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Old 21st August 2010, 03:55 AM   #1
Uriel
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Default Le, La, and Lo (and their plurals)

Lo, Le, y La

No puedo usarlos correctamente para salvar mi vida. Podrían explicarme cuando usar cuál forma? Parezco usar le donde debería usar lo y vice versa, y me frustra mucho. Creo que si podrían mostrarme con ejemplos en español y inglés, lo entendería mejor, pero es sólo una sugerencia. Ahora, siempre pienso en "lo" como "it", pero sé que debe ser más complicado.
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Old 21st August 2010, 07:46 AM   #2
greytop
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The way I understood it:
It's about direct or indirect objects.

When you use a pronoun for an object with a verb you use a direct object:
Lo compré ayer - I bought it yesterday
Tengo que comprarlo - I must buy it
The full set are me, te, lo, la, nos, os, los, las (me, you, it, it (fem) us, you, them)

If you refer to a person as a direct object "lo" or "la" would apply but you don't do that. Always with people its "a lo" or "a la" = "le", the indirect object (in English to him, to her)
Le veré hoy - I will see him (or her) today
Iré a verla - I am going to see her
The full set are me, te, le, nos, os, les (me, you, he, she us, you, them)

For simplicity the way you think of lo/la = it and le = him/her is probably all you need, as all the others are the same words in Spanish but be aware there will be a few times when that is too simple.

Referring to people using "lo/la" even has its own name in Spanish "loismo" as does referring to inanimate objects with "le" - leismo. Both are considered poor practice.
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Old 21st August 2010, 02:54 PM   #3
LindaM
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Originally Posted by Uriel View Post
Lo, Le, y La

No puedo usarlos correctamente para salvar mi vida. Podrían explicarme cuando usar cuál forma? Parezco usar le donde debería usar lo y vice versa, y me frustra mucho. Creo que si podrían mostrarme con ejemplos en español y inglés, lo entendería mejor, pero es sólo una sugerencia. Ahora, siempre pienso en "lo" como "it", pero sé que debe ser más complicado.
Much as I hate to complicate things, I am pretty sure that in S.American Spanish (which may be of more use to you), lo and la are used for him and her & los and las for them. I think only Spain used le/les. I'll check with my Spanish teacher Tuesday as she's Argentinian.
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Old 21st August 2010, 06:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by LindaM View Post
Much as I hate to complicate things, I am pretty sure that in S.American Spanish (which may be of more use to you), lo and la are used for him and her & los and las for them. I think only Spain used le/les. I'll check with my Spanish teacher Tuesday as she's Argentinian.
In Latin America, most speakers use correctly the different forms "le", "lo", "la"...., as opposed to many Spaniards, particularly those from the regions that are considered to speak the most neutral Castilian Spanish (Madrid and Castile in general), who constantly use those pronouns incorrectly.

As greytop pointed up above, lo and la translate as "it" when referring to objects and him when referring to persons. "Le" would translate as (to/for) him or her, although it may seem a bit tricky, as to or for do not always appear in English, but you can always add it mentally. For "lo" and "la", the prepositions to or for would never be correct.

e.g.

I give her the book would be "Le doy el libro", because even if you would normally say "I give her the book", you can also say I give the book "to" her. However, you would say "La vi ayer", because in English it would be "I saw her yesterday", and you could not add the prepositions "to" or "for".

Remember that you cannot use le + lo/la in the same phrase, so in those cases "le" is substituted by "se".

e.g.

Se lo doy - but not "le lo doy"

(I give it to her/him).

I hope that made sense.

P.S. In Spain, the incorrect use of "le" for "lo" when referring to male persons is so widespread that it has become acceptable now, so you will hear it all the time in Spanish TV for instance, but I would keep away from that and stick to the rule provided by greytop.

Last edited by Urgellenk; 21st August 2010 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 21st August 2010, 06:39 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by LindaM View Post
Much as I hate to complicate things, I am pretty sure that in S.American Spanish (which may be of more use to you), lo and la are used for him and her & los and las for them. I think only Spain used le/les. I'll check with my Spanish teacher Tuesday as she's Argentinian.
Yeah, I know I've heard lo and la used for people. Maybe that explains it. Unfortunately, whether it's correct or not becomes immaterial if people are going to use them that way anyway , I suppose -- it's not unlike the very serious questions I got from my boyfriend on the uses of "gimme" and "lemme" and "gonna"; he was not impressed with my explanation that they are only the rapid-speech versions of "give me", "let me", and "going to".
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Old 22nd August 2010, 12:00 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Urgellenk View Post
I give her the book would be "Le doy el libro", because even if you would normally say "I give her the book", you can also say I give the book "to" her. However, you would say "La vi ayer", because in English it would be "I saw her yesterday", and you could not add the prepositions "to" or "for".

Remember that you cannot use le + lo/la in the same phrase, so in those cases "le" is substituted by "se".

Le veré hoy - I will see him (or her) today.
So why from Greytops explanation is this "le" (as you can't add the "to" or "for" prepositions)

I see him/her (direct object) la veré I will see her. Le veré- I will see him?

Last edited by mightykaboosh; 22nd August 2010 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 22nd August 2010, 10:39 AM   #7
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As I explained, "le" is also accepted nowadays as the pronoun that substitutes a direct object referring to male persons. The phenomenon of "leísmo" is due to the confusion originated by the fact that direct objects referring to people are introduced by the preposition "a" and look like indirect objects.

e.g. "Veo a mi amigo" - I see my friend.

Both forms, le veo and lo veo, are now accepted in these cases, although "le" (originally a mistake) is more widespread in most of Spain, but if I was having problems with these pronouns I would forget about this exception and would stick to the original rule of using "lo" for all direct objects.
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Old 22nd August 2010, 11:43 AM   #8
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Ok, thanks I just needed to clarify this as I've been having problems with the pronouns for about 2 years

Le veo - I see him/ her (leismo, strictly speaking incorrect)

Lo veo - I see him.
La veo - I see her.

If that is it, I've finally got it Hip, Hip HURRAY!

I have one further question on this. Give it to him: (How's this work with the imperitive)

déle la pelota? how's it work if you remove "la pelota" se la dé? / désela

Last edited by mightykaboosh; 22nd August 2010 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 22nd August 2010, 12:49 PM   #9
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Little point on the veré / veo thing.

I told my intercambio "Tú veré mañana" and she said the future wasn't necessary. So now I say "Tú veo mañana" and that is correct. Why! I don't know. That's what they say!
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Old 22nd August 2010, 01:23 PM   #10
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Isn't that te veo? Wouldn't tú veo be I see your?
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Old 22nd August 2010, 03:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightykaboosh View Post
....
I have one further question on this. Give it to him: (How's this work with the imperative)

déle la pelota? how's it work if you remove "la pelota" se la dé? / désela
Rules for position of the object pronouns:
Normally separately before the verb
indirect object / direct object / verb
NB: If both are needed and the indirect object is "le" change it to a "se" as you did in your example

But after the verb (and added to it) with
1. the infinitive (darselo)
2. the gerund (dandoselo)
3. the affirmative imperative (daselo)

Note: with the negative imperative they go before the verb (no se lo des)

I knew those old notes would come in handy one day
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Old 22nd August 2010, 04:08 PM   #12
mightykaboosh
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Thanks Greytop, but why is it not déselo? (I know this is going off topic so I'll apologise now for hijacking the thread)

I thought commands were always in the third person singular? If I go onto wordreference:

presente

da
dé
demos
dad
den

If I said to someone "buy it" (they're not a friend of mine, so I'm not using the tú form i.e compra)
Wouldn't that be comprelo? Is there a special rule because there's no yo form in the imperative?

presente

compra
compre
compremos
comprad
compren

Last edited by mightykaboosh; 22nd August 2010 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 22nd August 2010, 04:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightykaboosh View Post
Ok, thanks I just needed to clarify this as I've been having problems with the pronouns for about 2 years

Le veo - I see him/ her (leismo, strictly speaking incorrect)

Lo veo - I see him.
La veo - I see her.
...
My little book of Gramática y dudas del español says that according to the RAE the masculine form for the direct object can be le or lo but the female form only la - so I guess you got it!
Their examples

Conocí a tu primo - Lo conocí o Le conocí (leísmo using le instead of lo)
Vi al cartero - Lo vi o Le vi
Acepté el encargo - Lo acepté (never Le acepté)
Vi a Luisa - La vi (never Le vi)

Just to add one more layer of complexity. They go on to talk of Laísmo (using la/las instead of le/les for indirect object)
and Loísmo (using lo/los instead of le/les)

Going back to my post#2
"For simplicity the way you think of lo/la = it and le = him/her is probably all you need...."

Unless you're in S.America, or Southern Spain or ....
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Old 22nd August 2010, 04:45 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by mightykaboosh View Post
Thanks Greytop, but why is it not déselo? (I know this is going off topic so I'll apologise now for hijacking the thread)

I thought commands were always in the third person singular? If I go onto wordreference:

presente

da
dé
demos
dad
den

If I said to someone "buy it" (they're not a friend of mine, so I'm not using the tú form i.e compra)
Wouldn't that be comprelo? Is there a special rule because there's no yo form in the imperative?

presente

compra
compre
compremos
comprad
compren
I seem to remember there being multiple command forms for tú and usted forms, and they change in the negative as well, which is why I just make suggestions at this point -- I haven't mastered enough to tell anyone to do anything!
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Old 23rd August 2010, 07:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightykaboosh View Post
Thanks Greytop, but why is it not déselo? (I know this is going off topic so I'll apologise now for hijacking the thread)

I thought commands were always in the third person singular? If I go onto wordreference:

presente

da (tu)
dé (él, ella)
demos (nosotros)
dad (vosotros)
den (ellos, ellas)

If I said to someone "buy it" (they're not a friend of mine, so I'm not using the tú form i.e compra)
Wouldn't that be comprelo? Is there a special rule because there's no yo form in the imperative?

presente

compra
compre
compremos
comprad
compren
You've got me a bit confused now! The forms you quote all exist and can be used - and there is no Yo form as telling yourself to do something is not needed (except in your head maybe )
More often than not the 3rd person form will be used, but not exclusively.
So you can say to your friend : (Tu) Me compra un café
Or to a group of them : Me comprad un café

The negative form uses the subjunctive form of the verb and again can be 2nd, 3rd or plural forms.

Right - I'm off to sort my replacement driving license - another chance to practise some oral skills
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Old 23rd August 2010, 01:38 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by richardksa View Post
Little point on the veré / veo thing.

I told my intercambio "Tú veré mañana" and she said the future wasn't necessary. So now I say "Tú veo mañana" and that is correct. Why! I don't know. That's what they say!
It should be "te veo" as "te" is used as both direct and indirect object.

"Tu" is a subject pronoun so cannot be used in that phrase.

In regard to your other question..... in spanish, it is common and acceptable to use the present tense to express the future, at times.

A very common phrase is to say..."nos vemos" (referring to a future encounter) but you will hear people sometimes say "nos veremos".
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Old 23rd August 2010, 04:11 PM   #17
Legazpi
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...
In regard to your other question..... in spanish, it is common and acceptable to use the present tense to express the future, at times.

A very common phrase is to say..."nos vemos" (referring to a future encounter) but you will hear people sometimes say "nos veremos".
Yes, but in English you can use the present tense to refer to the future as well (provided you say when the event takes place):

e.g. "Tomorrow we are going shopping" or "Tomorrow we'll go shoppping"

They mean pretty much the same thing and AFAIK can be used interchangeably.

However in English the phrase "I'm seeing you tomorrow" (using the present tense) sounds inappropriate when saying goodbye to someone, while "I'll see you tomorrow" sounds fine. I'm not sure why, it just does. Maybe it's because the phrase "I'm seeing you tomorrow" is more declarative while the phrase "I'll see you tomorrow" implies less certainty and leaves it open?

So it seems strange that in Spanish if you say "te veré mañana" (using the future tense) it sounds wrong and you should use the present tense ("te veo mañana") instead. I'd be interested in knowing if there is a reason behind this.
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Old 23rd August 2010, 08:26 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Legazpi View Post
Yes, but in English you can use the present tense to refer to the future as well (provided you say when the event takes place):

e.g. "Tomorrow we are going shopping" or "Tomorrow we'll go shoppping"

They mean pretty much the same thing and AFAIK can be used interchangeably.

However in English the phrase "I'm seeing you tomorrow" (using the present tense) sounds inappropriate when saying goodbye to someone, while "I'll see you tomorrow" sounds fine. I'm not sure why, it just does. Maybe it's because the phrase "I'm seeing you tomorrow" is more declarative while the phrase "I'll see you tomorrow" implies less certainty and leaves it open?

So it seems strange that in Spanish if you say "te veré mañana" (using the future tense) it sounds wrong and you should use the present tense ("te veo mañana") instead. I'd be interested in knowing if there is a reason behind this.
My friend........
"Tomorrow, we'll go shopping" is the future tense in english since "we'll" is the contraction for "we shall" and therefore "future".

However,it is true that in english we use the "present progressive tense" as the future. IE.... "I am working tomorrow"...."They are arriving next week",,, etc, etc...

Oh, by the way, although it is strictly correct to use "shall" with the first person singular and plural in english (I and WE), only the very formal Brits do it that way!!!! In the states we all use "will" when we should be using "shall"!
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Old 24th August 2010, 08:41 AM   #19
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Isn't that te veo? Wouldn't tú veo be I see your?
Of course it is. Don't know why I made that howler. t shows I need my intercambio back from her vacation - pronto.
Write out 100 times TE veo, TE veo .....!
However, if I remember correctly, Tú is you (polite form) and Tu is your.
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Old 24th August 2010, 09:24 AM   #20
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My friend........
"Tomorrow, we'll go shopping" is the future tense in english since "we'll" is the contraction for "we shall" and therefore "future".
I didn't say that it wasn't. I was demonstrating how you can use both the future "Tomorrow, we'll go shopping" and the present "Tomorrow we are going shopping" to refer to the future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackMcG View Post
However,it is true that in english we use the "present progressive tense" as the future. IE.... "I am working tomorrow"...."They are arriving next week",,, etc, etc...

Oh, by the way, although it is strictly correct to use "shall" with the first person singular and plural in english (I and WE), only the very formal Brits do it that way!!!! In the states we all use "will" when we should be using "shall"!
I use "shall" and "will" fairly interchangeably, although there are subtle differences. E.g. If I say "shall we go to the shops?" then really I'm asking to go to the shops, but if I say "will we go to the shops?" then I'm asking whether the event of "us going shopping" will take place or not.
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