"I wish her a good night."
Translation:Le deseo una buena noche a ella.
"le is the indirect object for masculine and feminine objects, which answer the question 'for whom, or to whom. La and Lo are the two direct object pronouns answer the question what or Who receives the action.
You can start reading here:
Direct Objects answer the question Whom or What asked after the verb.
John sees Mary. John sees whom? Mary, Mary is the direct object
John writes a letter John writes what? a letter, letter is the direct object
Indirect Objects answer the question to whom? or to what? asked after the verb.
John spoke to Paul He spoke to whom? Paul, Paul is the indirect object
But, jfgordy made a good point. You really should get a grammar book. The one I use (and the one I copied the above examples) is
English Grammar for Students of Spanish, by Emily Spinelli
It explains the English grammar rules and then explains how those same rules apply to Spanish
Direct objects usually receive the action of the verb directly. For instance:
I hit him.
I = subject. Hit = verb. Him = What I am hitting.
Indirect objects usually get the result of the verb, just not directly. For instance:
I gave her the cake.
I = subject.
gave = verb
Direct object = the cake, since that is what is actually given
Indirect object = her. The verb didn't actually do anything to her, but "her" did get the result of the action -- the cake.
If it makes you feel any better, Indo European -- the language that Spanish and English originally go back to -- had EIGHT of these different subject/object/indirect object cases. Latin had six. So, as tricky as it is now, it used to be much worse.
In Spanish when you have an indirect object which is a person you MUST include an indirect object pronoun (le or les) before the verb. Here are two more examples: 1) Marie gives a banana to the baby. (Maria le da un plantano al bebe.) 2) Jose gives a kiss to his daughter. (Jose le da un beso a su hija.) Also, the verb "decir" demands an indirect object because it's an "exchange verb" as one book called it. There are about 25 exchange verbs (most common are comprar, contar, dar, decir, escribir, mandar, pedir, regaler, servir, traer, leer) which take indirect object pronouns. "Le deseo una buena noche" is a strange sentence because without "a ella," no one knows to whom you wish good night. The "a ella" clears it up, but it is optional.
So many lame rules, God praise the English language! Although my own language springing from a well of a country situated in central Europe is much more similar to the Spanish one, I still like English much, much better. However, I just have to admit that the Spanish language at least sounds cool and pleasing to the ear, which cannot be truthfully spoken of the language that I have been endowed with to use forever as my native one.
I could not tell whether they meant, in saying "I wish her a good night," that they were actively speaking to her, saying "have a good night," or that they were simply thinking or talking about her and hoping she would have a good night. You could say either thing in English. In Spanish, would these two situations have two different verbs?
Oh..."I wish a (good) night (to her)," night being the D.O. When I initially attempted to translate this, I was thinking that (her/she) was the direct object. 'Her' in English is in the objective case. I should have known better. I wonder if I looked up 'desear' in the dictionary whether 'desear' would be defined as a transitive or intransitive verb. I hope that it is listed as a transitive verb!