It may work but this is the spanish way of expressing the meaning. I have asked a similar question and what I heard was you have to start thinking about the way spanish phrases are said. This becomes more important as this is just the beginning of what seems like a strange word order to us.
Duonersi: The order is important with the subject placed LAST. same as in the ¨me gusta el gato¨, the CAT is pleasing YOU¨She fits the blue dress well.¨ might be a translation of what you wrote and I wonder what that actually means in Spanish. Here it would usually mean she has the right curves in the right places. ¨A ella le queda bien el vestido azul.¨ The dress fits well to (on) her.¨ Remember the dress is ´doing´the fitting ----not ´her´
Lets try to breakdown this sentence into parts of speech. It will help me as well especially if I get it wrong.
"A ella le queda bien el vestido azul"
Dress is --the subject ---what dress - the blue dress - article & adjective
What about the dress --'fits well'-- verb & adverb
Who does it fit well -- 'her' direct object.
It being 'her' we require matching direct object pronoun before a conjugated verb ---'le'
Anyone want to analyze my deconstruction?
My wife is a native Spanish speaker and she confirms that "A ella le queda bien el vestido azul" is a perfectly correct sentence. When I showed her your deconstruction she scratched her head and suggested that its more like - "The blue dress is fitting itself to her". Dress - Subject, It Self - Direct Object, To her - In direct object (le). So the le refers to A ella.
You have pointed out something that I didn't get previously. I checked my dictionary and now see quedar and quedarse actually have different meanings. I'd like to ask you a couple questions. So are you saying quedarse is a reflexive verb. Are they all listed in dictionaries as ****se? Is there any special treatment should we need to use se in the same sentence as the verb quedar (whatever conjugation) or does that never happen. Do we just have to memorize the reflexive verbs or are any tips you can offer?
If the verb used here was "quedarse", then the reflexive pronoun "se" would have been used as in "a ella se queda bien...".. But the indirect pronoun "le" is used indicating (to me :)) that the verb is "quedar". This only shows up in the 3rd person as in the 1st and 2nd person, reflexive pronouns and indirect pronouns (direct pronouns too for that matter) are identical. (me, te, nos, os)
I have looked up quedar, quedarse (which would requre the reflexive somewhere in that sentence), quedar bien and quedar a alguien. I do not find "fit" as a possible meaning for any of them. Previously DL used caber for this, then suddenly, in the middle of an already difficult lesson they throw in some obscure new phrase? As Mr. Gumby would say, "my brain hurts!"
I believe "fit" isn't meant in a very traditional meaning here (e.g. She is a size six and this dress fits her well.), but rather a figurative sense (e.g. It suits her.) When I saw this use of quedar in Duolingo, I had the same question.
Looking into it, I came across this: Aunque a ella le queda un poco mejor que a ti (I think she looks a little better in it than you do, though.) Most of the translations kept bringing up 'look' as opposed to 'fit'. Hence, my theory.
What really confused me on this one was that there doesn't seem to be an indirect object: Dress - fits - her. I hunted around quite a bit before finding these links:
In the second, start by scrolling all the way to the bottom to read Table 2.
In short, quedar is a verb like gustar. If you think of the sentence that way and translate it as "for her the dress fits well" in the same manner you might translate "me gusta el pollo" literally as "to me the chicken is pleasing" it may help you understand how the indirect object pronoun got in there.
PS: I get to disavow all knowledge of the previous statements if a native speaker comes along and says my explanation is full of it.
"A ella le queda bien el vestido azul." The blue dress fits her well.
If we were to translate word for word the order would be very confusing. Her-fits well-the blue dress. If I had to construct a similar sentence I couldn't do it, yet. Have you got any tips on how to construct this sentence when trying to think in Spanish?
I broke it down into phrases: "A ella" shows up front that we're going to be talking about her. "le queda bien" tells us that something fits her well. Then, "el vestido azul" shows us what that something is. Then just put together all the concepts and you see that "The blue dress does fits her well." I've found Spanish to require me to think differently than I do with English, which is one of the cognitive merits of learning a foreign language. :) With a sentence like this one in Spanish, you must use more working memory than you would need to in English until it becomes second nature.
Yes, I love your response. I translated it in Google and it said "She looks good in the blue dress," which works better in my brain even though that completely opposes what you said about having to think of these kind of sentences differently. Is there a way to possibly translate most sentences that are structured this way in a more literal sense like Google did? Or would that be kind of "copping-out"?
What i often do when translating on here is a more word for word translation and then I take my word salad (because lets face it, thats what comes of word for word translation!) and just figure out what the most natural english sentence would be. Often the actual words change at that point because the meaning is what is important.
Here is how I got there for this sentence. "A ella le queda bien el vestido azul." A ella = To her le queda bien = it fis well el vestido azul = the dress blue So A ella le queda bien el vestido azul = to her it fits well the dress blue. I remembered that when we are talking of a specific 'her' we use the personal 'A' and since the 'to' in the english sentence doesn't make sense I assumed that is what was going on here and dropped it entirely leaving "her it fits well the dress blue" Now I change the word order describing the dress 'the dress blue' becomes 'the blue dress' "her it fits well the blue dress" Now if i reorder the rest of the sentence I get "The blue dress fits her well" Which was an accepted answer!
That actually makes it seem a bit more complicated than it really is but that goes on in my head fairly quickly most times. And when I really can't figure it out I just leave it as translated word salad and then compare that to DL translation!
What I have found myself, finally, doing is recognizing certain verbs. Now, as soon as I read verbs like "quedar" and "gustar,"I skip to the end of the sentence because I know that the object there will be the subject of the translated sentence. It's similar to what we do in English when we turn around a sentence so that its object becomes its subject.
For example, "I give Juan the hat" ("I give the hat to Juan") becomes "Juan is given the hat by me." The first sentence is active voice in English, while the second sentence is in English passive voice. The trick to remember is that there is no passive voice in Spanish. Thus, to translate an "active voice" Spanish verb into a "passive voice" English verb (which is what must be done because the Spanish meaning is a "passive" meaning), the Spanish object must be translated as an English subject. These websites might help you:
http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/iopro1.htm http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/100017/indirect-object-pronouns#.UwLP328SPao http://spanish.about.com/od/pronouns/a/indirectobjects.htm http://spanish.about.com/od/pronouns/a/verbs_using_indirect_objects.htm
Gustar is sometimes called a defective verb, but is not considered a true defective verb. Here are other websites that discuss the verb gustar and give examples of verbs like gustar: http://spanish.about.com/od/conjugation/a/defective.htm (this one is an especially good site). http://spanish.about.com/od/usingparticularverbs/a/gustar_a.htm , http://spanish.about.com/od/usingparticularverbs/a/gustar.htm , http://spanish.about.com/cs/verbs/a/like_gustar.htm ,
As I write this there are already 38 prior comments testifying to how difficult this topic is. I'll add my analysis of this sentence to the mix. I believe that quedar in some uses forms sentences like the verb gustar. I like him -> Me gusta él. Because it is more like 'is pleasing to'. He is pleasing to me.
Here the meaning of queda bien is "is well fitting". The blue dress is well fitting to/for her. A ella (to her) le (the indirect pronoun that Spanish requires) queda bien (is well fitting) el vestido azul (subject of sentence - the blue dress). Check out this lesson for more gustar like verbs http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/gustar.htm
While we would all love to turn this sentence around you will find that it doesn't work well in spanish. Here's a guideline that will help-
- "With verbs like gustar: Gustar is an unusual verb in that it is used almost exclusively in sentences that follow an "indirect object + gustar + subject" pattern. Similar verbs that function like gustar include quedar (to remain)"
This method is working well for me as my brain is a bit melty in this section. This section is a test of your desire to accept that one must honor and humilitate themselves to this language and in doing so, become a better speaker of Spanish.
To her (to her) fits well the dress blue.
The blue dress fits well.
The blue dress fits HER well.
I answered this elsewhere after researching it so I will give you a brief answer if I can recall it. We need queda bien together to mean 'it fits' or 'it fits well'. Both mean essentially the same thing. When it doesn't fit or fit well we use 'queda mal' it doesn't fit/fit well. I know you will run into this later and you will wonder why 'bien' isn't translated. It isn't mandatory. I hope this makes sense.
I don't understand why the object-pronoun is repeated twice. Can you just say "El vestido azul queda bien a ella" or "El vestido azul le queda bien"? It seems like the Spanish translates literally as "To her the blue dress fits her well". What is the rule here? Is it required that the object be stated twice like this? Is it sometimes required? Is it optional?
"le" is required, "a ella" is optional. You can say "El vestido azul le queda bien", but this may also mean that the dress fits you (formal) well or even him (weird, I know, but technically possible), so you may want to add "a ella". You can also use "a ella" for emphasis, for example if this dress does not look well on most girls, but it fits her well.
Actually, it's not quedarse here. The reflexive form is where the subject of the sentence is also the object (also sometimes used in Spanish to make a sentence passive). 'The blue dress' is the subject here, but it is not the object, 'her' is, so this is not a reflexive case. That is also why there is 'le' for 'a ella' rather than the reflexive 'se' which would reflect back to the subject and make it the object.
There are two problems with that sentence. For one, 'ella' in this sentence needs to be an indirect object. When you use 'queda' to mean fit, it just needs to take an indirect object. That means you have to have 'le' before the verb and an 'a' before 'ella'. (If it was a direct object, you would still need to have the "a" before 'ella', the only difference would be that you would need a 'la' instead of 'le' before the verb. If you have neither the 'le' or 'la' and don't have the 'a', that makes 'ella' the subject of the sentence.) And the second problem is the 'buena'. The 'bien' after 'queda' is what makes it mean 'fits well'. So you could say: El vestido azul le queda bien a ella.
"El vestido azul" is the subject of the sentence. It often goes at the front of the sentence before the verb, and it would be correct to write it that way for this sentence too (El vestido azul le queda bien.). But, unlike in English, in Spanish the subjects are very movable and can go after the verb or all the way at the end of the sentence. A classic example would be a gustar sentence: Me gusta la casa. "La casa" is the subject but is placed at the end. And it's not that gustar sentences have a special way of being constructed. It's perfectly fine and common for it to be written in the "normal" way: La casa me gusta. It's all just due to the "movability" of words in Spanish. :)
All of these long-winded explanations don't make any sense to me, and just confuse me more! Face it these are STIPID rules for speaking a language! I guess I have no other choice but to MEMORIZE more stuff! Throw in a speaker who talks with a mouth full of shit and you have a mess! :-[
Someone else on here posted a link to this one time. I hope it helps. It is helping me right now. http://www.learn-spanish-smart.com/tim-ferriss-learn-spanish-language.html
This is tough lesson. My native language is Estonian and it doesn't have any grammar genders and articles whatsoever. And now I've learned that there are more versions of English 'the' in Spanish... I am sometimes struggling to pick the language (Estonian vs. English) to memorize new words meanings