That is a characteristic of Spanish, that you add an (in)direct object pronoun, even though you also mention it explicitly later on the phrase.
So you can say:
- le doy una manza (I give him/her an apple)
- doy una manzana a María (I give an apple to Mary)
but very often you will hear
- le doy una manzana a María (I give an apple to Mary)
It means the exact same thing. It's just the way Spanish speakers express themselves.
That is not weird. Typically, an indirect object is a person. However there are some phrases possible in which the IO is an inanimate thing. Then "le" has to be used as well. This phrase is an example of that. Another example is:
- Le puse más memoria al ordenador (I put more memory in the computer)
It looks like there are very specific situations where the indirect object pronoun is and isn't required. See:
I don't think we really disagree; it just appears to be one of the differences between English and Spanish grammar. Thank you for helping me to understand why you need the IO pronoun in Spanish! (Also, it would be considered an IO in English whenever you don't use a preposition, so it is used with other verbs such as: "He wrote me a letter", "She bought me a dress", "They brought him the book")
With "tell the truth to me", truth is a direct object, and me is the object of the preposition "to". The prepositional phrase "to me" is an adverbial phrase modifying the verb "tell". With "tell me the truth" , truth is still the DO, but me is an IO of the verb tell. Yes, they both mean the same thing but the grammar is different in English. Apparently in Spanish, there is no distinction in the grammar.
Is that true - what you "tell ME" ?
In English, which we were discussing, nearly all indirect objects are indicated by a preposition, usually "to", are they not? I just noticed your expression "object of the preposition" and I think that is part of the confusion.
I do not believe prepositions have objects, verbs do.
"Tell the truth to me" is equivalent to "Tell me the truth", yes? In both cases the verb "tell" has the DO "the truth", you agree? In the latter case you would also agree that "me" is the IO of "tell" I think. Thus it is also in the former case this time because it explicitly says "to me" - which is what the "me" in the second case really means.
In Spanish, at least with pronouns, there is a single word for an IO but not typically in English as I hope I have explained
We will have to agree to disagree. Seems we have a difference of terminology and your "adverbial phrases" do not allow for concept of an indirect object of the verb. Your English must quite strange - the only verbs permitted by you to have indirect objects that immediately come to mind are "give" and "tell". Would you give me that as I have told you straight?
Yes, and the reason is because the verb demands it. "a mi coche" is optional information. There are verbs (sometimes called Exchange Verbs by a few textbook authors) that demand the indirect object pronouns when there is a "transfer"in the sentence. The more common ones are dar, contar, comprar, mandar, pedir, regalar, traer, escribir, mostrar, servir.
Hi Talca. I appreciate your comments usually but here you baffle me! I can see that some of the verbs you cite MAY (I'd say) have an IO along with a DO - I'm thinking of dar, escribir, mandar, mostrar...eg "te escribo una carta" and some i cannot see an IO at all eg comprar - compro el libro DO, no IO. So I cannot see the requirement (demand!) for an IO in atleast some of the verbs you give. Can you explain or give a reference?
My comment wasn't clear enough. Often people post: Why do we need an indirect object in the sentence? For example: José le da un beso a su hijo. The reason is that the verb requires it. Why? Because there is an exchange or transfer occurring. Yes, of course, you can use DAR without using an indirect object, too. (The cow gives milk.) http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/190367/redundant-use-of-indirect-object-pronouns
In the example I gave, it's not necessary to use "le". In Duolingo's phrase (algo le ha pasado a mi coche), I'm not completely sure. Without "le", this particular phrase would sound weird to me, but maybe a native speaker could confirm if it's correct.
Also, you distinguish between something being "customary" or "absolutely grammatically necessary". I'd argue that those two are not separate concepts, but rather that they're almost the same thing. However, this depends on your definition of grammar.
The "sounds weird" test is surprisingly effective, but I too would like to hear from a native speaker here to gauge the nuances of the usage based on context. I try to "think in Spanish" but the way pronouns are used in comparison with English makes that difficult. The distinction I was making was mostly about formality, and the trade-offs between rigor and simplicity. I sometimes consciously break the "rules" when speaking English, because despite being a literary critic I hardly want to sound like one outside academia. (E.g.: consistent, correct use of the subjunctive in English is very rare in ordinary speech and to many people actually sounds wrong; I can't actually bring myself to say things like "I wish I was..." but nor to I object to it in casual conversation.)
Sean, this is an aside, but since you brought it up, be aware that one does not always use the subjunctive for conditional sentences, like "If I were a rich man ..." - switching the verb is reserved for those things that are definitively not true, and in that case I would use "were" because I am neither rich nor a man! You may use "was" in the case of something that may be true, such as "If an ambulance WAS on the way, we could have help soon to save these lives." One could have been called, and could be on the way.
"Le" is the is indirect object pronoun (and is gender neutral). The distinction between direct and indirect object pronouns is very complicated (at least to me) in Spanish compared to some other languages, but basically you would use "lo" here (or "la" if the noun were feminine) if the action was more, well, "direct." If someone saw your car, set it on fire, sold it, et cetera, you'd use lo. Vague statements where something just "happens to" something else use "le" (the verb "pasar" is indeed a quintessential example)
Im fairly certain Ive seen similar sentences where the I.O pronoun was not used. Only (A + indirect object) to describe the receiver of the Direct Object. Is there a rule concerning when I HAVE to use the I.O.P. Does it have anything to do with verb being transitive/intransitive? Thanks
That is what grammarians call "the personal a" although that is merely a nomenclature given to foreigners trying to learn Spanish--not a specific type of preposition. Here the A is used as a "directional" (my term) preposition (to). It is not the personal a placed in front of people, pets.