Right lets try again! Laisser is contextual here.
"Je te laisse" = I leave you [to it];
"Je te la laisse" = I leave it [to] you.
The difference is in the context of either. The first has the meaning of leaving someone alone to get on with something:
"You're doing homework? I'll leave you to it."
The second, using the pronoun, could mean giving a specific person a task:
"John, I need the financial reports for the meeting tomorrow. I'll leave it to you."
Maybe the meanings are more/less subtle in some circumstances but each's grammatical structure seems enough to distinguish one from the other.
Also, it's discussed already here. And the downvoters could do better by giving their opinion.
Yes, I noted that they were distinguishable below, I just needed to see the former "I leave you to it" translated into French. Again, the discussions presented below by others weren't quite on the topic I was going for, which you seemed to update here. Thanks for putting this side by side this way, despite the two meanings being subtle. I see why I can't do it in French. At least more than my understanding of why they can't be interchanged in English.
I guess je vais vous la laisser would be future? I am not sure...but maybe duolingo is thinking that 'I leave it to you' implies the future. Like when a professor is assigning homework and states 'You can chose any method for this problem, I leave it to you'. It still sounds a little awkward though.
At first, I wondered why both "Je vous la laisse" and "Je le lui donne" are correct, since the position of the direct and indirect objects are switched.
I found the answer:
When a verb is preceded by two Object Pronouns, the indirect comes first, except lui and leur.
Interestingly, its the same in Asian languages such as hindi, gujurati and urdu (and maybe even farsi)
mey apko yeh chor raha hu - i am leaving this (with) you. literally - i you this leaving.
Though we can shift the objects around in these languages because context will tell you which is correct. I guess practice will help us remember this rule.
In many languages (including English), under the right context, this sentence has virtually the same meaning in both present/future tenses. switching tenses still looks wrong to me. e.g.: "je vais a Paris demain" would be translated as "I am going to Paris Tomorrow" even though it is obvious that we are talking about an action in the future....
But "I'm going home on Sunday," would be "je vais aller chez mois le dimanche" (right?) And the french construction aller+infinitive is considered a future tense, just like in English.
edit: Actually I guess "I'm going home on Sunday" would be "je vais chez moi le dimanche"? ... oops. Dunno if you would say that in French though.
I gave a response to a similar question in a different discussion thread (for the translation of "Je vous la laisse" as "I will leave her to you"). I'd like to know if my reasoning is correct, so here's a cut-and-paste of my response in hopes that someone can point me in the right direction if I'm way off:
I could be wrong, but I think they've used the present subjunctive tense in the "Je vous la laisse" translation. Both present tense and present subjunctive tense are "je laisse" in French, but one means "I leave" and the other means "I will leave" in English.
That said, I thought present subjunctive tense was supposed to be used when there is some amount of doubt, need, or impossibility to a statement (and in some other situations that don't seem relevant to this sentence). For example, "It is possible that I'll leave her to you" or "It is necessary that I'll leave her to you" would probably require the subjunctive tense. Without having a context to the sentence, it seems like the future tense ("je laisserai") would be a better choice here.
I think that this sentence may be related to something called double object pronoun , hope this will help http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/objectpronouns.htm
@Ronnie-JA: "Yes, you're right. And I'm wrong... well, we're both wrong..."
you're absolutely correct on this one.
'là ' could be used in a few different ways.
It does indeed make me happy that we managed a thorough answer to Charlotte's question and to our own lack of knowledge in some aspects.
(Click links above)
In these cases, there are examples of the "je... te... ??? laisse (???)" format. Here, the pronoun [it] before the verb laisser could stand in for a noun like "le choix" or "le travail" or "le devoir".
Just something for you to consider.