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Old 3rd November 2010, 10:59 PM   #1
imfromwales
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I am confused as to the use of some words highlighted in the following sentences. I think they are pronouns, but dont understand why they are used as the sentences make (more!) sense without them in

I dont understand why they are used in the following sentences:
  • Él le da un libro a su amiga
  • Él le dio unlibro a su amiga
  • Ella le está escribiendo una carta a su amiga
  • Le estoy escribiendo una carta a mi padre
It seems like its obvious what the sentences mean without the words in red, can someone please help to explain this to me please

EDIT: Wrong title, I know.
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Old 3rd November 2010, 11:53 PM   #2
xan
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Because it's grammar, that's why. Spanish grammar != english grammar.

You can say le dio el libro al Sr. Fulano, or leave out the al Sr. fulano part and just use the indirect object pronoun: le dio el libro; but you can´t leave out the indirect object pronoun and leave in the fulano part: dio el libro al Sr Fulano is incorrect.

At least that´s my take.
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Old 4th November 2010, 12:05 AM   #3
imfromwales
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Thanks for the reply, I know ive got a lot of work to do to get out of thinking Spanish grammar is the same as English, and that in some cases, things just are the case!

Am I right in assuming that in any case where a verb is acted out by one person upon another, a pronoun must always be used?

Finally, could I use lo insead of le in the sentences above and they would mean the same?
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Old 4th November 2010, 03:56 AM   #4
Angelo
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Perhaps it could help
"En general, la duplicación del complemento indirecto es opcional, siempre y cuando aparezca pospuesto al verbo, como bien explicó Jellby. Sin embargo, en la práctica la duplicación es lo común, y no es tan redundante como aparenta, pues añade un matiz aspectual a la frase, aunque sea muy sutil (...)"
http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=318039

In practice, is more frequently the duplication of indirect object

Él dió un libro a su amiga, is correct.
But... I don't know how to explain the sense. It's very subtle.

---------------------------------------------------------
I you are interested, I would like to tell you my point of view:
with 'le' I focus my attention on whom are receiving the action of the verb. Even when the phrase wouldn't be complete. That way:

- Él dió un libro ...........
(whom did he gave the book? at first, it wouldn't be important to me. Because context doesn't suggest it. I wouldn't expect the phrase to be completed with something more, soon)

- Él le dió un libro ...........
('le' tell me that there's 'someone' who was gave the book. So I could expect for a 'a ella', 'a alguien' ..., as well as not)

I hope to have expressed me correctly

Quote:
Originally Posted by imfromwales View Post
Thanks for the reply, I know ive got a lot of work to do to get out of thinking Spanish grammar is the same as English, and that in some cases, things just are the case!

Am I right in assuming that in any case where a verb is acted out by one person upon another, a pronoun must always be used?

Finally, could I use lo insead of le in the sentences above and they would mean the same?
No, lo (la in the two last sentences) would refer to 'el libro' or 'la carta'.

Even when you wanted to use it, you should be careful with duplication, for example

Last edited by Angelo; 4th November 2010 at 04:06 AM.
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Old 4th November 2010, 04:38 AM   #5
xan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imfromwales View Post

Am I right in assuming that in any case where a verb is acted out by one person upon another, a pronoun must always be used?

Finally, could I use lo insead of le in the sentences above and they would mean the same?
You can't use lo because it's the direct object pronoun, and you need the indirect here. You gave the book to Sr Fulano, you didn't give Sr
Fulano. My take is that it is only the indirect object pronoun that is indispensable. In the case of the direct object situation, you don´t need the pronoun. You actually can do it the way you were supposing earlier. In fact you have to choose either the pronoun or the person. Consider seeing Sr. fulano instead of giving something to him, so Sr fulano is the direct object. You can say lo vi or vi al Sr fulano. But you can't (correctly) say lo vi al Sr Fulano. That sounds just as dumb and redundant in Spanish as it does in English.


This is the rule as I am constructing it, based on what "sounds" right (anyone else care to disagree?):

Direct object situation: either a direct object pronoun or a person with a; never both

el profesor alabó al estudiante cumplidor; lo alabó
en el tiroteo, el policía mató al atracador; lo mató
quiero a mi hermana; la quiero


Indirect object sitiuation: either just the indirect object pronoun, or both the indirect object pronoun and the person, with a; never just the person with a

le regalé el libro a mi hermano; le regalé el libro
le di la mano a mi mujer; le di la mano
le presté un lapiz; le presté un lapiz a la azafata

Why should this be? Beats me. But I´m pretty sure that´s the rule. Also note the confusing (to the english speaker) requrement that even in a direct object situation, you need to add personal a before the person who is on the receiving end of the action, which looks to an english speaker like an indirect object marker. You certainly don't say "I killed to Norberto" in English, but you say precisely that in spanish: maté a Norberto
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Old 4th November 2010, 07:45 AM   #6
greytop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelo View Post
Perhaps this could help
"En general, la duplicación del complemento indirecto es opcional, siempre y cuando aparezca pospuesto al verbo, como bien explicó Jellby. Sin embargo, en la práctica la duplicación es lo común, y no es tan redundante como aparenta, pues añade un matiz aspectual a la frase, aunque sea muy sutil (...)"
http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=318039

In practice, it is more often the duplication of the indirect object

Él dió un libro a su amiga, is correct.
But... I don't know how to explain the sense. It's very subtle.
I would say this is for clarification of the recipient of the action.

---------------------------------------------------------
I you are interested, I would like to tell you my point of view:
with 'le' I focus my attention on who is receiving the action of the verb. Even when the phrase wouldn't be complete. That way:

- Él dió un libro ...........
(whom did he gave the book? at first, it wouldn't be important to me. Because context doesn't suggest it. I wouldn't (would?) expect the phrase to be completed with more information)

- Él le dió un libro ...........
('le' tells me that there's 'someone' who was given the book. So I would expect for a 'a ella', 'a alguien' ..., as well as not)

I hope I have expressed myself correctly


No, lo (la in the two last sentences) would refer to 'el libro' or 'la carta'.

Even when you wanted to use it, you should be careful with duplication, for example
Buenas Angelo - unas sugerenciás por tí.
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