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"Esta bicicleta le pertenece a mi hermano."

Translation:This bicycle belongs to my brother.

January 3, 2013



It helps me to translate first from English to Shakespeare, then from Shakespeare to Spanish.

This bicycle belongs to him. This bicycle doth to him belong. Esta bicicleta le pertenece.

(Then throw in the "a mi hemano" to clarify who "he" is.)


Hilarious, yet helpful


That is so helpful! A lingot for you.


I assume thou knoweth that thou is tú also :)


"thou knowst"? "thou kenst"? Lest the Shakespearian grammar police getteth thee!


Voting you up for this fun idea! (If I could only give you a lingot from a tablet :/). Thank you. :)


Haha! Love this. I actually often translate into Shakespeare (actually, Michel Thomas taught me to translate into King James Bible language) to better understand Spanish).


Well, that tears it. Duolingo needs to add Shakespearean to the language roster of languages. While we're at it, why not Chaucer, Molière, Klingon..,.


Klingon is there. XD


Why is the le necessary here?


The "le" is an indirect object pronoun. It means "to him" and it stands for "to my brother." It is common to include both the indirect object and the indirect object pronoun to make it very clear who/what you're talking about.


I have the same question as dbaldauf147, wondering why you NEED the pronoun when the indirect object is spelled-out for you in the sentence. If the IO is stated, why is the pronoun necessary?

I should state that I know this lesson is about pronouns, but am curious if it’s correct/incorrect to state the sentence as in my question if you choose not to use a pronoun.



Redundant indirect object pronouns are required. It is just one of those grammatical things that you don't reason out, you just say it that way.


In English and most other languages, it seems completely unnecessary, even illogical. But in Spanish, that's what you do. It drives me mad, but gradually I'm learning to say the indirect object twice.

Me choca.


Normally, when the direct or object of a sentence precedes the verb, you include the object pronoun as well as the object itself. It's called a redundant object pronoun.


It's an indirect object pronoun which is telling you who the bicycle belongs to. Le can be to him/her/it or you. The 'a mi hermano' is a clarifier to tell you who the 'le' is referring to.


again im having trouble to understand this. why do we use the indirect object pronoun "le" instead of the direct obejct pronoun "lo"? becuase "a mi hermano" looks like a direct object to me....


Pertenecer is an intransitive verb, listed "vi" in the dictionary. This means that it cannot have a direct object. "The bicycle belongs to my brother. " is a passive version of "My brother owns a bicycle." Kind of like "The food is pleasing to me." is a passive version of "I like the food." Remember "gustar"? It is not that this is unusual in English to see the preposition "to" and know that it is not the direct object.

When you think about it, you realize that this could be worded "The bicycle is owned by my brother." The true passive voice version ! "The food is liked by me." If you can put a sentence into this form, then you can rest assured that this verb is intransitive and passive (a backwards sentence).

If you put it back into active voice, the passive 'indirect object' or in English the object of the preposition "by" (In this case, English does not call this an indirect object.) becomes the subject and the passive subject becomes the direct object! In Spanish, you just have a list of verbs to memorize that require indirect objects, with "gustar" at the top of the list. http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/gustar.htm

If a verb is transitive (vt in the dictionary), there will be a direct object or direct object pronoun or maybe one that is understood from the verb. "I write a letter to my sister." "sister" is the indirect object and "letter" is the direct object. You could say "I write to my sister." and you will know that something written is the direct object that "sister" will receive.

http://dictionary.reverso.net/spanish-english/pertenecer http://spanish.about.com/od/pronouns/a/verbs_using_indirect_objects.htm http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/passive.htm

I think what is confusing many people is that in Spanish, "a" is used as the personal a in front of direct objects which are people or pets. This looks just like the "a" which means "to", but it is not the same and is not translated into English as it is just a marker that a person or pet is coming next as the direct object. http://spanish.about.com/cs/grammar/a/personal_a.htm


I hereby bestow upon thee a Lingot, the first that I have ever parted with.


Wow. Thank you. An excellent an detailed answer. If I knew how to give you a lingot from my phone I would. :-)


Awesome - a lingot for you!


A lingot for your efforts!


This is such a detailed explanation! Thanks a lot for helping me out. Here's a lingot for you!


No it isn't a direct object but that isn't obvious. Belongs confuses us I believe so let's replace that with another verb. Hmmm? My brother owns this bicycle. Subject verb and direct object. But we have This bicycle belongs to my brother. So let's assume for a minute we know who they are talking about 'brother' then we can just say "la bicicleta le pertenece'. Remember if we can use 'to him' that it signals an indirect object and then place 'le ' before the verb. Perhaps a grammarian will be kind enough to explain further.


Could I say "Esta bicicleta pertenece a mi hermano"?


No. "le" is required by the verb. "a mi hermano" is the part that is optional.


good expanation ...that nails it


It's a good translation to me. At least in Vzla we say that


Bicicleta is the subject of the verb pertence, not a direct object nor an indirect object. Please explain. If the sentence was She gives a bicycle to my brother, then I could understand the inclusion of pronoun and noun, perhaps Ella le da bicicleta a mi hermano.


It is a passive use of "My brother owns the bicycle." Another exceptional verb to memorize that in Spanish requires an indirect object. The true passive would be "The bicycle is owned by my brother." See above for complete explanation and links to sites.


can I say it without: "a mi hermano"? and can I say it without: "le"? or I have to include both?


Yes, you can, but then you'll need context to understand "le". For example: Éste es mi hermano. La bicicleta le pertenece. (This is my brother. The bicycle belongs to him.)


But can you say "La bicicleta pertenece a mi hermano."?


No. Please read other comments in this discussion.


Spanish-speaking people often do omit the indirect object pronoun when the indirect object is a noun, as in your example.
But, grammar-police don't like it.

Here is a further discussion: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/7998752/Are-object-pronouns-necessary The comment by Talca in that discussion is especially helpful


why doesn't it accept "This bicycle is my brother's" for translation?! When it belongs to him it means it's his doesn't it?


lingot this. it is so helpful


can't i say BIKE instead of BICYCLE


Is «Le pertenece esta bicicleta a mi hermano. » a more commonly adopted word order?

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