Glielo spieghi? (Will you explain it to him?) - Sentences with two object pronouns

Reminder: indirect object pronouns Pronomi CI replace a noun referring to a person, animal or thing to avoid repeating the noun itself.

Ciro chiede un favore ad Anna Ciro le chiede un favore

Ciro asks Anna for a favor → Ciro asks her for a favor

If a sentence contains both a direct object pronoun Pronomi CD and an indirect object pronoun Pronomi CI or a reflexive pronoun Pronomi riflessivi, the indirect object pronoun or the reflexive pronoun comes before the direct object pronoun.

Anna ti (CI) dà le chiavi (CD) Anna te (CI) le (CD) dà

Anna gives you the keys → Anna gives them to you (or more literally, “Anna gives you them”)

Mi (CI) passi lo zucchero (CD)? Me (CI) lo (CD) passi?

Will you pass me the sugar? → Will you pass it to me? (or more literally, “Will you pass me it?”)

When more than one pronoun is used in the same sentence, there are some changes:

  • the indirect and reflexive pronouns mi, ti, ci, vi, si become me, te, ce, ve, se.

Ti porto un regalo Te lo porto

I'm bringing you a gift → I'm bringing it to you

Ci danno un passaggio Ce lo danno

They are giving us a ride → They are giving us one

  • the indirect object pronoun gli (to him/her) + a direct object pronoun combine to form a single word with the addition of an e in the middle of the two pronouns.

Passa il sale a Marco Passaglielo (gli + lo)

Pass the salt to Marco → Pass it to him

Porto i biscotti alla bambina Glieli porto (gli + li)

I take the cookies to the girl → I take them to her

When both pronouns are present in the same sentence, they come before the verb when it is in the indicative (“standard” present tense), the subjunctive or the conditional, whereas they combine to form one word and come after the verb when it is in the imperative, the infinitive or the gerundio (“-ing” form equivalent).

Te lo porto subito.

I'm bringing it to you right away.

Diglielo immediatamente!

Say it to him right now!

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