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Learn Catalan - How I Learned to Love Pronouns - Part 2 - Indirect Object Pronouns

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In Part 1 we learned how to substitute a direct object (i.e. a thing being directly affected by a verb) into a direct object pronoun (e.g. el barret = el). Let's do the same with an indirect object.

What Is An Indirect Object?

An indirect object is - just like a direct object - a thing affected by a subject performing a verb... but as the name suggests, only indirectly. An example will clarify:

En Joan va donar el barret a en Marcel.
Joan gave the hat to Marcel.

Here, the hat is the object being directly manipulated - but as we can see, it is for the benefit of the indirect object, Marcel.

If you've got two objects being affected by a subject performing a verb (i.e. 'Joan' is 'giving', and it's affecting both 'a hat' and 'Marcel') then it's likely that the indirect object can be identified as the one with a preposition (at, to, from, etc).

Ask yourself:
What... is being given? The hat (D.O).
To whom? Marcel (I.O).

How To Use The Indirect Object Pronoun

Next, if we want to change our indirect object (a en Marcel) into a pronoun - e.g. 'li' / 'to him' - the word must also jump from after the verb to before the verb.

En Joan li va donar el barret.
Joan gave him the hat.

You saw this exact jump occur in the case of the direct object pronoun too, in Part 1.

The Necessity Of Indirect And Direct Objects

You'll recognise when a verb needs an indirect object because the utterance will feel incomplete. Joan gave the hat... to whom??

But some verbs don't require an indirect object to make the sentence complete. For example, 'En Joan va comprar un barret' / 'Joan bought a hat'.

Some verbs don't even require a direct object to complete the sentence. 'En Joan va cantar.' / 'Joan sang'. You don't get much simpler than a sentence like this, which is just subject + verb.

I want you to start visualising your verbs as the nucleus or anchor of your sentence. Why? Because then when you are speaking, all the other parts of the sentence will start aligning themselves correctly and quickly around this nucleus (i.e. before the verb / after the verb).

More on this in Part 3, when we use a direct object pronoun and an indirect object pronoun in a single sentence - that is, when we correctly align two electrons around a single nucleus.


Table of Indirect Object Pronouns -

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This post first appeared on How To Speak Catalan, please read the originial post: here

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Learn Catalan - How I Learned to Love Pronouns - Part 2 - Indirect Object Pronouns


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