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  5. "Yo lo observo a él."

"Yo lo observo a él."

Translation:I observe him.

May 7, 2016



Why do we add "lo" to the sentence?


was thinking the same thing


I always think of it like this: Yo lo observo- I observe it/him/her (depending on if its lo le etc.) Yo lo observo, a èl. - I observe him, the man. Its like a clarification. eg: Yo lo observo, alberto.= I observe him, Alberto. Like answering the question: "who/what do you observe?" before the other person has a chance to ask. I needed this explanation, because I had to look up what indirect objects were, and it took too much time lol.


This is a great piece of advice, thank you and have 5 lingots.


I was going to say "because it's a direct object." But then I remembered that if the direct object is stated, then the direct object pronoun is omitted (I think?). So IDK.


I think 'Yo lo observo' is a grammatically correct sentence on its own already (The direct object pronoun must always be placed before the verb - that's what I understand), so 'a él' is added only for clarity.


yo lo observo a el ... you need "lo" because it is the indirect object (yo is the direct object in this circumstance) and el padre observo su hija dont need "le" because su hija is the direct object. it depends on the circumstance .. but I might be wrong just thinking out loud


ooops. Yo is the subject, not the direct object. "I observe." I obseve him (Him is direct object). I see him= Yo lo veo. perhaps observo requires (by idion) the indirect object, and thus "Yo observo a el," but then, why the lo as well? PS, I am not a native Spanish speaker, but I do know grammar terms from studying Latin and German. So someone please answer this question about why "lo" as well as "a el" are needed.


"a el" is not needed. Yo lo observo means I observe him. "Lo" can be used for "it" and "him". "A el" is used to clarify what "I" observed, but Lo is needed


Ok, that's clear. But can I just use "a el" without "lo"? I mean "Yo observo a el".


No, as Branden said the "lo" is needed, it's the "a él" that is optional - (Yo) lo observo (a él)


No, lo is required.


That would be "Yo le acecho a el"


I think that it was a joke lol


So? I could still translate it :)


Harleigh, is that you?


Why is it 'lo' and not 'le' for him?


Because "lo" is a direct object pronoun for him, while "le" its indirect object. Reference: http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/iodopro.htm


Great, that;s really helpful thanks


The real question (see my comment above) is how come BOTH the direct (lo) AND indirect (le) object are needed in the same sentence.


Hello BARBARAINGALLS: As of 1/30/2017 I did not see "le" in the sentence given, nor would it be correct. "Yo lo observo a él" would be the correct sentence. Please see comment by BrandenSpe above.


I answered "Yo le observo" and it was accepted on 6/7/17. I'm still not sure about the difference between lo and le.


That really shouldn't be accepted because "Yo le observo" means I observe to him, the meaning is quite different.


Arthur, I answered your comment below.


Why isn't it "yo le observo a el." El is a person (le) not an it (lo), right?


For the 3rd person, the indirect object pronouns are "le, les." The direct object pronouns are "lo, la, los, las."
Both sets are used for people (him, her, you usted and ustedes, them) and things (it, them).
Specifically, "le" is the indirect object pronoun for "him," and "lo" is the direct object pronoun for "him."


Well explained Marcy. I would add that "le/les" are indirect object pronouns: "le"= "to him, to her, to it" and "les" ="to them. The direct object pronouns, as you said are "lo/la/los/las": "lo=him/it, la=her/it, los/las=them". I have not included usted/ustedes already covered by Marcy above.


Is the clarifying "a el" really used in spoken or written Spanish? Or is it just a DL hang-up?


Hello rjjacob: I think it would be necessary if it were not known in context. Lo could mean him/it/you formal. If the context were known, it "a el" would not be necessary. Caveat: I am not a native Spanish speaker, so maybe someone else could help.


Actually, I heard an example yesterday of a Spanish speaking lady speaking in English with the Spanish pattern: "He visited her, his sister."


Mmmmm. Hey there Chris.


'A él' is so you know who it is or what it is specifically right? Because without this it could be it


Why isn't it "Yo le observo a el?"


him translates as lo, "to him" translates as le. If you don't write "to him" in the English sentence then you don't write le in the Spanish one.


Because le is supposed to be used to complement indirect objects. In this sentence, "him" - a él is the direct object. Thus, you are supposed to complement with the direct object pronoun lo.


Is it not Yo lo observo al because el is a pronoun or.....?


"al" is a combination of "a" and "el" ("the"), not "él" ("he"/"him").


Well, well, well ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)


This is totally irrelevant, but HOW did you make that face???


I want to follow this conversation because of Mauricio's great response but can't figure out how to do it in the app - hoping that posting myself will do the trick...


Porque no es "Yo le observo a él"? directo y indirecto


I observe him. "Him" is the direct object. (Ask yourself "What is being observed?" The answer to "What is being verbed?" is the direct object.) So the direct object pronoun for "him" is "lo." "Lo" can also mean "it" and "you (formal)," so to clarify that it means "him" here, you can add an optional a + pronoun phrase (a él).
With pronouns, like "him," the "lo" is required and the clarifying "a phrase" is optional.
With direct object nouns, no direct object pronoun is used: Amo a mis hijos. Observo a mi abuelo.


Thank you for this great explanation. I answered "Yo le observo" and it was accepted as correct, so now I am wondering how this makes sense as an indirect object pronoun.


I think it's not considered an indirect object. In some places in Spain, the direct object is allowed to be le if referring to a male person. It's a practice called leísmo. I'm surprised Dúo accepts it.
See more under leísmo at spanishdict.com. They also seem to say that it is used in Spain for feminine direct objects as well.
I also recommend studyspanish.com (Grammar unit Four).


Thank you for the insight!


Isn't this saying "I observe it for him"? Why is that "lo" there?


The lo is the direct object pronoun. It's how you translate him, the direct object pronoun in the English sentence.
Once you have the lo (which is required) in place, you may want to clarify it. If it can be unclear to your listener or reader, you can add an "a + pronoun" phrase to clarify the lo. Since lo can mean him, it, or you (usted), you can clarify it by using a él for him or a usted for you.
Again, the lo is required, and the a él is optional.
See more at studyspanish.com (Grammar Unit Four).


why is lo mandatory here? indirect objects are always. but this is a direct object. if it had a direct noun present, the lo would be optional and generally imitted.. I think here él does not count as a noun, thus lo becomes mandatory!!! oh... I learned something new!! thank you!!!


If the object of the verb is a personal pronoun (e.g., he, she, me, us, you, etc.), the corresponding object pronoun (i.e., lo, la, me, te, nos, etc. for direct objects and le, me, te, nos, etc. for indirect objects) is always required. It doesn't matter whether it is direct or indirect.


You're looking at it backwards. It's not about whether él counts as a noun or not, it's not about any other words in the sentence and it's not about whether the object is direct or indirect. The rule is simply this: anytime you have an object to write as a personal pronoun then it MUST be written before the verb in the appropriate form (me/te/lo/la etc). It is possible to add extra words for clarification such as a él, but those words are optional, the pronoun before the verb is the mandatory bit.

If the verb is a non-finite form (e.g. infinitive or imperative) then the same rule applies, expect that the pronoun is joined onto the end of the verb instead of placed in front of it. E.g. Observe him! translates as Obsérvelo!


So Calinator, I put 'I observe it on him.' in the same light, but got it wrong. How would one say that, anyway?


Why "lo" and not "le?"


It's I observe him (direct object), not I observe to him, so lo is correct. The tricky thing is that the Spanish adds 'a él' - but here it's the 'personal a', which shows a personal attachment, not the 'a' for an indirect object. It's confusing but that's Spanish for you.


is there a need to put lo in it if it means "I observe him" because I think lo means it and I was gonna put "I observe it"


Hello TamyaThomas: Yes. Lo is REQUIRED for direct object pronouns. Please see the excellent comment by marcy65brown above. *edit. I changed sentence to read Lo is required for DIRECT object pronouns, NOT indirect object pronouns.


Isn't him an indirect object here? Why is it "lo" instead of "le"?


Hello Calinator: The sentence given in Spanish is "Yo lo observo a él. " The translation is I observe him. The subject is "I". The action the subject does is (observe). The direct object or the thing being observed is him. In this case "him" is a direct object. Lo is the direct object pronoun for him/formal you/male it. To try to make this more clear, earlier we were given a sentence like: I read a book to him. In this case, the subject is I. The action (I) does is read- (verb). The thing being read is a book (object). Who the book is read to is the INDIRECT object, namely (to him). LE would be needed as the indirect object pronoun for (to him/her/it/you formal). Also LES is the indirect object pronoun for (to them/you plural). Note the (to) in these kind of sentences indicates an indirect object.


Can't we use "yo lo observo" ? And if we can't, why not? Gracias.


Yes, that should be accepted.


The way I was reading it, My translation was also I observed it (lo) in him or about him(a él) My thought was if I was simply observing him I would write yo él observo. That sounds the most natural to me. Please correct me and explain!


Why is it not, "Yo observe a el"


A couple of reasons:

First, observe is the subjunctive mood, which wouldn't make sense in this simple sentence. You could change the tense to past (observé observaba) or future (observaré) and it would still work, but the subjunctive is just out of place.

Second, because the direct object is a personal pronoun (a él - "him"), the direct object pronoun complement is required. Thus, you must include lo. It is not optional. You can omit a él, because it's redundant alongside lo, but you cannot leave out lo.

The minimally correct sentence in the present indicative is lo observo.


Why do you need to add lo as it confuses as lo also means it and why would it not make sense in past tense


You need to add lo because it's a rule of Spanish grammar. The fact that lo could mean "it" should be clarified by the context. If it's not clear, you are free to add a él. Hardly any simple standalone sentence will be completely free of any ambiguity. This is probably more true for English than Spanish, but I suppose that's irrelevant.

I'm not sure what you mean about past tense. One could say "I observed him" - Lo observé, which would be past tense. The object pronoun lo does not change with tense.


Why is there a lo in this sentence? Doesnt this translate to I observe it him?


Patterns without fitbit apps. I normally sleep well...


Sounds to me like "lo" is added for extra clarity correct? I could see this having "lo" ommitted since we have already clarified who is being observed and what gender.


Hello HeavySpanvich: No. Lo is REQUIRED. Please see some of the comments above. (a él) can be added to distinguish between I observe it and I observe him.


Hey Craig thanks for the response. After reading Koalirein's response above I understand much better now. Thanks!


Hello HeavySpanvich: Estoy feliz de ayuda, mi amigo.


I don't understand the use of "lo" here, but then I'm fuzzy on the whole concept


You might like to read some of the above answers to this very question! :-)


Why can't it be 'I observed him'? So what would that be? ...Like observing the behaviour of a pupil in a class? The word 'see' is not in the suggestions when you press on the word.


The recommended answer above is 'I observe him' so clearly that verb is okay. 'I observed him' is past tense and translates as '(Yo) lo observé a él'.


i observe AT him


That doesn't make sense in English.


i know. thats why i said it.


Shouldn't the sentence be this"Yo obsrervo el"?


No. The way to think about it is that Spanish object pronouns go before the verb, so "I observe him" translates as "Yo lo observo". Then Spanish likes to add extra words for clarity and/or emphasis, so adding "él" clarifies the object is "him" and not it/you, etc. Finally there's the Spanish rule that when the object is a person (and a few other cases) you have to add an "a" before the object, it's called the personal a.

Putting all that together gives us the recommended Spanish translation "Yo lo observo a él". Note that the "a él" is optional but the "lo" is not.


In another lesson the sentence would be «yo observo á mi hijo» It is hard to see much differences between the two constellations


The difference between the two is the type of the direct object of each sentence: Direct Object Pronoun and Direct Object Noun

• The DO in the sentence on this page is "him" (a pronoun) -- "I observe him (therefore, lo is needed/required).
• The DO in the sentence from another lesson is "mi hijo (a noun) -- "I observe my son" (Object Noun is stated; no need for "lo)


Mike I had an altogether different interpretation and don't know why incorrect?. I respect him. Particularly with the personal "a".


"Yo lo observo, a èl."

In this particular sentence why is lo necessary when èl tells you that you are observing him, not her or it?


It's a requirement of Spanish grammar. What is not required is a èl. If you need more info, read the comments starting at the top.


Why is it not, "I observe it to him."


Does it make sense to you? I'm not sure what that would mean.

Even if it did makes sense in English, that would not match the original Spanish sentence, since lo only works for direct objects and you still need to include an object pronoun for "him." So, the Spanish would have to be something like se lo obervo (with the optional a él dropped).

EDIT: I'm sensing some confusion regarding the need for the object pronouns. In the simplest terms, the rule is that whenever the object of the verb is a personal pronoun (him, her, us, you, me), the complementary object pronoun (me, te, le, lo, las, nos, etc.) is mandatory. There are links for further reading in some other comments.


So why is it lo and not el and it does make sense in English


The reason for lo is that "him" (él) is the direct object. As I noted before, whenever the object of a verb is a personal pronoun, you MUST include the complementary object pronoun. For single masculine direct objects, the object pronoun is lo. For what it's worth, el is not an object pronoun, it's a single masculine definite article ("the").

If you actually meant él and merely left off the accent mark, él is a personal pronoun and the direct object of this sentence, but it's not the mandatory unstressed object pronoun.

The minimal, grammatically correct Spanish sentence would be lo observo, which we would translate as either "I observe him" or "I observe it." The fact that the Spanish sentence in this drill also adds a él means that it has to be "I observe him" and not "I observe it." That is, the extra phrase a él clarifies that the direct object is not "it."

Finally, note that the a in a él is the so-called "personal a." It's grammatically required in the Spanish, but has no direct translation into English. Thus, there is no "to him" implied by that phrase in this sentence.

Now, if you could explain what "I observe it to him" means, that would be cool. I only found a passage from the Bible and an obscure Australian case file from the early 1800s that use this construction. In both cases observe means to show, which is clearly an obsolete usage.


Hello DavidMoore622957: This is a wonderful, patient explanation! We are fortunate to have people like this helping us.


Im just gonna say it, i cheat alot because if im off by one letter i gotta type the whole thing over. No thanks.


Spanish requires the 'lo'. It's tough for native English speakers when the object 'el'. is there.


Google translate gave me "Lo Observo". A el seems redundant since Lo refers to him


It's not really redundant because lo can also refer to you (in the sense of usted with a male).


you’re right. lo observo a usted. thank you!!!


it can also refer to “it”. do not use gt for grammar


thats a lil bit creepy


Don't worry, it's just a nature lover looking at an owl.


Could you just say "él observo" ?


Only if you mean to say "he I observe," which doesn't make any sense to me.


Why is "a él" necessary?


Why is "a él" added?


To make it clear that the "lo" refers to "him."


The use of "lo" here doesn't make sense to me. I observe who? él, then I expect "le" to be used in this case. Yo le observo a él


"le" is "to him", "lo" is him.


Is the "lo "really needed in this sentence since you already say a el.....can u not just say yo "observo a el"


Yes, it's needed. It's a grammar thing. You can omit "a él," but not the "lo."


Why it is not le observo?


Because le = to him


i dont undertand the use of "lo" in the sentence.


Then you should read some of the comments, starting with the very first one.


I still don't get it When do you use le or lo. I thought it was lo for objects and le for él and ella


This has been covered in a lot of other comments on this page, but usually, lo = him, la = her and le = to him/her.

These can also be used for the usted (formal) version of "you", so lo = you (masculine), la = you (feminine) and le = to you.


People are arguing with native Spanish speakers... What even


It isn't stalking, I observe him.


Spanish likes to put the direct object pronoun before the verb, which is very tricky for me, a Chinese, because I always forget so I only get to make it up by adding "a el" in the end but of course it is grammatically wrong.


Do you have to put in the lo since its already saying" a el " or can u just day yo observeo a el


Why is lo used?


I read that "lo" on the Mexican border usually means "him", but everywhere else is obscure. Can also mean "it". It seems to me, that because you often can't tell the difference between a direct and indirect pronoun, unless it is "me", where there is no ambiguity, you use "a él", etc.

I've begun to think of the direct and indirect object pronouns as verb modifers rathar than pronouns, just as Compra means he/she/you buy as the subject. The fact that the pronoun is seperate from the verb it comes before doesnt make it different than an affix.


Actually, you can easily tell the difference between direct and indirect object pronouns, since they look different.

Lo vs le La vs le Los vs les Las vs les

The Me looks the same, as does the te. The a él is there to distinguish the gender, not the type of pronoun.


My keyboard has no option for the accent mark on el, so I am marked wrong, and cant escape this lesson!


á = Alt + 0225 é = Alt + 0233 í = Alt + 0237 ó = Alt + 0243 ú = Alt + 0250 ñ = Alt + 0241 ¡ = Alt + 0161 ¿ Alt + 0191


This is confusing as hell. People here in Buenos Aires don't use this. Maybe only in some fancy circles.


"Le observo" definitely follows the books I try to read in Spanish. "lo" was chosen perhaps because observo ends in 'o', so they rhythmically work together.


Le observo isn't correct. Observar is transitive, so we need a direct object. The a él has the 'a' since this is a case for the personal a.


This is from a Spanish translation of the book Domingo ❤❤❤❤❤ by Thomas Harris I bought in a used bookstore. It's entirely in Spanish:

"...mientras le observaban los guardias que le acompañaban..."

I take that to mean: "meanwhile the guards observed him, that accompanied him."


Thanks! You answered my question perfectly!


I observed him or I'm observing him. They need to get their Engligh in check and the proper tenses. Past vs present!


The tense and sentence given is correct. I observe him. Present tense.


There are a lot of sentences where there is a "le" or "lo" that shouldn't be there. Or rather, the "a él" shouldn't be there. This is the tenth or so example.


This is how Spanish is actually used. It might be strange to an English speaker, but Spanish isn't English.

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