DIRECT OBJECT PRONOUNS (Pronomi diretti)
The direct object pronouns are as follows:
him, it lo
her, it la
them (m) li
them (f) le
Whereas in English, the pronoun comes after the verb, in Italian it is the other way round.
I love you.
Do you see the sun? Yes, I see it.
Vedi il sole? Sì, lo vedo.
Do you see the moon? Yes, I see it.
Vedi la luna? Sì, la vedo.
Charles beat me at poker
Carlo mi ha battuto al poker
Did you meet your friends last night? Yes, I met them.
Hai incontrato i tuoi amici ieri sera? Sì, li ho incontrati.
In the same way as the definite articles lo and la lose their final vowel before a noun that starts with a vowel or an h, so the same applies to singular direct object pronouns. This is called elision. This does not apply to the plural direct object pronouns.
L’hanno visto l'altro giorno
They saw him the other day
L’ho portata con me perché ha voluto guardare la partita
I brought her with me because she wanted to watch the match
NOTE: When using either the 3rd person singular or plural of a verb, as is the case in the examples above, then the past participle must agree with the gender of the pronoun. This remains true even when the auxiliary verb is avere.
There are exceptions to the placement of the direct object pronoun. It should be added to the end of the infinitive of a verb, for example:
Did you see the match last night? No, I wanted to watch it, but unfortunately it was not possible.
Hai visto la partita ieri sera? No, volevo guardarla, ma purtroppo non è stato possibile.
Note that when a direct object pronoun is attached to the end of the infinitive of a verb (parlare, vedere, venire), the final e is dropped.
A direct object pronoun is also attached to the end of the imperative.
Tell me what you want. Dimmi che cosa vuoi.
The use of pronouns with the Imperative is covered in a separate Note.
The direct object pronoun is also attached to the end of the gerund and the past participle of the verb.
Gerund: Comprandolo Buying it
Past participle: Compratala Having bought it
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