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"Él le lee un diario a ella."

Translation:He reads her a newspaper.

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5 years ago

155 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ja73
ja73
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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!

215
Reply25 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cocacola321

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!

520
Reply244 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
Mod
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So, then could we say that "a ella" is there for added emphasis? Such as, "He reads the newspaper to her." as opposed to, say, someone else who was present?

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Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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Yes, "a ella" is always for emphasis. The other options would be "he" or "you" in this instance. :)

28
Reply23 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/isee-free
isee-free
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So in this instance, it would be just as correct to say Él le lee un diario, but a ella is there so that others understand it's to a female? Since there's no other context given in this situation?

3
Reply6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gom8z

Thanks for trying to explain but as much as 'a ella' makes sense in that reason 'le' does not... The a ella already explains it will be read to her so i dont get the need for 'le'

20
Reply12 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bcucinotta

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.

134
Reply52 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/caiser
caiser
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"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...)"

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bcucinotta

@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.

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2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hhowell4694

Caiser is correct, bcucinotta is incorrect. The indirect object pronoun is needed when there is an indirect object, the object itself is optional. https://painlessspanish.com

8
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hhowell4694

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.

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nashfox
nashfox
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Thanks a lot for your explanation.

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Reply10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/George_Gibson_77

Good explanation, worth a Lingot if you are still around

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Reply4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NiyatiSwad

Thanks.. it was very useful :)

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Reply3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kirakrakra

Brucinotta! LE MUST BE THERE. PLEASE, DO NOT SPREAD FAULTS. DELETE IT. Somebody can get confused with it. The discussion was OK until you came in

If the OBJECT is a PERSONAL PRONOUN ITS OBJECTFORM is MANDATORY See 5.1 och 5.2 in http://lema.rae.es/dpd/srv/search?

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JrCarCar

Wow, this is actually really helpful. Thanks!

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Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Athalia2

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.

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Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hhowell4694

This may be helpful for you, it explains both direct and indirect objects and how to use them together- https://painlessspanish.wordpress.com/

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Reply12 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bdbarber
bdbarber
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I think you miss the point of ja's question. The question is, since you have "a ella" in the sentence anyway, why is it necessary to also have "le" in the sentence?

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Reply12 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hhowell4694

Indirect object pronouns (here: le) are required in Spanish, prepositional phrases (a Ella) clarifying the pronoun are optional. You can leave out one, but not the other.

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Reply12 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulBrosam

I was waiting for this simple answer. Thanks.

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndrewSuns

Thank you!

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JaiColombia

Thanks this helped me cause I was confused

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Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alonzo86

Very helpful! Muchas gracias :)

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sir_roops

Makes sense now, thank you!

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Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Marie282520

Which is the direct object? I would think the newspaper is the direct object and ella is the indirect object? Or does it matter in that both direct and indirect objects can or should be emphasized or one of them should be?

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Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kirakrakra

You are right with the objects: the newspaper is the object of the action i.e. DO and the she receives the action and is IO.

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Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chris913144

It is ambiguous because you are saying to her at the end

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Reply2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/George_Gibson_77

Él le lee un diario a ella. Actually what is ambiguous is the "le." That is why the "a ella" is added to the end - to get rid of the ambiguity. That is the way Spanish grammar works.

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Reply2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/caiser
caiser
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Because for us the usual phrase is" [Él] le lee un diario". most of times we don't need to say nothing more, but sometimes "le" doesn't have enough context to clarify, so we add "a ella" "a él" "a usted".

33
Reply5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulBrosam

You and hHowell4694 gave me the answers that I was looking for.

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/droma
droma
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The syntax of the language requires the indirect object "le." It cannot be omitted. The "a ella" may be omitted but is added for clarification.

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Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DeutchesReich
DeutchesReich
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!!!o

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Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DeutchesReich
DeutchesReich
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Ok

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Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/theartoflogic

I don't get why, "Él la lee un diario a ella." isn't accepted. Shouldn't it use the "la" clitic since it's referring to "her?"

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Reply5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ndrake

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!

97
Reply105 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/skepticalways

Ndrake, thanks, but I don't think the Android phone app has that button. If I'm wrong, someone let me know (or, tell to me, or say to me -HA!) where it is, please.

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MsLagerkvist

This helps me!

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Reply5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JT5jFB

I dont understand why "her" is indirect, isnt it referring to a specific her which would be direct?

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thefifthjudge
thefifthjudge
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No, "her" in this sentence is indirect because the verb is not directed toward her; the "he" is reading the newspaper, making "newspaper" the direct object. "her" is the indirect object because he is performing this action for her.

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Reply12 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hildur590104

This makes sense, thx

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Craig877964

Very helpful as usual thefifthjudge. Have a lingot.

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thefifthjudge
thefifthjudge
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Thanks Craig! I'm impressed by your practicing streak, keep up the fine work :)

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2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/raskolnik

This is one of those nasty things where a literal translation doesn't help you necessarily. It's "le" because he's reading "to her" ... he's not reading her (which is what "la" means). Basically if you could replace it with "to him/her," you use "le."

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Reply5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JDFW

It's confusing because in English you can say, "He is reading her the paper", and it makes sense. He's reading it TO her, of course, but the English idiom makes it look like it would be "la" in Spanish.

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Reply5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/malkeynz
malkeynz
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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.

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Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Inemole
Inemole
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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"

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Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/skepticalways

Inez, I enjoy your comments. You do not have to write or speak perfectly to be helpful! Thanks.

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SAWoodward

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

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Reply12 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Katywax
Katywax
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So how come it did not accept my translation of "he reads a newspaper to her"?

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Athalia2

I would report the error; I think that translation should be accepted.

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rmcgwn

Whoa. Just hit clitic pronoun and never heard this term before. Clicked on le and I don't feel it helped so I went looking elsewhere. This is obviously a concept you must get.

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Reply5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VicentiuS

¡¡ERROR!! ¡¡Gran error!! ¡Esto es un "leísmo"!

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leismo


==> (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".

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loismo

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Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/boradincer
boradincer
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Why it is not only "el le lee un diario"? What makes the " a ella"

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Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hhowell4694

I think duo is adding a ella for us just for clarification (so we know to say her). In a normal conversation the prepositional phrase would likely be omitted.

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tammam.Wafai
Tammam.Wafai
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He reads her or to her??!

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Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Athalia2

"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!

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SAWoodward

You have agreed with me. Duolingo needs to accept the alternative acceptable translation as an acceptable answer

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tammam.Wafai
Tammam.Wafai
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Thank you it was a nice explanation :)

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kirakrakra

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

2
Reply11 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/karendebbie

If you speak French, it helps to understand. "Il leur lit un livre" translates directly to "Él les lee un libro".

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dr.nabovvati

I didn't underestand .what is the role of " le" here .and what is the role of "a ella."?

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Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thefifthjudge
thefifthjudge
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"Le" is used as the indirect object of "her" in this sentence; "a ella" is used as context to specify whom the indirect object represents.

2
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hb32901

I still don't understand why you need to put "lo" and "le" and what not. It's still confusing!! Can anyone clarify for me why we need to put it and give examples or something?? Thank you!

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thefifthjudge
thefifthjudge
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"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"

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Reply13 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Craig877964

I think it is "le in this sentence represents "her" as an INdirect object, but I am still trying to learn. I constantly have to look at the chart supplied to understand this. Thanks for your help thefifthjudge.

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thefifthjudge
thefifthjudge
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Thanks Craig! I missed that typo, but I'm glad you caught it. Best regards! ~ TheFifthJudge

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hhowell4694

Here are some explanations and examples- https://painlessspanish.wordpress.com/

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IreneMcDer

why not just leave the "le" out. we know he is reading the newspaper to a ella !

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Imagein

Not necessarily. He could be reading the paper to another male. Whenever you have an indirect object (her/him) it calls for le.

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Reply13 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IreneMcDer

Thank you imagein. .that helps

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/oldfulica

why is this not correct; "El la lee un diary a ella"

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thefifthjudge
thefifthjudge
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We cannot use "la" because "a ella" is the indirect object. The man isn't reading the girl, he is reading the book TO the girl; therefore, we must use the indirect objective pronoun "le", representing "a ella".

5
Reply12 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/oldfulica

Thanks Gideon.

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SirSwick

So in this sentence, is "le" used to identify that he is doing something to her, as in he is tagging a book to her? What would happen if "le" were omitted?

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thefifthjudge
thefifthjudge
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"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."

2
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joel618962

A newspaper and the newspaper are synonymous wt

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thefifthjudge
thefifthjudge
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The indefinite article "a" and the definite article "the" are not synonymous.

3
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheAwesomeClair

i thought it said 'he reads her diary'. privacy, duo!!

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lauren.swa

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?

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hhowell4694

You are correct. The A is here to introduce this prepositional phrase (to her)

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/roxanne.ro1

Usually these conversations help me...I am thoroughly confused.

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Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thefifthjudge
thefifthjudge
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What, specifically, are you confused about? The usage of indirect object pronouns...?

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Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GideonW7

ok

0
Reply1 year ago