I understand that usually object pronouns go before the verb in Spanish. I also understand that present participle (-iendo), infinitive, and imperative are exceptions where the object is attached to the end of the verb as a suffix instead. What happens in the subjunctive case? Since imperative is also subjunctive, conjugation-wise, should we follow the same rule? Which of the following would be a better translation for "Give the man a beer to swallow it"?

1. Dale al hombre una cerveza para traguelo.

2. Dale al hombre una cerveza para lo trague.

And if the object is a noun instead (e.g. pastilla), will it take an "a" before it? i.e., will it be the following?

Dale al hombre una cerveza para trague a la pastilla.

  • 1
    All of your examples should be para que, otherwise, they'll be plain infinitives. Dec 25, 2014 at 7:17

1 Answer 1


Enclisis (objects after the verb) is possible for personal forms of verbs only in ordinate (main) clauses. Non personal forms (infinitive, participles) obligate enclisis.

Proclisis (objects before the verb) is the norm in modern Spanish except for verbs in the imperative and exhortative subjunctive which most of the time functions as a pseudo-imperative (nademos, etc.).

In your example, the verb is in a secondary clause and in a non-exhortative subjunctive mood so enclisis is not possible. This, proclisis is your only option: para que lo trague

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.