Direct Object vs Indirect Object
I'm having trouble understanding the difference between direct and indirect objects.
For example "He likes the fish" translates to "A él le gusta el pescado". Everybody says to think of it as "The fish is pleasing to him", so I understand that the fish it the subject and the guy is the object, but isn't the guy the direct object because the fish is pleasing to him? And in that case shouldn't it be "lo" instead of "le"? (I know it's "le", but I have no idea why)
I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that you can't have an indirect object without a direct object, so if the guy is the indirect object and the fish is the subject, what is the direct object? Or is gustar just a weird exception that doesn't have a direct object?
Gustar and it's kin are anexception and always takes indirect objects. Gustar = to be pleasing to
If I say "I wrote to Bill" the notion of 'letter' (direct object) is implied, but Bill is the indirect object. If "the fish is pleasing to him" fish is the subject and him is the indirect object.
Thanks rspreng, that was a nice simple explanation.
In "the fish is pleasing to him" there's no implied direct object right? If I understand it right, in my sentence the guy is the indirect object because the verb is intransitive, but in your sentence Bill is the indirect object because the direct object is implied.
Are you familiar with intransitive verbs? Intransitive verbs have no direct objects. A él le gusta el pescado. 'le' is a dative indirect object.
Fireman: Not to confuse you, but you need to know that there are many Spanish verbs that can be transitive and intransitive. For ex. Saber, Sentir, Oír.... You need to buy one of those books devoted exclusively to verbs. Probably can get one in a used bookstore; I think most students give up Spanish when they learn how complicated and irregular the verbs are. Don't think the thought hasn't crossed my mind. I am a beginner, too. A year ago I hardly knew a word of Spanish. But to learn a language is identical to the study of music, in my opinion. It's repetition, repetition and repetition. And you can learn A LOT from people's comments on DL, too. In addition, have a decent grammar book at your side. ¡Buena suerte! I have requested that DL add a tree branch on that group of verbs which behave like gustar--need indirect object pronouns. Some common ones are encantar, faltar, quedar, parecer, doler. All the books drill gustar and ignore the other ones. They can be tricky, so we need a lot of drills on them.
Check out this link on Direct/Indirect objects in English (http://www.myenglishpages.com/site_php_files/grammar-lesson-direct-indirect-object.php#.Uu-JyMAaySN) The Direct Object in a sentence is the "What" and the Indirect Object of a sentence can answer the question "To Whom?". So, in this case, "the fish" is the direct object, and 'he' is the 'to whom'/indirect object (since the fish is pleasing to him). You cannot have an indirect object without a direct object. So while Spanish may not really have a direct object, when translated to English, the translated sentence should have a direct object if there's an indirect object.
Also check out this link for more information on Spanish indirect pronouns (http://studyspanish.com/lessons/iopro1.htm). It it 'le' because it refers to the indirect object ('he'). It would be 'lo' if he were the direct object.
The subject of a sentence is never the direct object. I send the letter to him. Subject = I, direct object = letter, indirect object = him