Direct object pronouns
First of all: what is a direct object? Anything that can answer the questions What? and Who? is a direct object, as in Compro i peperoni and Oggi vedo mia sorella, where peperoni and mia sorella are direct objects of the verbs comprare and vedere. Consider the following example:
Stamattina ho comprato i peperoni al mercato e ora li preparo.
In the example above, li stands for i peperoni. We use li to avoid repeating the word peperoni. Li is a pronoun, that is, it stands in the place of a noun, in this case, a direct object. Here is the complete list of direct pronouns:
|mi [me]||ci [us]|
|ti [you]||vi [you guys]|
|lo [him – a person, masculine singular; it – a masculine singular object]||li [them – objects and people, masculine plural]|
|la [her – a person, feminine singular; it – a feminine singular object]||le [them – objects and people, feminine plural]|
Like ci and ne, these pronouns always go before the conjugated verb, i.e.: la compro, vi vedo, etc. However, when there is a verb + an infinitive, it can go either before the conjugated verb or be attached to the end of the infinitive after you have dropped the last letter of the infinitive, as in assaggiare > assaggiar. Consider the two possible answers to the following question:
Hai già assaggiato la frittata?
- No, ma la voglio assaggiare subito.
- No, ma voglio assaggiarla subito.