

  • 3) robándo + [selo]

  • 4) El ladrón está robándoselo.
  • When using present participles (-ando and -iendo forms), the accent will always fall on the a for -ando forms, and on the e for -iendo forms.
  • When using infinitives, the accent will fall on the a for -ar verbs, on the e for -er verbs, and on the i for -ir verbs.