II. Indirect-object personal pronouns

Indirect object pronouns are:

Singular                                    Plural

mi    to me                               ci    to us

ti    to you (familiar)                   vi    to you (familiar)

gli   to him, to it                        loro to them

le    to her, to it                        Loro  to you (polite, m. and f.)

Le    to you (polite, m. and f.)


Compare the foregoing with the direct-object pronouns below.

Singular                                      Plural

mi    me                                       ci    us

ti    you                                         vi    you (familiar)

lo    him, it (m.)                              li    them (m.)

la    her, it (f.)                                 le    them (f.)

La    you (polite, m. and f.)            Li    you (polite, m.)

Le    you (polite, f.)


After you have compared these pronouns, the following facts should stand out:

mi = me; to me                      ci = us; to us

ti = to; to you                         vi = you; to you

In the third person, the pronoun objects are as follows.

Direct                                      Indirect

lo = him; it (m.)                         gli = to him, to it

la = her; it (f.)                            le = to her, to it

La = you (polite)                        Le = to you (polite)

li = them (m.)                            loro = to them

le = them (f.)                             Loro = to you (polite)

Li = you (polite, m.)

Le = you (polite, f.)


Observe that with only one exception (le) all these forms differ from each other in spelling. They may appear somewhat confusing when listed all at once, but the context is generally of great help in determining the meaning of a pronoun.

NOTE: The position of the indirect-object pronouns is the same as that of the direct-object pronouns.

  1. They usually precede the verbs (except for loro and Loro, which always follows it).

Gli do del pane. –“I give him some bread.”

  1. With the exception of loro and Loro, the indirect-object pronouns follow and are attached to the infinitive, the present participle, and the affirmative forms of the true imperatives.

Desidero parlargli. –“I wish to speak to him.”

Raccontandogli le mie miserie gli davo noia. –“By telling him my troubles I annoyed him.”

Mostrami i tuoi disegni. –“Show your drawings to me.” (“Show me your drawings.”)

  1. With modal auxiliaries (helping verbs), the indirect-object pronouns may precede the auxiliary or follow the infinitive.

Gli posso parlare? (Posso parlargli?) –“May I speak to him?”

Ti voglio dire qualcosa. (Voglio dirti qualcosa.) –“I want to tell you something.”


VOCABULARY

abbia
has (3d. sing. pres. subj., avere)
*adoperare
to employ, to use
a piene mani
by handfuls
basterà
it will suffice (3d. sing. fut., bastare)
birra
beer
*bocca
mouth
cameriere (m.)
waiter
*capace
capable
*caro
dear, precious
*ciò
this, that (dem.pron.)
crescent
increasing
  diedero
gave (3d. pl. past abs., dare)
disse
said (3d. sing. past abs., dire)
eccelso
lofty, sublime
isdegnare
to disdain, to scorn
*nulla (also niente
nothing
*persino (also perfino)
even
*raccolta
collection
*ricordare
to remember
rispose
replied, answered (3d. sing. past abs., *rispondere)
*romanzo
novel
*sapienza
wisdom
schiera
group, band
seminare
to sow, to scatter
sentenza
saying, maxin
tazza
cup
trattare
to treat, to discuss
vago
fond
*voler dire
to mean

 

Last revised on January 30, 2017.