• Grammar - Level 1
  • Lesson 08: Object Pronouns/Direct and Indirect Objects/Relexive Pronouns

Object Pronouns –  Direct and Indirect Object Reflexive Pronouns

Object pronouns are used when the subject changes from its normal position at the beginning of
the sentence. They can never be used in subject position.

 Personal Pronoun  Object Pronoun  Reflexive Pronoun
 Me Myself 
 You  Yourself 
 Him  Himself 
 Her  Herself 
 It  Itself 
 Us  Ourselves 
 You  Yourself 
 Them  Themselves

When we use object pronouns to replace the subject this subject must be understood or we have to point to the object.

  • Give the pencil to Mark.
  • Give it to Mark  . or
    Give the pencil to him.
  • Put the garbage outside. 
  • Put it outside.
  • Take the cows out of the corral. 
  • Take them out of the corral.
  • Throw the bone to the dog. 
  • Throw it to the dog.  or
    Throw the bone to it. 
  • Tell your parents to come in the afternoon. 
  • Tell them to come in the afternoon.

Direct object = objects
Indirect objects = people

  • Give me the pen right now. (Pattern One)
  • Give it to me right now. (Pattern Two)

With this list of verbs, we can put the direct object immediately after the verb or at the end of the sentences with “to” before the indirect object.

  • give
  • show
  • sell
  • bring
  • write
  • teach
  • send
  • pass
  • read
  • tell
  • lend
  • Write me a letter.
  • Write a letter to me.
  • Pass me the salt, please.
  • Pass the salt to me, please.

With this list only Pattern One is possible. In other words, the direct object must go right after the verb.

  • ask
  • wish
  • cost
  • charge

Ask the teacher a question.

Ask him a question.

Ask a question to him.
With this list only Pattern Two is possible; the indirect object after the verb (with the direct object preceded by to.)

  • announce
  • mention
  • say
  • report
  • describe
  • prove
  • speak
  • explain
  • introduce
  • repeat
  • suggest

Explain the lesson to me please.

 Explain me the lesson, please.
With the verbs ask, tell or want, the indirect object is used immediately after the verb followed by a verb in infinitive form.

Ask your parents to come on time next time.  

Ask to your parents to come on time next time (Error).

My teacher wants me to study for the test.

My teacher wants to me study for the test (Error).

Tell them to come back early. 

Tell to them to come back early (Error).
When we use the verbs let or make, the following verb is conjugated normally.

Let me help you. Let me to help you (Error).
Let him go. Let him to go (Error).
Don’t make me laugh. Don’t make me to laugh (Error).
This joke makes me smile. This joke makes me to smile (Error).

We use reflexive pronouns when the action reflexes on the subject. Here are some examples of verbs that use reflexive pronouns.

  • comb
  • dress
  • cut
  • kill
  • enjoy
  • wash
  • clean
  • stop
  • shave
  • My father shaves himself in the morning. 
  • Don’t kill yourself! 
  • The little boy can’t dress himself. 
  • This CD player is fully automatic. It stops by itself. 
  • I cut myself because the knife is very sharp.
  • Please, enjoy yourselves at the party.
  • Cats are very tidy. They clean themselves. 

But when we want to say that the action was performed by the subject without anyone’s help we use “by” before the reflexive pronoun.

  • In the U.S.A. some elderly people live by themselves. 
  • I did the exam by myself. Nobody helped me. 
  • Kids can not cross the street by themselves. 
  • This dishwasher is not automatic. It can’t stop by itself. 
  • They crossed the river by themselves.
  • If you want to learn English do the exercises by yourselves and don’t copy