Spanish Pronouns Spanish Institute of Puebla

What is a Pronoun?

A pronoun replaces an understood noun. Therefore, in order to use a pronoun, the speaker / writer and listener / reader must already be in the agreement on the meaning of a noun. If you breeze into a room and announce, "I saw him last night," you will be greated by blank stares and the question "Whom did you see?" On the other hand, if you made the same announcement after you and your friends had been talking about the ghost of Elvis, you still might get some stares, but everyone would understand you. And being understood - putting what is going on in your mind into someone else's - is the essence and the aim of all communications.

Pronouns allow us to streamline our conversations, make them less wordy, more interesting. As you begin to work with Spanish pronouns, you may at times find them frustrating, even overwhelming. Keep going. They take time to learn. Don't give up.

Subject Pronouns

Subject (or Personal) Pronouns

In English, there are seven subject pronouns (also called personal pronouns): I, you, he, she, it, we, they. In Spanish, however, the pronoun also agrees with the gender of its subject, giving us a greater selection from which to choose.

Singular Plural
yo (I) nosotros (we - masculine & feminine)
nosotras (we - feminine only)
(you - familiar) vosotros (you - familiar; masculine & feminine)
vosotras (you - familiar; feminine only)
él (he)
ella (she)
usted (you - formal)
ellos (they - masculine & feminine)
ellas (they - feminine only)
ustedes (you - formal)

The pronouns usted and ustedes are often abbreviated in texts. Ud. or Vd. is used for usted; Uds. or Vds. is used for ustedes.
The familiar plural vosotros form is used primarily in Peninsular Spanish (i. e. Spain), while throughout Latin America ustedes is used in both formal and familiar situations.
The subject pronoun reveals who or what the agent or actor is in a sentence. The conjugated verb must agree with this subject. The Spanish regular verb endings are given below. Use the verb-ending chart to match with the preceding chart for subject pronouns.

This way of doing the conjugation is only for the regular’s verbs.

PERSONA -ar -er -ir

Interrogative Pronouns

The interrogative pronoun is used to ask a specific type of question. The answer sought will be a noun (either a thing or the name of a person). Who is in the soundproof booth? To whom did you send the poison pen letter? Whose dog did this? What is this? Which do you prefer? These interrogatives elicit nouns (or pronouns) for answers.

Pronombre Significado
¿Qué? What?
¿Quién? o ¿Quiénes? Who? (Singular or Plurar)
¿Cuál? o ¿Cuáles? Which? (Singular or Plurar)
¿Dónde? Where?
¿Cómo? How?
¿Cuánto? o ¿Cuántos? How much? or How many?
¿Por qué? Why?

In Spanish, ¿Qué? often precedes a noun and ¿Cuál? often precedes a verb or a prepositional phrase.
Also note that all the Spanish interrogative pronouns, with the exception of ¿Qué? have a singular and a plural form. The verb must agree in number with this form.

The interrogative pronouns may be accompanied by a preposition like "a" or "de" (other prepositions too), and these help to change the meaning of the question or make them more specific.

Pronouns as Objects of Prepositions

The Standard Prepositional Object Pronoun

The pronouns that follow prepositions are nearly identical to the subject pronouns. The only change comes with the first -and second- person singular forms: mí and ti. Note that in this context mí takes an accent over the í to distinguish it from mi, the possessive adjective, which means "my".

Singular Plural
(me) nosotros (us - masculine & feminine)
nosotras (us - feminine only)
(you - familiar) vosotros (you - familiar; masculine & feminine)
vosotras (you - familiar; feminine only)
él (he)
ella (she)
usted (you - formal)
ello (it, masculine, neuter)
ellos (they - masculine & feminine)
ellas (they - feminine only)
ustedes (you - formal)

After a preposition, the word ello means "it" when the referent is an object, event, or idea that is masculine or neuter; use ella for a feminine referent.

El accidente sucedió hace un año. Él escribió un cuento acerca de ello.
The accident happened a year ago. He wrote a story about it.

Compramos una cama nueva y tenemos las almohadas perfectas para ella.
We bought a new bed, and we have the perfect pillows for it.

Possessive Pronouns

Possessive pronouns in Spanish are not used as frequently as they are in English. Since these pronouns stand for the owner as well as the object owned, they agree with the object owned in number and gender.

Singular Plural
mío(s) (mine)
mía(s) (mine)
nuestro(s) (ours)
nuestra(s) (ours)
tuyo(s) (yours)
tuya(s) (yours)
vuestro(s) (yours)
vuestra(s) (yous)
suyo(s) (his; hers; yours; its)
suya(s) (his; hers; yours; its)
suyo(s) (theirs; yours)
suya(s) (theirs; yous)

The possessive pronoun differs from the possessive adjective in that the adjective modifies (and proceeds) the noun: Es mi gato (it is my cat); whereas the pronoun includes the significance of the noun: Es mío (It is mine). The Spanish possessive adjective always precedes a noun. If the noun is plural, then so is the possessive adjective: mi gato; mis gatos; tu televisor; tus televisores. The following chart displays the possessive adjectives.

Singular Plural
mi(s) (my) nuestro/a(s) (our)
tu(s) (your) vuestro(s) (your)
su(s) (his; her; your; its) su(s) (their; your)

Demonstrative Pronouns

If the pronouns in the following chart look familiar to you, you are probably recalling the demonstrative adjectives. Note that demonstrative adjectives and demonstrative pronouns are identical, except the demonstrative pronouns take an accent mark. Think of it like this: if you drop the noun, the demonstrative adjective picks up an accent mark and becomes a demonstrative pronoun.
The exception to this rule is the neuter forms: esto, eso and aquello.

Masculine Feminine Neuter
hat over there
those over there

Demonstrative pronouns with Gender

When the pronoun refers to and includes the significance of something in particular, the gender and number of that referent will be reflected in the pronoun.

Este coche es mío, pero ése es suyo.
This car is mine, but that one is his.

La mejor marca es ésta.
The best brand is this one.

Estas ventanas están limpias, pero ésas todavía faltan por limpiar.
These windows are clean, but those still need to be cleaned.

Aquellas mesas son de roble, ésas son de pino y éstas son de caoba.
Those tables over there are oak, those are pine, and these are mahogany.

Numbers as Pronouns

Numbers can function as pronouns when they stand for the number as well as noun that either is understood or has been omitted. Both cardinal and ordinal numbers can serve this function.

Cardinal Numbers Ordinal Numbers
uno/a primero/a
dos segundo/a
tres tercero/a
cuatro cuarto/a
cinco quinto/a
seis sexto/a
siete séptimo/a
ocho octavo/a
nueve noveno/a
diez décimo/a

The cardinal numbers countinue on to infinity. However, after the tenth, the ordinal numbers offer you two possibilities: either continue on -onceavo, doceavo, treceavo, etc.- or simply place the cardinal number alone after the noun.

Quiero el décimo.
I want the tenth one.

Quiero el once.
I want the eleventh one.

Vivo en el onceavo piso (piso once).
I live on the eleventh floor.

Cardinal Numers as Pronouns

When used as pronouns, cardinal numbers include the significance of the understood noun, for example: how many children do you have? I have three. In this case, three represents "three children". Remember that when you use the number uno as a pronoun, it changes to una when replacing a feminine noun. All the others number do not.

¿Cuántos libros lees al año? Leo uno.
How many books do you read each year? I read one.

¿Estas galletas son para la fiesta? Pues, sólo comí una.
These cookies are for the party? Well, I only ate one.

Adjectives Pronouns

It is said that by nature, human beings are efficient. That efficiency is found in virtually all uses of pronouns: a pronoun replaces an understood noun, which means that usually there is a trade. Using a pronoun for an understood noun lightens the load, so to speak.

I see Martin, Lisa, Carol and Tina.
I see them.

The Qualitative Adjective Pronoun

In Spanish, this efficiency is perhaps best seen when descriptive, or qualitative, adjectives become pronouns. In English, we generally add the word one, as in "He has the green apple, and I have the red one". In spanish, the adjective assumes the entire meaning of the noun: Él tiene la manzana verde, yo tengo la roja. The adjective retains the gender and number on the omitted noun, as well as the appropriate definite article (el, la, los, or las).

Él lee el libro grande y yo leo el pequeño.
He reads the big book, and I read the small one.

A mí me gusta la mesa azul pero a tí te gusta la roja.
I like the blue table, but you like the red one.

Tú llevas zapatos negros y yo llevo los blancos.
You wear black shoes and I wear the white ones.

Nosotros pintamos las casas enormes y ellos pintan las pequeña.
We paint the enormous houses and they paint the small ones.

The Quantitative Adjective Pronouns

Adjectives that are quantitative tell us the number or amount of the nouns to which they refer. When a number is in front of a noun (two cats), that number functions as adjective. When the noun is understood and dropped, the adjective takes on the status of a pronoun because it includes the meaning of the noun.

Yo tengo tres cajas y el tiene cuatro.
I have thress boxes and he has four (boxes).

Hay dos mesas allí, pero sólo una * aquí.
There are two tables here, but only one (table) here.

* Note that the number uno (one) takes gender. This is the only number that does.

Many quantitative adjectives are not actual numbers themselves; rather, they refer to an amount or have a less direct manner of revealing number. Most of these words can function as adjectives: algunos platos (some plates), todos los invitados (all the guests). When they stand alone or are used to refer to a noun or other antecedent, they function as pronouns: algunos (some of them), todos (all of them). Listed below are many commonly used quantitative adjectives:

algunos/as some (of them); any (of them)
ambos/as both (of them)
cada uno/a each one
demasiado/a too much
demasiados/as too many
los demás; las demás the rest (of them)
los dos; las dos both; the two (of them)
más more (of it, of them)
la mayoría the majority (of people)
menos less; fewer
mucho/a a lot (of something)
muchos/as a lot (of things); many things
nada nothing
ninguno/a none; neither one; not anything; not a single one
otro/a another; the other (one)
poco/a (a) little
primero/a first
todo/a everything; all
último/a last
unos/as some
unos/as cuantos/as a few (of Them)
varios/as several

When a pronoun replaces a known person, we often use a subject, or personal, pronoun. Instead of John, we use he; for John and Carlos, we use they, and so on.
Frequently, however, we speak of people whose names we do not know, cannot know, or whose identity, considering the situation, is irrelevant. When this is the case, you may use one of the following pronouns:

alguien someone; somebody
cualquiera anyone; anybody; any one (person)
cualesquiera any (plural)
el/la que the one who; he/she who
los/las que they who; those who; the ones who
el/la mayor the oldest (one)
el/la menor the youngest (one)
nadie no one (person)
ninguno/a neither one
todos/as everyone; everybody

When the name of the referent is either unknown or irrelevant, you will need a nonspecific, gender-neutral pronoun, such as the following:

algo something; anything
cualquiera anything; whichever; whatever
cualesquiera any (plural)
lo mejor the best (thing)
lo mismo the same (thing)
lo peor the worst (thing)
nada nothing; not anything

Relative Pronouns

The pronouns we will deal with in this unit all refer to something either previously atated or understood, and thus are related to that referent. For this reason, these pronouns are called relative pronouns.

que that, who, which
el cual, la cual the one who; the one which
los cuales, las cuales those who; those which
el que, la que the one who; the one which
los que, las que those who; those which
lo que that which; what; whatever
preposición + quien(es) preposition + whom
preposición + que preposition + that/which
cuyo, cuya, cuyos, cuyas whose

Restrictive vs Nonrestrictive Clauses

Before we proceed with any of these pronouns, it is necessary to understand the concepts of restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses. A grasp of these concepts will facilitate your work in this unit and allow you to make sense of its many parts.

Restrictive Clause: A restrictive clause contains information that is essential to the meaning of the sentence. In other words, it restricts the meaning of the word(s) to which it refers. If this clause were removed, the sentence either would change meaning or become meaningless or ridiculous.
A lamp that doesn't have a bulb is useless.
In this sentence, the dependent clause "that doesn't have a bulb" is restrictive because it is necessary to the overall meaning of the sentence. If we remove this clause, we are left with the independent clause "A lamp is useless", which still is grammatically correct sentence, but the essential meaning has changed dramatically, and what remains is absurd.
Nonrestrictive clause: A nonrestrictive clause contains information that is usually helpful to the overall meaning of the sentence; however, it is not essential. If a nonrestrictive clause were removed, the sentence would stand on its own.
Cats, which sometimes live fifteen years or longer, make nice pets.
The dependent clause, "which sometimes live fifteen years or longer," although informative, does not change the basic meaning of the independent clause (sentence), "Cats make nice pets". The dependent clause is not essential for us to understand the sentence; thus, it could be left out. Because the information contained in a nonrestrictive clause is not necessary to the overall meaning of the sentence, the nonrestrictive clause usually is set off from the main sentence by commas.

The Use of que in Clauses

The relative pronouns that separate clauses and mean "that", "who", and "which" in English all translate as que in Spanish. There is no distinction between living (who) and nonliving (that/which) referents as there is in English in this context.

el caballo que gana la carrera.
the horse that wins the race.

el lago, que está contaminado,
the lake, which is polluted

los estudiantes que leen el capítulo
the students who read the chapter

The relative pronoun que sets up both restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses.
Note that in English the relative pronoun is sometimes omitted. Either one of the following is correct: "I have the towels you need" "I have the towels that you need". In Spanish, however, the relative pronoun cannot be omitted you must include que.

Tengo las toallas que necesitas.
I have the towels you need.

Compramos la comida que pides.
We buy de food you request.

Él es el hombre que escribe esto.
He is the man who writes this.

Ellos venden casas que cuestan mucho.
They sell houses that cost a lot.

The Use of el cual or el que in Clauses

When the relative pronouns that, which, or whom introduce a nonrestrictive clause (information not essential to the overall meaning of the sentence), you can use el cual (la cual, los cuales, las cuales) or el que (la que, los que, las que) instead of the simple que. El cual and el que are interchangeable. They are used primarily in writing or in formal speech (que is used more in conversation), which lends a more formal tone to sentences. Using these forms also adds greater emphasis to the nonrestrictive clauses they introduce.

Este sofá, el cual (el que) está disponible en veinte colores, es muy popular este año.
This sofa, which is available in twenty colors, is very popular this year.

Tu sobrina, la cual (la que) recibe buenas notas, quiere ser maestra.
Your niece, the one who gets good grades, wants to be a teacher.

Estos huevos, los cuales (los que) tienen casi un año, están muy sabrosos.
This eggs, which are almost a year old, are very tasty.

Estas langostas, las cuales (las que) son de Maryland, están muy frescas.
These lobsters, which are from Maryland, are very fresh.

The use of a Preposition + quien or que

When the relative pronoun is the object of a preposition, you will use the appropriate preposition + quien, when te referent is a person, or the preposition + que, when the referent is inanimate. A clause formed by the preposition + quien or que is a restrictive clause (its information is essential to the meaning of the sentence).
Both Spanish and English have a rule which states that one should not end a sentence (or a question) with a preposition. Spanish distinguishes itself in that it honors this rule. We often are not so careful in English. In the examples below, the English, though not always technically proper, reflects contemporary usage; in other words, you will find a preposition at the end of the sentences. Note that in all cases the Spanish preposition is contained within the sentence.

Él es el hombre con quien trabajo.
He is the man I work with. / He is the man with whom I work.

Éste es el libro en que pienso.
This is the book that I'm thinking about. / This is the book about which I'm thinking.

Estos huevos, los cuales (los que) tienen casi un año, están muy sabrosos.
This eggs, which are almost a year old, are very tasty.

Juana es la mujer a quien envío la comida.
Juana is the woman I'm sending the food to. / Juana is the woman to whom I'm sending the food.

The Use of lo que

Lo que, which means "that which," "what," or "whatever," is a neuter relative pronoun that allows you to refer to a great abstraction, as in "You can have whatever you want"; or to encompass the entirely of something that is said or done, as in "What you are doing is a sin".
Note that whe lo que is used to mean "whatever," it often stands for something that is unknown or doubtful and is followed by a verb in the subjunctive: Haz lo que puedas (Do whatever you can).

Lo que dices es interesante.
What you're saying is interesting.

El siempre hace lo que quiere.
He always does whatever he wants.

Tienes lo que necesito?
o you have what I need?

Lo que quieres no existe.
What you want doesn't exist.

The Use of cuyo, cuya, cuyos, cuyas

The relative pronoun cuyo (which means "whose") separates the owner and that which is owned: "Peter, whose thesis is brilliant, is a fascinating man." In this sentence, Peter is the owner, and the thesis is the object owned. The word whose begins the clause, and the form of cuyo must agree with the noun that immediately follows it.
The relative pronouns cuyo, cuya, cuyos, and cuyas nearly always introduce or set up a nonrestrictive clause.

Pedro, cuya tesis es brillante, es un hombre fascinante.
Pedro, whose thesis is brilliant, is a fascinating man.

Jean, cuyo padre es de París, habla francés.
Jean, whose father is from Paris, speaks French.

George, cuyos abuelos son músicos profesionales, toca bien el piano.
George, whose grandparents are professional musicians, plays the piano well.

Direct Object Pronouns

The direct object answers the question What? or Whom? with regard to the verb in a sentence or clause. Consider the sentence, "John has the book." What does John have? He has the book; thus, the book is the direct object. The direct object pronoun it can therefore replace the direct object noun in the sentence, "John has it."

In the sentence, "John sees Mary," one can ask, "Whom does John see?" John sees Mary; thus, Mary is the direct object. The direct object pronoun her can replace Mary in the sentence, "John sees her".

Persona Pronombre de Objeto Directo Equivalente
Yo ME me
TE you
Él/Ella/Usted LO/LA Him/her/you/it
Nosotros (as) NOS us
Ellas/Ellos/Ustedes LOS/LAS them/you

Placement in Affirmative Sentences

In an affirmative statement (or clause) with one verb, the direct object pronoun will immediately precede the conjugated verb.

Yo te conozco.
I know you.

Lo vemos.
We see him.

me amas.
You love me.

La tienes.
You have it.

Ella los compra.
You love me.

She buys them.

Placement in Negative Sentences

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

Yo no lo sé.
I don't know it.

No lo conocemos.
We don't know him.

No los compras.
You don't buy them.

Nunca lo estudias.
You have it.

You never study it.

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- you have two options:
    1. Place the direct object pronoun immediately before the first verb (conjugated).
    2. Attach the direct object pronoun directly to the second verb (infinitive).
Note: Both options are used in writing and in conversation; however, the second option is used more frequently.
Te quiero ver. / Quiero verte.
I want to see you.

Lo puedes beber. / Puedes beberlo.
You can drink it.

Él nos debe visitar. / Él debe visitarnos.
He should visit us.

Placement in Questions and Negative Sentences with Two Verbs

For questions and/or negative statements with two verbs, the direct object pronoun can be placed before the conjugated verb or attached directly to the infinitive.

No tengo que leerlo. / No lo tengo que leer.
I don't have to read it.

No queremos hacerlo. / No lo queremos hacer.
We don't want to do it.

¿Tienes que estudiarlo conmigo? / ¿Lo tienes que estudiar conmigo?
Do you have to study it with me?

¿Puedes soportarlo? / ¿Lo puedes soportar?
Can you stand it?

Indirect Object Pronouns

The indirect object answers the question to or for whom? or to or for what? with regard to the verb in a sentence or clause. Another way of looking at it is to say that the indirect object tell us where the direct object is going.
Consider the sentence, "I give you the gift (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 it (the gift) to you. You is where the gift is going.
In the sentence "He buys me flowers (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.
The indirect object pronouns in Spanish are as follows:

Persona Pronombre de Objeto Directo Equivalente
Yo ME me
TE you
Él/Ella/Usted LE Him/her/you/it
Nosotros (as) NOS us
Ellas/Ellos/Ustedes LES them/you

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, an e-mail message) to me. The direct object is understood.

Placement in Affirmative Sentences

In an affirmative statement (or clause) with one verb, the indirect object pronoun will immediately precede the conjugated verb. Note that each of the following examples has two possible English translations. English allows for two ways to express the indirect object: (a) between a verb and the indirect object and (b) in a prepositional phrase following the direct object.


Juan me compra un libro.
John buys me a book.
John buys a book for me.

Yo te digo la verdad siempre.
I always tell you the truth.
I always tell the truth to you.

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.

Él no me trae nada.
He doesn't bring me anything.

El médico no te da medicina.
The doctor doesn´t give you medicine.

No los compras.
You don't buy them.

No le envío la cuenta jamás.
I never send thim the bill.

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- you have two options:
    1. Place the direct object pronoun immediately before the first verb (conjugated).
    2. Attach the direct object pronoun directly to the second verb (infinitive).
Note: Both options are used in writing and in conversation; however, the second option is used more frequently.
Él quiere darme un regalo. / Él me quiere dar un regalo.
He wants to give me a gift.

Tú necesitas comprarnos algo. / Tú nos necesitas comprar algo.
You need to buy us something.

Puedo decirte todo. / Te puedo decir todo.
I can tell you everything.

Placement in Questions and Negative Sentences with Two Verbs

For questions and/or negative statements with two verbs, the direct object pronoun can be placed before the conjugated verb or attached directly to the infinitive.

¿Quién va a enviarme una cuenta? / ¿Quién me va a enviar una cuenta?
Who is going to send me a bill?

Él no necesita darnos la información. / Él no nos necesita dar la información.
He doesn't need to give us the information.

¿Debemos decirte la verdad? / ¿Te debemos decir la verdad?
Should we tell you the truth?

The Redundant Use of the Indirect Object Pronoun

Even though the principal purpose of any pronoun is to replace a noun, there are times when it is clearer or more emphatic to use both the noun or pronoun and a + the pronoun or noun. This is done primarily with the indirect object pronoun and more frequently with some verbs (sees the following list). At such times, the indirect object is usually in the third person. The following verbs frequently take both a noun or pronoun and a + the appropriate pronoun:

comprar to buy mandar to send
dar to give pedir to ask (a favor); to request (from)
decir to say; to tell preguntar to ask (a question)
escribir to write preparar to prepare
enviar to send regalar to give (a gift)
hacer to make; to do traer to bring

Yo le doy a Juan cinco dólares.
I give him (John) five dollars.

Les pregunto a ellos si quieren ir.
I ask them if they want to go.

Le pido a mi jefe un aumento.
I ask my boss a raise.
As you can see in the preceding examples, the addition of a + a noun or pronoun neither replaces nor adds necessary information. Thus, technically, it is redundant.
Since the redundant prepositional phrase is not necessary, why do we add it? One reason is that the third-person noun or pronoun helps us clarify the ambiguous, pronoun le. Another reason is that the prepositional phrase adds emphasis to the noun or pronoun. In other words, they help each other

Indirect Object Pronouns with gustar

There is a group of Spanish verbs which, to the native English speaker's notion of sintax, work in reverse. The most commonly used of this verbs is gustar (to be pleasing to), hence the title of this section.
While in English, one says "I like the bread," in Spanish, to get this same message across, one says, "Me gusta el pan," which literally means, "The bread is pleasing to me". The bread is now the subject, and “I” has become the indirect object. Because of the bread is pleasing to me - remember that the indirect object often contains or implies the preposition to - we will need the indirect object pronoun in this sentence, as well as in all sentences that use the verb gustar (and the other verbs that operate in the manner of gustar).
The key to the verbs in this section is to remember that they nearly always operate in the third-person singular and plural forms. The things being discussed have their effect on people: Chicago fascinates me; traffic bothers you; autobiographies interest her; money is not important to him.
To work with gustar, and verbs like it, you will use the following recipe:
Indirect object pronoun + third-person (singular or plural) verb + noun(s).

Singular Subject (noun) Plural Subject (noun)
Me gusta la pintura. Me gustan las pinturas. I like the painting(s).
Te gusta el anillo. Te gustan los anillos. You like the ring(s).
Le gusta el zorro. Le gustan los zorros. He/She likes the fox(es).
Nos gusta la culebra. Nos gustan las culebras. We like the snake(s).
Os gusta la lámpara. Os gustan las lámparas. You like the lamp(s).
Les gusta el reloj. Les gustan los relojes. They like the clock(s).

Other Verbs That Take the Indirect Object Pronoun

There are several Spanish verbs that operate in the manner of gustar - that is, they take the indirect object pronoun and demonstrate the effect that something or someone has on a person.
The most common of these verbs include the following:

bastar to be sufficient / enough to; to suffice
caer bien (mal) to like (dislike); to go well (badly) with
disgustar to be disgusting to; to "hate" (a thing)
doler (o -> ue) to be painful to, to hurt
encantar to be enchanting to; to "love" (a thing)
faltar to be lacking of; to be missing to; to need (a thing)
fascinar to be fascinating to
importar to be important to
interesar to be interesting to
molestar to be bothersome to; to bother
parecer to seem; to appear to
sobrar to be left over to; to be in surplus
volver (o ->ue) loco/a to be crazy about or for (more intense than encantar)

Reflexive Object Pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are tiny words that carry the power to change the meaning of a sentence.

Persona Pronombre de Objeto Directo Equivalente
Yo ME me
TE you
Él/Ella/Usted SE Him/her/you/it
Nosotros (as) NOS us
Ellas/Ellos/Ustedes SE them/you

The principal function of the reflexive object pronoun is to indicate that the action being performed isn't going anywhere. If Jane washes her hair; her action has extended to you; thus, the action is not reflexive. However, when Jane washes her own hair, the action, which was begun by Jane, stays with Jane. Thus, in this case, the verb “lavarse”, which means "to wash," is reflexive and it requires a reflexive object pronoun.

Jane te lava el pelo. Jane se lava el pelo.
Jane washes your hair. Jane washes her hair.
(literally, Jane washes the hair on you.) (literally, Jane washes the hair on herself.)

Reflexive Verbs in Powder Room

Many of the standard reflexive verbs refer to the things we do routinely every day to prepare ourselves. The following are among the most common reflexive verbs in this category:

afeitarse to shave oneself
bañarse to bathe oneself
cepillarese to brush oneself
ducharse to take a shower
lavarse to wash oneself
peinarse to comb oneself (one's hair)
pesarse to weigh oneself
secarse to dry oneself

Note that whe mentioning a body part, you use the definite article (el, la, los, las) instead of the possessive adjective (mi, tu, su, etc.). The reasons for this are twofold: first, if you are washing the hair on you, it has to be your hair, so it is redundant to use the possessive adjective; second, many native Spanish speakers consider it poor taste to mention directly one's body parts.
In English we reserve the use of the reflexive pronouns (myself, yourself, etc.) generally for what can be called "full body experiences" - that is, "I love myself," "She sees herself in the full-length mirror," "They don't understand themselves." In Spanish the use is much narrower: most of us wash our own hair (as opposed to the hair stylist doing this for us or our washing someone else's hair); similarly, most of us dress ourselves, comb our hair, etc. Simply remember that if the action doesn't leave the subject/performer, it will be reflexive.

Yo leo antes de acostarme.
I read before going to bed.

Cenamos después de lavarnos las manos.
We eat dinner after washing our hands.

Después de quitarse las botas, él entra a la casa.

After taking off his boots, he enters the house.

When the Second Verb Is Reflexive

In sentences with two verbs that act upon one another, as always, you conjugate the first verb and leave the second in the infinitive. When that second verb is reflexive, attach the appropriate reflexive pronoun directly to the infinitive.

Necesito lavarme el pelo.
I need to wash my hair.

¿Cuándo vas a acostarte?
When are you going to go to bed?

Ella no puede verse en el cristal.

She can't see herself in the glass.

RID: Sentences with Two Object Pronouns

The following chart is a review of the reflexive, indirect, and direct object pronouns.

Reflexive Pronouns Indirect Object Pronouns Direct Object Pronouns

The RID Order

When you have two object pronouns in a sentence, these pronouns always will appear in the RID order: reflexive, indirect, direct object pronouns. Because two is the maximum number of pronouns that can appear together, the possible combination are reflexive-indirect (rare), reflexive-direct, or indirect-direct.

Reflexive - Direct

Me lo compro.
I buy it for myself.

Tu pelo es magnífico. ¿Te lo lavas mucho?
Your hair is wonderful. Do you wash it a lot?

Indirect - Direct

Ellos te los envían.
They send them to you.

Yo te la escribo.
I write it to you.

The La La Rule

When both the direct and the indirect objects are in the third person, both pronouns, regardless of number or gender, will begin with the letter l. When this happens, change the indirect object pronoun (the first one) to se. The reason for this is to avoid the singsong, tongue-tripping quality of the two small words starting with the letter l. We call this the "la la rule".
Consider the sentence "I give it to him". The indirect object is him (le) and the direct object is it (lo). Thus we first have Yo le lo doy. Because of the la la rule, we will change the indirect object le to se, and the result will be Yo se lo doy.
Remember: We use pronouns only when their antecedents are understood from the context of the paragraph or conversation. So, while looking at Se lo doy without any prior knowledge makes the sentence virtually meaningless, knowledege of the referents makes the sentence completely unserstandable.

Tu conoces a Juan. Mejor se lo dices tú.
You know Juan. It's better if tell it to him.

Tu pelo es magnífico. ¿Te lo lavas mucho?
Tenemos muchos lápices que no necesitamos. Se los damos.

Two Pronouns in a Negative Statement

In a negative sentence or clause in which the RID rules apply, place the word no (or another word of negation) directly before the first pronoun.

Nunca se la compran.
They never buy it for her.

No se los tengo.
I don't have them for them.

RID in Sentences with Two Verbs

In sentences that contain two verbs, the RID pronoun rule still applies; however, now you will attach both pronouns directly to the second verb - namely, the infinitive. You have seen this same syntactic rule with each of the individual pronouns.
In order to retain the natural accent of the infinitive (the second verb), which always falls on the final syllable, you now add an accent mark over the vowel in that syllable: comer + se + lo = comérselo; entregar + me + las = entregármelas; vender + nos + los = vendérnoslos.
You can also, if you choose, place the two pronouns before the first, conjugated verb. In that case, there will be noneed to add an accent to the final syllable of the infinitive: se lo puede comer; me las quiere entregar; nos los debe vender.

Quiero dártelo.
Te lo quiero dar.
I want to give it to you.

Ella puede hacérselo.
Ella se lo puede hacer.
She can do it for herself.

Questions and Negative Statements with Two Verbs

In a negative sentence with two verbs, place the word no (or another word of negation) directly before the first, conjugated verb. If you choose to place the pronouns before the conjugated verb, the word no will precede the pronouns.
For questions, just add question marks. If you want to add the subject's name or pronoun, do so after the first, conjugated verb.
No quiero dejártelo.
No te lo quiero dejar.
I don't want to leave it for you.

¿Puedes escribírmelo?
¿Me lo puedes escribir?
Can you write it for me?

Reciprocal Pronoun

The term reciprocity indicates that whatever is going on is happening equally between or among all interested parties. If I see you, but you don't see me, there is no reciprocity. However, when we see each other, reciprocity takes place.
Since reciprocity can occur only when two or more persons are involved, the reciprocal pronouns exist on ly in the plural forms. Thus, the phrase each other or one another will figure in the sentences involving reciprocal pronouns.

nos (ourselves: each other, one another)
os (ourselves: each other, one another)
se (themselves; yourselves: each other, one another)
As you can see in the chart, the reciprocal pronouns are the same as the reflexive pronouns. All the rules of syntax that apply to direct, indirect, and reflexive pronouns also apply to reciprocal pronouns.

Nos vemos cada día.
We see each other everyday.

Ellos no pueden escribirse muy a menudo.
They can't write to one another very often.

Se and the Passive Voice

The Passive Voice

We use the passive voice to describe an action that is carried out but has no specific, identified agent. For example, in the sentence, "The doors are unlocked at 5:30", there is no identified subject or agent. We don't know who actually unlocks the doors. See the following examples that contrast the active and the passive voices.

Active Voice Passive Voice
Paul closes the shop at 9:00. The shop is closed at 9:00.
Sue heard a baby crying. A baby's cries were heard.
The wind blew down the tree. The tree was blown down.

Each sentence in the active voice has a specific subject, but the corresponding sentence in the passive voice has an unspecified subject -we don't know who closes the shop, who heard the baby's cries, or what blew down the tree.
There are basically two ways to express the passive voice in Spanish: (1) by using a form of ser and a participle and (2) by using se and a conjugated form of the verb

Joaquín es respetado. La fortaleza fue destruída.
Se respeta a Joaquín. La fortaleza se destruyó.
Joaquín is respected. The fortress was destroyed.

In both examples, the passive voice expresses the result of an action, but not the agent, or performer, of the action.

Formation of the Passive Voice with se

To use se as a substitute for the passive voice in Spanish, place se before the conjugated verb in the third person. If the noun following the verb is singular, you will conjugate the verb in the third-person singular; if that noun is plural or if there is a series of nouns, you will conjugate the verb in the third-person plural.

Se habla español en México. Se hablan inglés y francés en Canadá.
Spanish is spoken in Mexico. English and French are spoken in Canada.
Se vende plata en esta joyería. No se venden joyas aquí.
Silver is sold at this jewelry store. Jewels are not sold here.

Using se to Avoid the Passive

In Spanish as in English, overuse of the passive voice creates boring conversation and prose. One way to avoid the passive is to use an impersonal subject. For example, in "They dance the cumbia in Colombia", we don't know specifically who they are; there are no names or faces attached. The subject refers to many people in general, but no one in particular.
In English, another common impersonal subject is the word you, as in "You shouldn't call me after nine." Other common impersonal subjects in English include it, they, one, people, anybody, and no one.

No se debe matar. ¡Así se hace!
One shouldn't kill. That's how it's done!
You shouldn't kill. That's how you do it!
¿Qué se puede hacer? Jamás se explicó el asesinato.
What's a person to do? They never explained the murder.
What can you do? No one ever explained the murder.

Notice in these examples that when an impersonal subject is intended, the third-person singular is used, However, often when the plural is used to express the same idea, the reflexive se is dropped.

Se me conoce aquí. Aquí se produce el mejor café.
Me conocen aquí. Aquí producen el mejor café.
They know me here. They produce the best coffee here.

Note: When working with a reflexive verb, the reflexive action is understood through the use of se. Note also that most platitudes employ the passive voice.

Se debe bañar cada día. Se puede comer y beber en esta sala.
One should bathe everyday. We can eat and drink in this room

The Passive Voice with Inanimate Objects

We often speak of actions that take place in which there is no - at least no apparent - human element involved in the action, for example, "My car breaks down on me every winter." We also often refer to actions that clearly are performed by humans, but for which the mention of those humans is irrelevant, for example, "The store opens at 10:00."
In these situations, we use the passive voice, which allows us to focus on the action and completely ignore the performer of the action. Just remember that if the noun is singular, use the singular form of the verb; if the noun is plural, use the plural form.
Note: The object can either precede or follow the verb.

Se abre la tienda a las diez.
La tienda se abre a las diez.
The store opens at ten.

Se abren las tiendas a las diez.
Las tiendas se abren a las diez.
The stores open at ten.