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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ryan47435765

Ambiguous direct vs indirect object?

Ok, so I encountered this sentence on the Spanish for German speakers Duolingo:

"Te voy a presentar a mi familia." (I am going to introduce you to my family.)

It was translated into German as "te" being the direct object and "a mi familia" as being the indirect object, and the other way around was not accepted as correct (i.e. te as indirect object and mi familia direct object. So in English, "I am going to introduce my family to you.")

Would the correct way to say "I am going to introduce my family to you" then be "Te la voy a presentar a mi familia"? Or "Voy a presentar a mi familia a ti"? Suddenly I'm confused about this. Is the only way to make it unambiguous who is being introduced to whom is to use the double-pronoun construction (like I proposed above) in any case?

July 19, 2016

4 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

"Te la voy a presentar a mi familia"

You don't duplicate a Direct Object (in such case), see here.
You could go for A mi familia te la voy a presentar.: if the Direct Object comes before its verb, you should duplicate it, see here.

"Voy a presentar a mi familia a ti"

You usually duplicate the Indirect Object, see here -> would be "Te voy a presentar a mi familia a ti." and you can, in this case, omit the personal a in front of the Direct Object exactly to make it unambiguous: Te voy a presentar mi familia a ti., see here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ryan47435765

Just to be clear, do you agree that "Te voy a presentar a mi familia" should be translated unambiguously as "I am going to introduce you to my family", or do you think it is ambiguous?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

It can be both.
But at the end, if you introduce your family to someone or the contrary, it's that they don't know each other. So it's maybe why it's not a problem in Spanish for it to not be 100% clear: at the end it's quite reciprocal between the person introduced one to each other.
But if you want to make it unambiguous, you can (at least in Mexico), use

  • A mi familia te la voy a presentar. (te = I.O.)
  • Te voy a presentar con mi familia. (te = D.O.)

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ryan47435765

¡Muchas gracias!

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