"Él le lee un diario a ella."
Translation:He reads her a newspaper.
I’m confused about the ambiguous “le” in sentence such as this, where you have to follow up with “a ella” anyway to fully understand to whom he is reading the paper. Why not just omit the “le” since it’s ambiguous and redundant? Is there more to this than I am able to understand? Thanks!
It's not 'ambiguous' at all because DL clarifies the pronoun by adding 'a ella' at the end. Spanish is great because when it's unclear who people are talking about, you can add a él / a ellos, etc. to make sure there is no misunderstanding.
If there's no clarification by adding 'a whoever' then you need to look at the previous sentence to know who's being talked about much like English.
For example :
Sally takes Sam to work. She gives HIM a sandwich. We know that HIM is referring to Sam from the context. Ella LE da un emparedado.
If we were unsure who the speaker was talking about, the speaker would naturally add 'a Sam'. (to él, Sam)
Long explanation. PHEW Hope this helps anyway. ¡Buena suerte!
I know this was 6 months ago, but for those that are still confused or that will be confused, I'll try to clarify:
Yes, you could say "Él lee un diario a ella," and it would still carry the same meaning as "Él le lee el diario," or "Él le el diaro a ella." (They all mean "he reads the newspaper to her.")
However, you need to understand why object pronouns exist: TO SIMPLIFY SENTENCES!
Say in the context of a long paragraph, you were talking about a boyfriend or girlfriend's birthday:
English: Today was my girlfriend's birthday. In the morning, I gave some flowers to her. Around noon, I went shopping and I bought a gift for her. Later on, I gave the gift to her. Then, I sang "Happy Birthday" to her and cut the cake for her. She liked what I did for her.
Spanish: Hoy era el cumpleaños de mi novia. Por la mañana, dí unas flores a ella. Alrededor del mediodía, fui de compras y compré un regalo para ella. Después, dí el regalo a ella. Entonces, canté "Feliz Cumpleaños" a ella. Le gustó lo que yo hice para ella.
Now, notice in both paragraphs, I used "to her" and "for her" (or in Spanish, "a ella" and "para ella") a lot. That can be quite a mouthful to speak or a lot to write in both languages. The great thing about object pronouns is that it allows us to cut the fat so-to-speak off of our sentences. Now notice the difference in what I can do with object pronouns in English and Spanish.
English: Today was my girlfriend's birthday. In the morning, I gave HER some flowers. Around noon, I went shopping and I bought HER a gift. Later on, I gave IT TO HER. Then, I sang "Happy Birthday" to her and cut HER the cake. She liked what I did.
Spanish: Hoy era el cumpleaños de mi novia. Por la mañana, LE dí unas flores. Alrededor del mediodía, fui de compras y le compré un regalo. Después, SE LO dí. Después le canté "Feliz cumpleaños." LE gustó lo que yo hice.
In English, there's not too much of a difference, but in Spanish, there is. Once you know the TO/FOR WHOM and the WHAT of the sentence, you don't need to specify it again because it becomes redundant to constantly repeat it.
As far as to why you see sentences like "Él le lee un diaro a ella," on Duolingo, it is to demonstrate for you the purpose of the object pronouns and what "le" corresponds to in the sentences.
Sorry for the long post and sorry if there are a few errors in my Spanish. It's not my native language, but I have taken a few course in it.
"Él lee un diario a ella", "di un regalo a ella" or "canté Cumpleaños feliz a ella" don't sound natural, they are not proper Spañish. In these cases we always use the pronoun, so the correct sentences are "Él le lee un diario (a ella/él/usted)", "le di un regalo (a ella...), "le canté Cumpleaños feliz (a ella...)"
@caiser and @Hhowell4694 That is why I put that last paragraph at the end. I explicitly stated that it is not my native language. The main purpose of the post was to explain to people WHY object pronouns are used, not to be 100% grammatically correct Spanish. Just like most of the people on the app, we are here to learn the language.
Bcucinotta- Then you might want to rework your second paragraph because when you say: "Yes, you could say "Él lee un diario a ella," and it would still carry the same meaning as "Él le lee el diario," or "Él le el diaro a ella." (They all mean "he reads the newspaper to her.")" You are insinuating that both are correct, and they're not. We are all here to learn, that's why I posted the comment.
Good explanation, coacola321. As a follow-up question, why does the indirect object require a pronoun before the verb even when we use "a ella," but the direct object doesn't require the pronoun "lo," though other sentences seem to require it? Understanding the grammatical rules involved would help me wrap my brain around this.
E.g. Do we always omit the direct object pronoun when the indirect object pronoun is present? Or are pronouns before verbs mainly required for people rather than for items such as sandwiches and newspapers? That seems to be my observation, though it's not consistent. "Él le lo lee" would admittedly sound awkward--but is that how we'd say "He read it to her"? As another example, if one were to speak of a father giving away a bride, how would we say "He gave her to him"?
Thanks in advance to whomever can clarify this.
Hi. If you click on the 'tips and notes' button it explains this. It is all to do with whether 'her' is a direct object pronoun or an indirect object pronoun. If it is a direct object pronoun you use 'la' for her and 'lo' for him, but if it is an indirect object pronoun you use 'le' for both him and her. In this sentence the direct object is the newspaper and the indirect object is her. I hope that helps!
Thanks Craig! I'm impressed by your practicing streak, keep up the fine work :)
The other replies have already explained the reason, but just to confuse things further, some people in Spain would in fact use "la" in this sentence (and drop the "a ella"). It's what's known as laísmo. Not something you have to worry about with Latin American speakers thankfully.
Because "le" is not masculine or femenine, it is always 'le' in this type of sentences. A lot of spanish people has got this problem (say "la" and not "le" when the sentence is about a femenine noun) and it is a real lannguage problem called "Laísmo" so , if you say that in Spain you are a "laísta"
My comment relates to the english transalation. I think that, in English, "He reads her a newspaper' is the same as "He reads a newspaper to her" or "He gives me pasta" is the same as "He gives pasta to me". You keep telling me my answer is wrong. I am not talking about literal translations but everyday conversation and understanding. Sue
¡¡ERROR!! ¡¡Gran error!! ¡Esto es un "leísmo"!
==> (Él lee un diario a ella)
==> (Él lo lee a ella) "lo" es "un diario".
No se pone dos complementos directos.
(Él lo lee un diario a ella) no está bien, esto es "loísmo".
"He reads her" without another object telling what he's reading means that he reads HER: her expressions or body language or thoughts.
"He reads her a newspaper" has an implied "for": "He reads (for) her a newspaper." This--as well as "He reads to her / He reads a newspaper to her"--means he's reading written words for her to hear. Meaning-wise, these sentences are interchangeable.
(And in case you wonder, this is distinct from "He reads her newspaper," i.e. he reads to himself the newspaper that she wrote, owns, or gave to him.)
I hope that was the answer you were looking for!
He reads her. Él la lee. - She as direct object is la. (he reads her like he reads a book)
He reads to her. Él le lee. - She as indirect object is le)
He reads her to her. Él se la lee. -She is both direct and indirect. The order is indirect first and LE followed by LA becomes SE LA
"Lo" is the direct object pronoun for "him, it, you (formal)", and "le" is the indirect object pronoun for "to him/her/it/you"
I'll try to give a few examples
"Lo tengo" = "I have it" "Lo" in this sentence represents "it", and "tengo" means "I have". "Lo" is the direct object of "tengo" in this sentence.
"Él le lee un diario a ella." "Le" in this sentence represents "her" as an INdirect object, because the direct object in this sentence is "diario", the newspaper. He is reading the newspaper to a girl/woman, so the newspaper is the direct object and the girl/woman is indirect object.
Hope this helps :)
EDIT: Fixed typo, changed "lo" to "le"
"Le" is used to identify "ella" as the indirect object (meaning the action is being performed toward her). Book is the direct object, as he is reading the book, not reading her. I'm not sure exactly what it would be like if "le" were omitted (besides bad grammar), but if I had to guess, I'd say it would be along the lines of the English sentence "He reads a newspaper her."
So the a in this sentence is not a personal a? Ella is the indirect object which im told you must include le (for ella) in the sentence but you should clarify with ella at the end if need be. Diario is the direct object. He read (verb), what? Un diaro (DO), to who? Ella (IO). Correcto?