3

I am a little confused about when a pronoun should and should not be added to the infinitive of a verb.

So below are some examples:

1) ¿Me compras un sandwich? - Will you buy me a sandwich?

2) ¿Podrías comprarme un sandwich? - Could you buy me a sandwich?

3) comprarme - buy me

4) me comprar - buy me

I think I remember reading that if you have two verbs next to each other the second should be in the infinitive form and that the pronoun can be added to the end of the infinitive or it can be placed at the before the first verb, like below. So is the line below the same as ¿Podrías comprarme un sandwich?

5) ¿Me podrías comprar? - Could you buy me?

Or is there a difference? It seems to me lines 1, 2 & 5 are the same apart from 2 & 5 being more polite.

Also if in line 2) there was no podrias, i.e. another verb would it be wrong to add the pronoun to the end of the infinitive verb?

  • 3
  • It's entirely the choice of the writer/speaker. Fun! // For your last paragraph, no, it would not be wrong. Examples: Voy a leerlo pronto, No me obligues a leerlo. Without hooking: Lo voy a leer pronto, No me lo obligues a leer. – aparente001 Apr 10 '18 at 13:36
  • 2
    Voting to keep open. The "duplicate" is written in a technical enough form that someone learning the language would not recognize it as an answer to hs question, this one, however, is written in a more accessible way and gives way to more specific examples in the use case. – hlecuanda Apr 10 '18 at 15:48
1

Example #4 was correct in Medieval Spanish, but not anymore. Today, pronouns added to an infinitive (comprarme) or gerund (comprándome) or imperative (cómprame) must go after the verb, except when it's a negative imperative (no me compres).

You could rephrase #2 as ¿Me podrías comprar un sandwich?, which is a correct form.

When you're linking multiple verbs, the pronoun can go pretty much anywhere, with the Mexican preference being towards the first verbs. All of these sentences are correct (meaning I'm going to have to comb my hair again):

Me voy a tener que volver a peinar.

Voy a tenerme que volver a peinar. (Mexico tends to favor forms such as this)

Voy a tener que volverme a peinar.

Voy a tener que volver a peinarme.

As soon as you use any form other than infinitive, gerund or imperative, it is preferred to place the pronoun before the verb:

Se tuvo que volver a peinar.

Se volvió a peinar.

Se peinó.

Placing the pronoun after the verb in any form other than infinitive, gerund or imperative is frequent in Medieval Spanish (Volviose a peinar), but sounds hilariously pedantic nowadays.

  • "Hilariously pedantic" — say that to the many people in the north of Spain that still use that on a daily basis :-) – guifa Apr 11 '18 at 1:19
  • When I used to play Scrabble in Spanish I tacked pronouns on at the end of all kinds of verbes, to gain 7-letter-word bonuses. That's not allowed? – aparente001 Apr 11 '18 at 1:36
  • Examples of those? – Carlos Arturo Serrano Apr 11 '18 at 4:59
  • @CarlosArturoSerrano - Sure. Scrabble examples: Peinose (ayer). Volviose (ayer). Peinome (ayer). Peineme (ayer). Peinábame (ayer). Péinome (ahora). Peinémosnos. Peinareme (mañana). – aparente001 Sep 22 '18 at 18:08
  • Oh, they technically exist. But nobody says "peinose" in real life. In the case of "nos", the S of "mos" is removed. It must be "Peinémonos." – Carlos Arturo Serrano Sep 24 '18 at 1:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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