Placement of direct and indirect object pronouns

Direct and indirect object pronouns go:

1) Before the verb, usually:

Non lo conosco.

I don't know him.

Le ho mandato una cartolina.

I sent her a postcard.

2) After the verb, and attached to it to form a single word, in the following cases:

  • With an infinitive. When this happens we drop the -e from the end of the verb.

Mi piace guardarvi

I like looking at you.

Preferisco incontrarti al ristorante.

I'd prefer to meet you at the restaurant.

  • With a gerund (verb form that ends in -ndo):

Guardandovi, penso alla mia gioventù.

Looking at you, I think of my younger days.

Pensandoci, hai ragione. 

Thinking about it, you're right.

  • After the adverb ecco (here you go):

Eccoci qua.

Here we are.

Eccomi arrivato.

I've arrived (literally “Here I am arrived”).

3) Either before or after:

  • With an affirmative imperative (before with lui/lei/loro, he/she/they/formal “you”, and after with the other grammatical persons).

(Tu) compralo!

(Informal “you”) Buy it!

(Lei) lo compri! 

(Formal “you”) Buy it!

  • With a negative imperative (you can choose where to place it without changing the meaning and regardless of the grammatical person).

Non mi telefonare! 

Don't call me!

Non telefonarmi!

Don't call me!

  • With the phrase stare per (to be about to) + infinitive or a modal verb (volere, to want to; potere, to be able to; dovere, to have to, etc.) + infinitive, either before the conjugated verb or attached to the end of the infinitive verb:

Ti sto per chiamare/Sto per chiamarti.

I'm about to call you.

Vi dovevo informare/Dovevo informarvi.

I had to inform you.

Note: loro always goes after the verb when it's used to mean “to them”.

Hai portato loro le uova? 

Did you take them the eggs?

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