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#338 – Grammar – Using Double Pronouns – Part 1

Corporate Spanish Trainer

Grammar – Using Double Pronouns – Part 1

¿Un pastel? Sí, te lo traje. ¡Feliz cumpleaños!

Post 338/365


¡Muy buenos días!

Esta semana en los Posts vamos a aprender a usar los pronombres dobles.

Posts de repaso:

Reflexive Verbs – Parte I

Indirect Object Pronouns – Parte 1

Direct Object Pronouns – Parte 1


1.  There are 3 groups of pronouns:

reflexivos – indirectos – directos

Let´s use the initials R.I.D.

R – I – D

me – me – me
te – te – te

se – le* (se) – lo, la

nos – nos – nos

se – les* (se) – los, las

As we can see in this chart, it’s the 3rd person singular and the 3rd person plural that require us to know if we need to use a Reflexive pronoun, an Indirect or a Direct one.



2.  Review

Remember that…

Reflexive verbs/pronouns are regularly used for actions we do to ourselves, ie…wash our (own) hair, brush our (own) teeth, etc… Yesterday when we did the dog grooming Post, we noted that verbs like lavar and cepillar were not being used reflexively because the dog groomer is doing that action to the dog. The dog is not doing it himself.

Modelo: Me lavo el pelo / Ellos se cepillan los dientes

Indirect object pronouns are used to show, for or to or from whom something is told, bought, given, done, taken away, etc… They refer to people, not things.

Modelo: La peluquera cainina le lava al perro.

Direct object pronouns are used to make our speech more succinct. They replace a person or a thing in a follow up sentence.

¿Necesitas el champú?
Sí, lo necesito, por favor.

¿Has visto a María?
Sí, la vi ayer.



3. Using 2 different groups of pronouns in a sentence – Possible combinations

There are only 2 combinations for using Double Object Pronouns in a sentence.

Reflexive and Direct


Indirect and Direct

Reflexive / direct

Do you wash your hair everyday?

Si, me lo lavo todos los días. – me is reflexive, it hooks up with the verb lavar and lo replaces ‘hair – pelo

Indirect / direct

Are you giving this card to me?

Sí, te la doy. – te means ‘to you‘ and la replaces ‘this card – esta tarjeta



4. R.I.D

Memorize this acronym- R.I.D. to help you remember the order of pronouns in a sentence with double pronouns.

The order of pronouns is very specific. You can’t mix them up. It has to be either.




Basically the direct object pronoun would never go before a reflexive or an indirect pronoun.


*5. ‘Don’t lelo, selo’

Use this saying to help you remember that when you have an indirect object pronoun with a direct one, in the 3rd person singular or plural, the le or les changes to se.

Are they buying the computer for him? – the computer=direct, for him = indirect
Sí, se lo compran. NOT… Sí, le lo compran.

Don’t ‘lelo’, ‘selo’


6. The rules of ‘R.I.D. and Don’t ‘lelo’, ‘selo‘, apply to all positions of placement with pronouns.

Placement of pronouns.
A. directly before a conjugated verb – te lo dijo.

B. attached to an infinitive – Voy a decírtelo.*

C. attached to the back of a gerund (-ing) – Estoy diciéndotelo.**

* When you add 2 pronouns to the back of an infinitive you need to write an accent mark where the stress fell before you added 2 extra syllables.

decir – decírtelo

** Remember that when you just add 1 pronoun to the back of a gerund you need to write an accent mark where the stress fell before you added the extra syllable. Same applies to 2 extra syllables.

diciendo – diciéndotelo


Action steps: Review the Posts for the links above. Read these 6 rules a couple of times to be familiar with these basics for using double pronouns. Come back tomorrow. More fun will be had!

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Gracias y hasta mañana,