Can someone explain the word order in the sentence below and help me understand the grammar?

Mi mamá siempre me compra muñecas. My mom always buys me dolls.

Although incorrect, I keep wanting to parse it as:

Mi mamá me siempre compra muñecas

because I'm confused about word order with Spanish pronouns and adverbs.

  • 1
    Note that your sentence only had one adjective: mi. I'm guessing you mean adverbs Mar 7, 2019 at 3:48
  • 1
    You could also say "Mi mamá me compra muñecas siempre" or "Mi mamá me compra siempre muñecas" but either way me goes always before of the verb "compra". You can move the time adverb "siempre" up and down but not between "me" and "compra"
    – DGaleano
    Mar 7, 2019 at 14:50

1 Answer 1


In modern Spanish, unstressed pronouns (that is, me, te, se, le, lo, la, nos, os, les, los, las) must always come either directly before (with a space) or directly after (without a space) a verb.

By placing me in front of siempre, we violate that rule.

Note that I did say modern Spanish. It is possible to find examples of exactly the order you describe in the first part of the 1500s and before:

La razón que me siempre dexistes (Amadís de Gaula, 1482).

entended señor en me siempre ayudar (trad. de Crónica de Aragón, 1499).

e ell ángel que me siempre guardó de todo mal bendiga estos niños (Alfonso X, c. 1275)

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