Direct Object Pronouns (DOPs)

What is a DOP? It stands for Direct Object Pronoun, in English it is “it.” Just as in English you can’t have a normal conversation without saying “it” or “them” in Italian!

E.g. I bought a sandwich. I bought it.         I saw my friends yesterday. I saw them yesterday.

In English you really only have two: “it” and “them,” but in Italian there are many! And I’m sure that you know why that is, right? The different endings! Let’s take a look at them:

DOPs

mi / ci     |   (mi/ti/ci/vi) usually refer to people

ti / vi       |

lo / li       |   (lo/la/li/le) usually refer to objects, but they can also refer to people.

la / le      |

There are a few steps you need to take in order to choose the correct object, and its DOP, and then the DOP’s placement in the new sentence.

E.g. Io faccio i miei compiti (I am doing my homework). What is the object? Ask yourself what you are doing (i miei compiti / my homework). This is your object. Now you have to replace the object (i miei compiti) with one and only one DOP. In this case we choose “li” because “li” represents male plural objects. Our new sentence is: Io li faccio.

Did you notice the placement of the DOP? In Italian it is placed directly in front of the verb!

Let’s take a look a couple of examples:

Io non faccio i miei compiti. –> Io non li faccio.

Lui compra dei libri per la classe di italiano. –> Lui li compra per la classe.

Noi vediamo un film stasera.–> Noi lo vediamo stasera.

Gianni e il suo amico Mario non volgiono pulire la stanza. –> Gianni e il suo amico Mario non la vogliono pulire.