The Redundant Use of Spanish Pronouns

For IOP redundantFor any self respecting student of Spanish, knowing that there are certain verbs that require the redundant use of the Indirect Spanish Pronouns is ‘imprescindible’ (vital). Without having this information in your pocket, believe us, you will find understanding the use of the Spanish pronouns an insurmountable challenge.

First of all, we had better start by answering the question:

What on earth are the Spanish Indirect Object Pronouns?

To help you grasp the answer, perhaps it would be wise to look at what they are in English first. We like to call them the Furniture Remover’s List.

That’s because in English, they normally sound like this:

To me…To you…To me…To you… Often heard as two men struggle to get your sofa through the front door whilst talking the paint off the walls!

Indirect Object Pronouns, then, are found in sentences like this:

He gave it to me.

We sold it to them.

She sent it to us.

¡AVISO! These pronouns also appear in other forms such as being preceded by ‘for’ or even on their own like ‘me’, ‘you’ ‘he’ ‘she’.

So now we have an idea of what the indirect Spanish pronouns are, we are able to answer the question:

What are the Indirect Object Pronouns in Spanish?

The answer is:

ME (to me)                                        NOS (to us)

TE (to you)                                        OS (to you all)

LE (to him, her, it, usted)               LES (To them, ustedes).


If you are familiar with these already, great! If not, we suggest that you take a look at our podcast on IOP’s and for those new to the concept of the Redundant Indirect Object Pronouns then we recommend the following podcast.

Here’s an example of the way that IOP’s normally work. Their job is to quicken up speech.

Vestí a los niños. = I dressed the kids.

However, for speed, you can say.

Les vestí. = I dressed them.

And so, normally, that’s what they do.

However, there are certain Spanish verbs that require the pronoun whether you mention the person or not.

Here’s an example:


I sent John a letter= Le mandé a Juan una carta.

Notice that even though we mentioned Juan’s name, we still had to put the pronoun in. Strange eh?

Of course, if you knew who you were talking about you could say:

Le mandé una carta. = I sent him a letter.

But, you can NEVER say: Mandé a Juan una carta. (PROHIBIDO)

As we said, to use these IOP’s correctly, we must understand this concept and know exactly which verbs need them. The full list can be found in our Helpsheets, but one tip is that the verbs that need these Spanish pronouns normally have to do with sending, giving, preparing or talking to others.

Buena suerte con vuestros estudios, chicos.