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Old 30th October 2008, 06:52 AM   #1
kaos2me
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Default Direct Object Pronouns

Obviously I am not getting this concept since I bombed my assignment.

Can anyone help my understand why my answer is wrong and the given answer is right?

Thank you for any help as I am now a little afraid to do my other assignments. I don't want to bomb them too.



My assignment was to indicate the sentence in English that corresponds to each sentence in Spanish. I thought I did pretty well. Not so much.
  1. La llama un hombre.

    • A man is calling her. (correct answer)• She is calling a man. (your response)
  1. A mi madre la besa mi padre.

    My mother kisses my father. (your response)• My father kisses my mother. (correct answer)
  1. La busca un niño.

    She is looking for a child. (your response)• A child is looking for her. (correct answer)
Nos ayudan nuestros padres.

• Our parents help us. (correct answer)• We help our parents. (your response)


  1. Lo quiere llamar ella.

    • She wants to call him. (correct answer)• He wants to call her. (your response)

  1. Los detestan los niños.

    They detest the children. (your response)• The children detest them. (correct answer)

Last edited by kaos2me; 30th October 2008 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 30th October 2008, 09:13 AM   #2
Beckett
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Hi Kaos,
From your answers it's clear that you are using an English structure in Spanish and that's where the problem lies.

Also, you are confusing the Spanish direct-object pronouns with regular pronouns.

In Spanish the regular pronouns are: yo, tú, él, ella, usted, nosotros, vosotros, ellos, ellas, ustedes.

In Spanish the direct-object pronouns are: me, te, la, lo, nos, las, los. (In Spain, add "le," "les" and "os" to that list.)

Anyway, it can get a little complicated to give a short, clear answer in this space, so I recommend that you read the following pages to get a solid explanation of this grammar point.

http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/dopro1.htm

http://spanish.about.com/library/beg...ct_objects.htm


If you still have questions after reading them, come back and fire away. Also, in the future you may also want to check out the Spanish grammar forum at WordReference.com. It's an excellent resource.

Last edited by Beckett; 30th October 2008 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 30th October 2008, 10:34 AM   #3
Urgellenk
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Hi,

I must say that the sentences provided in your assignment are rather tricky, as they all invert the usual order of words in Spanish (Subject+Verb+Object) in order to induce confusion. They are perfectly correct, but you will not see that phrase structure very often in normal speech.

I am sure if they had written "Mi padre besa a mi madre" and so on, you would have had all your answers correct.
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Old 30th October 2008, 01:36 PM   #4
greytop
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Originally Posted by kaos2me View Post
...
  1. La llama un hombre. (o Un hombre la llama)

    • A man is calling her. (correct answer)• She is calling a man. (Llama a un hombre)
  1. A mi madre la besa mi padre. (o Mi padre la besa a mi madre)

    • My father kisses my mother. (correct answer) • My mother kisses my father. (Mi madre besa a mi padre)
  1. La busca un niño. (o Un niño la busca)

    • A child is looking for her. (correct answer)• She is looking for a child. (Busca a un niño))
Nos ayudan nuestros padres. (o Nuestros padres nos ayudan)

• Our parents help us. (correct answer)• We help our parents. (Ayudamos a nuestros padres)


  1. Lo quiere llamar ella. (o Lo quiere llamar a ella)

    • She wants to call him. (correct answer)• He wants to call her. (Quiere llamarla a ella)
Los detestan los niños. (o Los niños los detestan)
  1. • The children detest them. (correct answer)• They detest the children. (Los detestan a los niños)
So if I've understood the answers above is this summary correct. One thing puzzles me, I'd have thought the indirect pronouns would have applied, as they refer to people and you always use a alguien with a verb acting on a person. (e.g A mi madre le besa mi padre)
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Old 30th October 2008, 01:55 PM   #5
delgado
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I would have written/said it that way too Grey top........ (using "le") "mi padre le besa a mi madre"

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Originally Posted by greytop View Post
So if I've understood the answers above is this summary correct. One thing puzzles me, I'd have thought the indirect pronouns would have applied, as they refer to people and you always use a alguien with a verb acting on a person. (e.g A mi madre le besa mi padre)
The more you learn the more you realise you have more to learn
Ditto!!!

Last edited by delgado; 30th October 2008 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 30th October 2008, 03:25 PM   #6
Cide Hamete Benengeli VII
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Default Laísmo

The person that created the home work questions is probably a madrileño, or a native of central or northwest Castilla, or at least someone heavily influenced by the varieties of Spanish spoken in these areas. Spanish speakers from the aforementioned areas of Castilla typically use la as a feminine indirect object. This phenomenon is called laísmo.

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...One thing puzzles me, I'd have thought the indirect pronouns would have applied, as they refer to people and you always use a alguien with a verb acting on a person. (e.g A mi madre le besa mi padre)
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Old 30th October 2008, 03:26 PM   #7
Legazpi
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I think this is quite a useful excercise since it helps you to think in Spanish, and gets you out of the habit of looking for an equivalent structure in English, when maybe there isn't one.

Also this structure is not that uncommon, e.g. I often get told at work "te ha llamado tú mujer" (your wife has called).

Regarding the phrase "A mi madre la besa mi padre", I think the "la" pronoun represents a direct object (mi madre) rather than an indirect object, because it is the mother that is being kissed. I believe this has to be the case because otherwise the phrase would be missing a direct object, and I don't think you can have phrases with indirect objects but without direct objects (the verb has to act directly on something first, and then maybe indirectly on something else as well).

Compare this with the phrase "Mi padre ha dicho las noticias a mi madre" (my father has told the news to my mother) and you can see that the thing being told is not the mother, it is the news. So the news is the direct object that the verb is acting on, and the mother is the indirect object.

If you wanted to replace the objects with pronouns, the phrase would become something like "Mi padre se las ha dicho" (with the "se" representing the mother and the "las" representing the news").

I agree that the "a alguien" thing is a bit misleading because it makes you think of the phrase "to someone", i.e. that the person "alguien" is acting as a recipient of something, which is often how indirect objects behave (like the mother receiving the news in the above phrase). However I don't think you should really think of "a alguien" as being equivalent to "to someone", I think it is better to think of it as a quirk of the Spanish language. One of the grammar experts on the forum might be able to explain this better.
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Old 30th October 2008, 03:38 PM   #8
Legazpi
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Originally Posted by Legazpi View Post
...I believe this has to be the case because otherwise the phrase would be missing a direct object, and I don't think you can have phrases with indirect objects but without direct objects (the verb has to act directly on something first, and then maybe indirectly on something else as well).
Hmmm, on second thoughts this might not be entirely true because in English you can say "my father has told my mother", i.e. leaving out the direct object (e.g. the news being told) altogether. However I still need convincing that the mother is the indirect object in the phrase "A mi madre la besa mi padre", if she is not the direct object, then what is?
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Old 30th October 2008, 04:32 PM   #9
delgado
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I have given this some thought (please correct me if i'm wrong) but does the direct pronoun (or laismo as Cide pointed out) being used in the phrase " mi padre la besa a mi madre" have something to do with the verb being used......???

surely the natural pronoun to use would be the indirect...

eg.
" le pregunté a ella " ( I asked her)
" le contesté a ella" ( I answered her)

however , with certain verbs (ver, querer, besar) the direct pronoun/laismo is used.......???

eg.
" la ví a ella" ( I saw her)
"la quiero mucho a ella"( I love her very much)
"la besé a ella" (I kissed her)

So if the verb in the phrase in question was changed to , "decir" for example ,it would be written....

"mi padre le dice a mi madre" (my father says to my mother)

and also , if it is a case of laismo would it also be grammatically correct to write....

"mi padre le besa a mi madre" ????

Am I on the right track here????

Last edited by delgado; 30th October 2008 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 30th October 2008, 05:26 PM   #10
kaos2me
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Muchas gracias por todos ayuda.

I know I probably messed up the above sentence too. I do think I tend to think in English sentence structure and apply it to Spanish, as Beckett pointed out. Thus far, it has worked well but, now, not so much.

All the advice given is a lot to absorb and much of it goes over my head at this point. But I'll check everything out and try to make sense of it.

I was pretty discouraged last night. So it helps, also, to know that even more experienced Spanish learners have something to learn about direct object pronouns.

Muchas gracias otra vez.

This forum rocks.
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Old 30th October 2008, 05:32 PM   #11
Legazpi
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Delgado

Yes I think you are on the right track. However it's not a case of some verbs taking indirect objects and others taking direct objects. All verbs take direct objects, however some verbs can also invoke indirect objects as well.

In your example "le pregunté a ella", the "ella" is the indirect object and the direct object is the question being asked. In other words, you are effectively saying that you asked her the question ("se lo pregunté a ella"), however you just happened to leave out the direct object in your phrase.

Your other example "le contesté a ella" works in the same way. Again it is the question that you answer so that is the direct object, while it is "ella" who the answer is directed towards, so "ella" becomes the indirect object ("se lo contesté a ella").

In your other examples, I think you are right in saying that those verbs only take direct objects. You cannot "see something to someone", you cannot "love something to someone" and you cannot "kiss something to someone". The indirect objects make no sense.

However, as I explained above, you can "ask something to someone", you can "give something to someone", you can "send something to someone", etc, so those verbs can invoke an indirect object.
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Old 30th October 2008, 07:28 PM   #12
delgado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legazpi View Post
Delgado

Yes I think you are on the right track. However it's not a case of some verbs taking indirect objects and others taking direct objects. All verbs take direct objects, however some verbs can also invoke indirect objects as well.

In your example "le pregunté a ella", the "ella" is the indirect object and the direct object is the question being asked. In other words, you are effectively saying that you asked her the question ("se lo pregunté a ella"), however you just happened to leave out the direct object in your phrase.

Your other example "le contesté a ella" works in the same way. Again it is the question that you answer so that is the direct object, while it is "ella" who the answer is directed towards, so "ella" becomes the indirect object ("se lo contesté a ella").

In your other examples, I think you are right in saying that those verbs only take direct objects. You cannot "see something to someone", you cannot "love something to someone" and you cannot "kiss something to someone". The indirect objects make no sense.

However, as I explained above, you can "ask something to someone", you can "give something to someone", you can "send something to someone", etc, so those verbs can invoke an indirect object.
ok thanks alot

I have just had a long conversation about pronouns and this test with a native, and she said that it was badly written (especially as a grammar test) and should have been written like this.......

le llama un hombre = a man calls her

Mi padre besa a mi madre or Mi padre la/le besa = my father kisses my mother or my father kisses her*she would never say " mi padre la/le besa a mi madre" or " a mi madre la/le besa mi padre"*

Le busca un niño = she looks(is looking) for a child

Le quiere llamar a ella= he wants to call her

*the others were obviously correct*

Just as a side note she also said that "le/la quiero a ella" can also be said ,but with the verb "ver" you have to use the direct pronoun "la".

No wonder Kaos2me had a hard time answering the questions!!!

Last edited by delgado; 30th October 2008 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 30th October 2008, 08:55 PM   #13
delgado
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Originally Posted by kaos2me View Post
Muchas gracias por todos ayuda.
I was pretty discouraged last night. So it helps, also, to know that even more experienced Spanish learners have something to learn about direct object pronouns.

Muchas gracias otra vez.

This forum rocks.
Don't be discouraged they are the bain of our lives and possibly the hardest part about leaning spainsh(along with the subjuntive)....

I once said to a friend of mine (who shall remain nameless hehe)" jo tía!! si tu lengua tuviera menos complimentos sería mas fácil de aprender" ...... to which they replied ...." pues sí , y si mi abuela tuviera ruedas sería autobus"

"s%%t girl!! If your language had less pronouns it would be much easier to learn"........." yes sure , and if my grandmother had wheels she would be a bus"

Keep up the good work , you will get there in the end

Last edited by delgado; 30th October 2008 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 30th October 2008, 10:39 PM   #14
Cide Hamete Benengeli VII
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Hi, thinking a little more about this example, it isn't laísmo, but it would have been if it had been re-phrased as:

A mi madre mi padre la da un beso.

or

Mi padre la da un beso a mi madre.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaos2me View Post
....
  1. A mi madre la besa mi padre.

    My mother kisses my father. (your response)• My father kisses my mother. (correct answer)
  1. ....
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Old 30th October 2008, 11:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cide Hamete Benengeli VII View Post
Hi, thinking a little more about this example, it isn't laísmo, but it would have been if it had been re-phrased as:

A mi madre mi padre la da un beso.

or

Mi padre la da un beso a mi madre.
I think you are right this time around.


A mi madre la besa mi padre.
'La' is the direct object. I think what may add confusion with this construction is that in 'A mi madre' the 'a' is a personal 'a' but people are interpreting it as 'to my mother' which it isn't.(er....I think)
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Old 31st October 2008, 06:41 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by tad View Post
I think you are right this time around.


A mi madre la besa mi padre.
'La' is the direct object. I think what may add confusion with this construction is that in 'A mi madre' the 'a' is a personal 'a' but people are interpreting it as 'to my mother' which it isn't.(er....I think)
I could be wrong, but I don't see how that is possible. The direct object is what is being given. Mi padre da.... My father gives...what? A kiss. The kiss (beso) has to be the direct object. To whom/for whom is the kiss? To my mother, therefore mother is the indirect object, which must be represented as "le" and reinforced as "a mi madre."

If the pronoun were for a direct object, it would have to be lo, since it referring to the kiss which is the direct object in this case.
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Old 31st October 2008, 09:04 AM   #17
greytop
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Originally Posted by Legazpi View Post
Delgado

Yes I think you are on the right track. However it's not a case of some verbs taking indirect objects and others taking direct objects. All verbs take direct objects, however some verbs can also invoke indirect objects as well......
I think that all transitive verbs can take direct objects. Intransitive verbs can't. Some verbs can act in either mode.
besar VT : to kiss - no VI form
andar VI : to walk (as in to move on foot)
andar VT : to walk (as in to complete a distance)
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Old 31st October 2008, 09:29 AM   #18
Legazpi
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Originally Posted by greytop View Post
I think that all transitive verbs can take direct objects. Intransitive verbs can't. Some verbs can act in either mode.
besar VT : to kiss - no VI form
andar VI : to walk (as in to move on foot)
andar VT : to walk (as in to complete a distance)
Yes you are right. I realised this last night, thinking about the verb "ser" (to be).
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Old 31st October 2008, 09:40 AM   #19
Legazpi
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Originally Posted by Perro Callejero View Post
I could be wrong, but I don't see how that is possible. The direct object is what is being given. Mi padre da.... My father gives...what? A kiss. The kiss (beso) has to be the direct object. To whom/for whom is the kiss? To my mother, therefore mother is the indirect object, which must be represented as "le" and reinforced as "a mi madre."

If the pronoun were for a direct object, it would have to be lo, since it referring to the kiss which is the direct object in this case.
I'm taking sides with Tad on this one.

If you are talking about a kiss being given, then you would indeed use the indirect object pronoun:
A mi madre le dio un beso
because the verb being used is "dar" and that works with indirect objects (you can give something to someone). In this case, the kiss has become the direct object (it is the thing that is directly acted upon) and the mother has become the indirect object.

However, in this case we are not talking about a kiss being given, we are talking about someone being kissed, the verb being used is "besar" (not "dar") and the person being kissed is the object that is directly acted upon.

Last edited by Legazpi; 31st October 2008 at 09:42 AM. Reason: spelin
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Old 31st October 2008, 10:02 AM   #20
delgado
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correct me if i'm wrong but if this "la" is a direct object pronoun and the "a" is a personal "a" then arn't we refering to the same subject twice in the same reality(sentence).....

eg. mi padre la besa a mi madre ( should be "mi padre besa a mi madre")

mi padre la da un beso a mi madre (should be "mi padre da un beso a mi madre)

Is it not along the same lines as saying ....

Eg. mi padre las tiene las llaves (should be "mi padre tiene las llaves")


Last edited by delgado; 31st October 2008 at 12:58 PM.
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