Languages › Italian Indirect Object Pronouns in Italian Learn how to use indirect object pronouns, like "gli", in Italian Share Flipboard Email Print Shot of espresso on yellow tablecloth. Tommaso Altamura / EyeEm / Getty Images Italian Grammar History & Culture Vocabulary By Cher Hale Italian Language Expert B.A., University of Nevada–Las Vegas Cher Hale is the founder of The Iceberg Project, a language-learning platform for students of the Italian language. She also hosts the 30 Minute Italian podcast. our editorial process Cher Hale Updated November 04, 2019 While direct object nouns and pronouns answer the questions what? or whom?, indirect object nouns and pronouns answer the questions to whom? or for whom?. “I told John that I wanted to go to Italy, but when I told John that, he wasn’t listening. I don’t know why I try to talk to John.” While you can easily understand the sentences above, they sound unnatural and that’s because instead of using a pronoun, like “him”, the speaker has simply repeated “John” over and over again. Using indirect object pronouns in place of the noun can help spoken and written language flow more naturally. In English the word to is often omitted: We gave a cookbook to Uncle John.—We gave Uncle John a cookbook. However, 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 a perfume? Puoi spiegare questa ricetta a Paolo? - Can you explain this recipe to Paul? As you saw above in the example with “John”, 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. SINGULAR PLURAL 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 Correct Placement of Indirect Object Pronouns Indirect object pronouns, just 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. A: Che cosa regali allo zio Giovanni? - What are you giving Uncle John? B: Gli regalo un libro di cucina. - I'll give him a cookbook. Indirect object pronouns can also be attached to an infinitive, and when that happens the –e of the infinitive is dropped. Non ho tempo di parlargli. - I have no time to talk to him. Non ho tempo di parlarle. - I have no time to talk to her. If the infinitive comes before a form of the verbs 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. FUN FACT: Le and gli never connect before a verb beginning with a vowel or an h. Le offro un caffè - I offer her a cup of coffee. Gli hanno detto «Ciao!». - They said "Ciao!" to him. Common Verbs Used with Indirect Objects The following common Italian verbs are used with indirect object nouns or pronouns. dare to give dire to say domandare to ask (im)prestare to lend insegnare to teach mandare to send mostrare to show offrire to offer portare to bring preparare to prepare regalare to give (as a gift) rendere to return, give back riportare to bring back scrivere to write telefonare to telephone Cite this Article Format mla apa chicago Your Citation Hale, Cher. "Indirect Object Pronouns in Italian." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, thoughtco.com/indirect-object-pronouns-in-italian-4057468. Hale, Cher. (2020, August 26). Indirect Object Pronouns in Italian. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/indirect-object-pronouns-in-italian-4057468 Hale, Cher. "Indirect Object Pronouns in Italian." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/indirect-object-pronouns-in-italian-4057468 (accessed September 17, 2021). copy citation Watch Now: How to Say "Do You Speak English" in Italian Direct Object Pronouns in Italian The Imperative Mood in Italian Double Object Pronouns in Italian: Pronomi Combinati To Do Unto Yourself: Italian Reflexive Verbs To Be: The Italian Auxiliary Essere and Intransitive Verbs How to Conjugate the Verb 'Stare' in Italian Forming the Plural of Italian Nouns How to Use the Tiny Italian Ne Italian Present Conditional Tense Italian Pronunciation For Beginners Italian Direct Object Pronouns With Passato Prossimo The Italian Infinitive: L'Infinito Irregular Past Participles in Italian How to Use Italian Reflexive Pronouns Italian Prepositions Tra and Fra What Is the Difference Between "Avere" and "Tenere" in Italian?