The use of direct and indirect object pronouns with Spanish command forms

The rule of the Four A's:


     If the command form is Affirmative, the object pronouns go After the verb, are Attached to it, and a written Accent is normally* required. Examples: ¡Háblame!, ¡Cómelo!, ¡Siéntense!

     Contrariwise, if the command form is not Affirmative, the object pronouns do not go After the verb, they are not Attached, and an Accent mark is not used. Examples: ¡No me hables!, ¡No lo comas!, ¡No se sienten!

Borrowed (I believe) from a note by Paul Chandler in Hispania.

* The only exceptions to the accent part of the rule are the irregular tú command forms (such as di, pon, ten) when used with a single object pronoun: ¡Dime!, ¡Ponlos!, ¡Tenlo!. In these cases the stress is on the next-to-the-last syllable and the word ends in a vowel or -s, so no written accent is needed.

Fred Jehle [Home]
Indiana U.-Purdue U. Fort Wayne
Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1499
Tel.: 260 481-6633