These are the rules that are common to object pronouns(direct/indirect)

  1. Can precede conjugated verbs.

lo veo

  1. Can precede the verb or be attached to the infinitive when there is a conjugated verb directly followed by the infinitive.

No quiero comprarlo. / No lo quiero comprar.

  1. Must be attached to affirmative command


  1. Must precede negative affirmative commands.

no me recuerde

However, I sometimes see sentence where I don't understand the placement of the object pronoun because they don't seem to fit any of the rules above.

Why are the object pronouns attached to the infinitive?

Can the object pronoun be placed anywhere else in these sentence like they can in rule 2?

Salió sin verlo.

jugué al amor en esta vida Sin quererlo sin Pensarlo

Limpié la casa para venderla.

Es imposible soportarlo.

Recuérdame amándote (amándote is the problematic word here)

mucho gusto en conocerte.

¡Gracias por ayudarnos!

no me basta el mundo entero para amarte.

1 Answer 1


The rules you've learned are OK, but seem a bit restrictive. In fact whenever there's an infinitive and a clitic pronoun, the pronoun goes after the infinitive (regardless of whether there is a conjugated verb before the infinitive, as in rule 2), except in the case of clitic climbing (see below).

So for example, if there's a preposition like a, sin, por, para, en, etc., plus an infinitive, the pronoun always goes after the infinitive:

  • Sólo vine a pagarte.
  • Salió sin verlo.
  • Limpié la casa para venderla.
  • Gracias por ayudarnos.
  • Mucho gusto en conocerte.

If the subject of the phrase is the infinitive with its arguments (pronouns and complements of time, manner, etc.), then the pronouns also go after the infinitive:

  • Es imposible soportarlo en silencio.
  • Acercarnos ahora a él será muy difícil.

In the phrase Recuérdame amándote (which is OK though a bit farfetched) the pronoun te doesn't belong with recuerda but with the gerund amando. Gerunds work with pronouns more or less in the same way as infinitives.

Clitic climbing

The only instance where an infinitive and a pronoun that refers to one of its objects can become separated is illustrated by your rule 2. This happens with some patterns where a main verb (such as querer, poder, intentar) is usually followed by an infinitive. In these cases the pronoun might "climb" from after the subordinated infinitive up to before the main verb. This clitic climbing is an example of something called raising in linguistics.

  • Quiero comprarlo.Lo quiero comprar.
  • Intento entenderte.Te intento entender.
  • Podemos ayudarla.La podemos ayudar.

This pattern is rather restricted. It doesn't work with most of the verbs that are customarily followed by infinitives. The following are all wrong:

  • Odiaría verlo. → ❌ Lo odiaría ver.
  • Me gustaría tenerlo. → ❌ Me lo gustaría tener.

And conversely, these transformations in the opposite direction are also wrong:

  • Lo vi salir. → ❌ Vi salirlo.
  • Me escuchó entrar. → ❌ Escuchó entrarme.
  • When you say the following are all wrong" I assume you mean the sentence after the ❌ are wrong. I don't understand when the pronoun should go in front as in *Lo vi salir or be attached as in *Odiaría verlo, or the criteria for rule 2 since it doesn't work for every verb, but i think i should open a new question for that. Nov 14, 2019 at 13:37
  • Yes, the ones with the ❌ to the right of the arrow are wrong; the ones to the left of the arrow are right.
    – pablodf76
    Nov 14, 2019 at 14:21
  • 1
    The pronoun goes before vi in Lo vi salir because it's the object of vi. This is normal behavior for a pronoun and a finite verb. It goes after ver in Odiaría verlo because, again, it's the object of ver and that's normal behavior for a pronoun and an infinitive.
    – pablodf76
    Nov 14, 2019 at 14:24

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