1. Education

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Italian Language Lessons
Grammar, spelling, and usage

Italian Indirect Object Pronouns
Workbook Exercises About This Topic
Printer–Friendly Version

Direct object nouns and pronouns answer the question what? or whom? Indirect object nouns and pronouns answer the question to whom? or for whom? In English the word to is often omitted: We gave a cookbook to Uncle John.—We gave Uncle John a cookbook. In Italian, the preposition a is always used before an indirect object noun.

Abbiamo regalato un libro di cucina allo zio Giovanni. (We gave a cookbook to Uncle John.)
Perché non regali un profumo alla mamma? (Why don’t you give Mother some perfume?)
Puoi spiegare questa ricetta a Paolo? (Can you explain this recipe to Paul?)

Indirect object pronouns (i pronomi indiretti) replace indirect object nouns. They are identical in form to direct object pronouns, except for the third person forms gli, le, and loro.

mi (to/for) me ci (to/for) us
ti (to/for) you vi (to/for) you
Le (to/for) you (formal m. and f.) Loro (to/for) you (form., m. and f.)
gli (to/for) him loro (to/for) them
le (to/for) her

Indirect object pronouns, like direct object pronouns, precede a conjugated verb, except for loro and Loro, which follow the verb.

Le ho dato tre ricette. (I gave her three recipes.)
Ci offrono un caffè. (They offer us a cup of coffee.)
Parliamo loro domani. (We’ll talk to them tomorrow.)
Che cosa regali allo zio Giovanni? (What are you giving Uncle John?)
Gli regalo un libro di cucina. (I'll give him a cookbook.)

Indirect object pronouns are attached to an infinitive, and the –e of the infinitive is dropped.

Non ho tempo di parlargli. (I have no time to talk to him.)

If the infinitive is preceded by a form of dovere, potere, or volere, the indirect object pronoun is either attached to the infinitive (after the –e is dropped) or placed before the conjugated verb.

Voglio parlargli. Gli voglio parlare. I want to talk to him.

1, 2 | Next page

Italian Language Study Resources
Language Lessons: Italian grammar, spelling, and usage.
Audio Phrasebook: Improve your pronunciation and build your vocabulary.
Workbook Exercises: Worksheets, drills, activities, and review.
Buon Divertimento: Italian jokes, riddles, and puns.
Italian Verbs: Formation, moods, tenses, and table of conjugations.
Study Guides: Challenge your skills and test your knowledge of various topics.
Audio Lab: Word of the day, survival phrases, ABC's, numbers, and conversation.


Subscribe to the Newsletter

Related Video
Italian Salsa Verde

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.