Using le and les = [to] it,him, her, them (indirect object pronouns)

Learn about pronouns le and les in Spanish

Le and les are pronouns: they replace a noun (person, animal or thing) used as the indirect object in the sentence (object introduced by the preposition a). 

Have a look at these examples:

¿Ella envía un regalo a Miguel? Sí, ella le envía un regalo.Is she sending a present to Miguel? Yes, she is sending him a present.

¿Quién prepara la fiesta a Sofía? Nosotros le preparamos la fiesta.Who is preparing the party for Sofía? We are preparing the party for her.

¿Luna escribe a sus amigas? Sí, les escribe.Does Luna write to her friends? Yes, she writes to them.

You also use le or les to replace the formal forms usted and ustedes:

Señora Valls, le doy su carta.Mrs. Valls, I am giving you your letter.

Señor y Señora Aldama, hoy les pago la renta.Mr. and Mrs. Aldama, today I'm paying you the rent.

 

Note that the indirect object pronoun agrees in number with the noun it is replacing:

  Masculine / Feminine
Singular le 
to it / him / her / you
Plural les 
to them / you

The indirect object pronoun is placed in front of the conjugated verb.


ATTENTION:

In Spanish, it's common to use both the indirect object pronoun and the indirect object noun it's replacing in the same sentence, for emphasis:

Ella le envió un regalo a Miguel.She sent a present to Miguel.

Nosotros les preparamos la cena a nuestros invitados.We are cooking dinner for our guests.

Señor López, le entrego el paquete.Mr. Lopez, I am delivering the package to you.

Hoy les pago la renta a ustedes.Today I'm paying you the rent.

Here are some other examples where "le/les" refer to things:

Añadí sal a la comida. Le añadí sal.I added salt to the food. I added salt to it.

Puse alcohol a las bebidas. Les puse alcohol.I put some alcohol in the drinks. I put some alcohol in them.

See also Using lo, la, los, las = him, her, it, them (direct object pronouns)

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Examples and resources

Señor López, le entrego el paquete.Mr. Lopez, I am delivering the package to you.
Le di unas monedas porque estaba hambriento.I gave him some coins because he was starving.
Le dije que la quería.I told her I loved her.
Les ofrecí un café.I offered them a coffee.
Les pregunté cómo estaban.I asked them how they were.
Señor y Señora Aldama, hoy les pago la renta.Mr. and Mrs. Aldama, today I'm paying you the rent.
Yo le doy el periódico al portero ahora.I am giving the newspaper to the doorman now.
Señora Valls, le doy su carta.Mrs. Valls, I am giving you your letter.
Yo les doy las llaves a sus amigos.I am giving the keys to his friends.
¿Quién prepara la fiesta a Sofía? Nosotros le preparamos la fiesta.Who is preparing the party for Sofía? We are preparing the party for her.
Nosotros les preparamos la cena a nuestros invitados.We are cooking dinner for our guests.
¿Luna escribe a sus amigas? Sí, les escribe.Does Luna write to her friends? Yes, she writes to them.
¿Ella envía un regalo a Miguel? Sí, ella le envía un regalo.Is she sending a present to Miguel? Yes, she is sending him a present.
Le di un abrazo.I gave her a hug.
Añadí sal a la comida. Le añadí sal.I added salt to the food. I added salt to it.
Les dije que era una mala idea.I told them it was a bad idea.
Puse alcohol a las bebidas. Les puse alcohol.I put some alcohol in the drinks. I put some alcohol in them.
Le di unas monedas porque estaba hambriento.I gave him some coins because he was starving.
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