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.
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.
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."
'A él' is so you know who it is or what it is specifically right? Because without this it could be it
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...
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).
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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'.
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.
The difference between the two constellations is the type of the direct object of each sentence: Direct Object Pronoun and Direct Object Noun
• In the sentence on this page is "him" (a pronoun) -- "I observe him (therefore, lo is needed/required).
• In the sentence from another lesson is "mi hjo (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.
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.
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).
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.