https://www.duolingo.com/OMG11

Bass Ackwards: Este coche lo usa mi padre.

Este coche lo usa mi padre = My father uses this car.

I think that "Mi padre usa este coche" would have been more elegant, but that is besides the point. The point is that "Este coche lo usa mi padre" is correct in Spanish. I only don't quite get the grammatical rules involved here. It would be kind if you could share your thoughts if you know the answer, especially if you understand what the "lo" is doing there.

Would "Este coche (lo) usa" still be correct?

And we also have a similar scenario here: Esta bicicleta le pertenece a mi hermano.

I do not understand why the "le" is there :s

  • could they be left out?

Thank you!!!!!!!

6 years ago

18 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/OMG11

This is from the link SkylarEC posted:

Question: I'm confused. When we study Spanish in class, it seems like most of the sentences are worded a lot like they are in English. But when I read Spanish, it seems like a lot of the sentences are out of order, like with the verb coming first. What is the correct word order for sentences?

Answer: That depends. As a general rule, except in questions, it isn't wrong to follow the common English word order of subject, verb, object (if there is an object, also noting that object pronouns can come before verbs or be attached to them). But while English allows variation primarily for questions and poetic effect, in Spanish ordinary statements can start with the subject, the verb or the object. In fact, starting statments with the verb is very common. All the following sentence constructions are possible as a translation of "Diana wrote this novel":

<pre>Diana escribió esta novela. (Subject comes first.) Escribió Diana esta novela. (Verb comes first.) Esta novela la escribió Diana. (Object comes first. In this construction, an object pronoun is often added to help avoid ambiguity.) </pre>

...... for more: http://spanish.about.com/od/sentencestructure/a/sentenceorder.htm

I think I get it now.

To sum up my take on this:

Sentence 1: "Este coche lo usa mi padre"

  • The SPO structure can be changed around in Spanish and in this case it happens to be OPS.

  • In this case the "lo" is necessary or it would mean "This car uses my father"

Sentence 2: "Esta bicicleta le pertenece a mi hermano"

This is the Spanish way of emphasizing in action ->

a) Esta bicicleta le pertenece (a mi hermano)

b) Esta bicicleta (le) pertenece a mi hermano

I am quite sure that a) is correct but I am not totally sure about b).

Hope this helps and thanks to all of you!

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SkylarEC

The lo essentially translates to "it". In the sample sentence, it can be translated as "This car", "uses it", and "my father". Or, much more naturally in English: "My father uses this car". But why the word order? Usually, it is due to emphasis. The sample sentence may imply that there is more than one car, but the father uses this specific car. A good translation in English that clearly gets the tone of the sample sentence would be either: "This car is used by my father", or "My father uses this car".

This link explains in a little more detail: http://spanish.about.com/od/sentencestructure/a/sentenceorder.htm

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/michaeldressner
michaeldressner
  • 16
  • 15
  • 13
  • 10
  • 7
  • 6
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

"This car, it is used by my father."

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IngridMorstrad

Except your sentence is in present perfect tense while the Spanish sentence is in present tense

EDIT: It is the passive voice, not the present perfect tense*

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tswett

That's the passive voice, not the present perfect tense.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/boagshoags

'Lo' means 'it' (or him, masculine), and like in English, 'it' is used to refer to something that has already been referred to. For example; "Can I take the apple?" "Yes, you can take it". So in this case, "lo" refers to "el coche", In the sentence 'este coche lo usa mi padre', "este coche" is redundant, but only if you already know that we're talking about the car. "lo usa mi padre", or "mi padre lo usa" would mean 'my father uses it'. Or in Yoda speak, "uses it my father does."

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FrederickEason
FrederickEason
  • 25
  • 23
  • 20
  • 17
  • 15
  • 14
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 444

Switching around the order implies emphasis on whatever is first. "Este coche lo usa mi padre" adds emphasis on "este coche".

This is also true in Italian.

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/triceratops

The phrase "My father uses this car" is literally translated as "Mi padre usa este coche" and it emphasizes on "mi padre"; the phrase "Este coche lo usa mi padre" emphasizes on "este coche" and is used when you are among several cars but you want to talk about a particular car. (By the way, in some Latin American countries we say carro instead of coche.)

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nitsas_
nitsas_
  • 20
  • 18
  • 6
  • 3
  • 2

I would translate it as "This car, my father uses it". The sentence first draws attention to the object (the car) and the adds that his father uses the aforementioned object.

The "lo" in the sentence matches the "it" in the translation. But in Spanish the rule (as I understand) is that "lo" goes before the verb. I don't think it could be left out because then how would you know if the car uses your father or your father uses the car.

I would guess that "Este coche, mi padre lo usa" would also make sense (but is a bit uglier*) - but don't take my word for it, I'm not a native Spanish speaker.

* Just like "This car, my father uses it" is uglier than "My father uses this car" in English.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/boagshoags

'le' is slightly more complicated because it is the indirect object. Eg. in this sentence "I give the apple to him" The direct object is the apple, because it is what is being given (determined by the verb). The indirect object is 'him', because the the apple is going to him. This is the same sort of thing in spanish. Le refers to 'mi hermano' and is the indirect object. But for some strange reason in spanish, they repeat the indirect object, and the person it's going to, which is why 'a mi hermano' is still on the end of that sentence.

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Resonance2001

In Spanish, there is more leniency with the object and subject placement. You may notice that when a subject is long like "my neighbour with the yellow hat..." then it is placed after the verb and object (if there is one). You can even swap objects and subject nouns (never pronouns - they follow strict rules about their placements) but a human object is (fairly) clear as it has the "personal A" before it. In David141's correct answer, you need the 'lo' in that specific situation but yes you can say "Mi padre usa este coche". The Esta bicicleta le pertenece a mi hermano sentence is an example of clarifying the 'le' bit. If you said: Esta bicicleta le pertenece This is correct but it isn't clear as to whom it belongs so 'a mi hermano' clarifies to whom it belongs

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jd10001
jd10001
  • 20
  • 10
  • 9
  • 5
  • 3

I don't understand how you determine in this sentence what the "lo" is referring to. It seems to me it could refer to either the car or the father. That is "Este coche lo usa" presumably means "this car uses it" and "lo usa mi padre" presumably means "my father uses it". So how do you know this original sentence doesn't mean "the car uses my father", is it because in this case the "lo" could be omitted?

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eshewan

That's a tricky question. I know I don't immediately know the answer, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if the 'lo' referred to the father, "mi padre" would have a personal 'a'?? Of course, if the car was making use of some masculine object, like oil (el aceite), I have no idea how you would determine which object the 'lo' was referring to other than context.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bifford
Bifford
  • 13
  • 13
  • 11
  • 9
  • 5

It sounds like something Spanish Yoda would say.

"My father uses this car"

"This car, my father uses it"

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/michaeldressner
michaeldressner
  • 16
  • 15
  • 13
  • 10
  • 7
  • 6
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

@David141 - "This bicycle, it belongs to my brother.""

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo
olimo
  • 23
  • 22
  • 20
  • 19
  • 13
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7

This is not correct. "Le" refers to "mi hermano" here, not to "esta bicicleta".

Esta bicicleta le pertenece = This bicycle belongs to him/her/you-formal-singular. "Le" is used for indirect objects like "to him", "to her" or "to you" and always comes in front of the verb.

Esta bicicleta le pertenece a él = This bicycle belongs to him. Here "a él" states clearly that it is "to him", not "to you" or "to her". Note that you still can't drop the "le".

Esta bicicleta le pertenece a mi hermano = This bicycle belongs to my brother. Here, again, you can't drop the "le" even if it looks redundant.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/matjnewton

edit I can't explain it. Sorry

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pavelnikolov
pavelnikolov
  • 25
  • 9
  • 8
  • 6
  • 2
  • 644

I understand this because in Bulgarian (my native language) we have a literal translation of this sentence. But I think it would be really nice if there was a short gramatical reference for each skill (unless the whole skill is targeted only on vocabulary).

5 years ago
Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.