Direct Object Pronouns

singular plural
1st person me me nos us
2nd person te you  
3rd person lo, la him/her/you formal  los, las them/you plural

Description

A direct object is a noun following the verb that answers the questions what? or whom? Remember a pronoun replaces a noun, and in this case the noun is a direct object. Verbs that have a direct object are called transitive verbs.

Direct object pronouns in Spanish agree in number and gender with the nouns they replace. In the following example, hijos is a masculine, plural noun so the masculine plural direct object pronoun los is used to replace it in the second sentence.

Son muy buenos hijos. No los cambiaría.
They are good kids. I wouldn’t change them.

Placement

There are two places where direct object pronouns can be placed.

  1. Before a conjugated verb.
  2. Attached to the end of the verb, ONLY IF the verb is not conjugated, such as infinitives or gerunds or if the verb is an affirmative informal command.

In the following example, both direct objects te and lo are placed before the conjugated verbs: cambia and tomas. 

Pero te cambia mucho en la perspectiva ya cuando estudias más grande porque ya el estudio, ya lo tomas con mucha seriedad.
But it changes you in your perspective when you study as an adult because now studying, you take it much more seriously.

In following example, the direct object pronoun lo, which replaces the noun inglés, is found both attached to the infinitive hablar and before the conjugated verb entiendo. Side note: You may have also noticed the other pronoun, me, which is serves as a indirect object pronoun in me cuesta and as a reflexive pronoun in expresarme.

¿Hablas el inglés? —Me cuesta trabajo hablarlo y expresarme, pero sí lo entiendo.
Do you speak English? It is hard for me to speak it and express myself but yes I understand it.