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"Lo vi a él hace poco."

Translation:I saw him recently.

5 years ago

105 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/Noahfreak

Can someone please explain why "hace poco" means recently? Forgive my ignorance, but I'm reading it as "he makes little". Thoroughly confused about the literal translation of hacer. If I knew what it meant in Spanish, I might be able to phrase it in my English-thinking mind to make sense. Otherwise I am lost.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/droma

Hace poco is a Spanish idiom.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NECIEBOOYA

Yeah one they didn't teach us in the stupid idiom course...wth

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jpmyers15

That idiom course was dreadful!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Breitbarth

They could still update it someday.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PatricioJiang

One literal translation might be, "ago little". "little ago", some time in the past, but just a little bit of that time. That's how I break down idioms in an attempt to literalize it. I find it gives me insight on other idioms and the culture of Latin America presented in the etomology of words and idioms.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisou26

Thats a useful trick. Will keep that in mind. Thank you!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tsunderwood

Just as English has phrases that have different meanings when words are put together. "A course" could be golf or class, but "Of course" has it's own meaning.

We have to be more open and less literal when learning another language...kinda like a child.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HapppyAnne

From the numbers unit, hace also means ago: hace 15 díaz = 15 days ago. Hace poco, then, means "little ago," with poco meaning little. Little ago=recently.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sanyam5891

It is more or less like english having the same word for many meanings. Try and grasp the meaning of the sentence by looking at the bits of Spanish words only. If you start translating every word into english, then you are surely gonna be in for a rough time (especially idioms).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brandlord

That's how I'm literally translating "hace poco" as well. Same question.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wswymond

Hacer is a verb that can be used in many different ways. In this case it is referring to time. An example sentence is: "Fui a su casa hace dos semanas." = I went to his house two weeks ago. In this case "hace poco" could be translated as "since a little" or recently.

http://spanish.about.com/cs/vocabulary/a/using_hacer.htm This will help with some of the other uses

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bill-Roca

Very useful link, thanks.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sheridend

TY, wswymond!!!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pjAVXR

Exactly. Someone said it is an idiom. Well they should teach you the idioms before they throw it at you.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/farkydoodle

I got this one right but continue to struggle with pronouns like "lo." Would the sentence not be complete without it? "Vi a el hace poco." ? It is clear who saw and who was seen...why is lo needed?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elizinmi

Why wouldn't 'I saw him a little while ago' be correct?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

Just because the Duo computer database does not contain all of the possible synonyms for 'recently.' A little while ago, a short time ago, just the other day, a short time back, and the list goes on.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/carla.lazzari

Than we need to report it and say this answer is also correct, so the database can be improved.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kassandra8286
kassandra8286
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It was accepted just now.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tx91791
tx91791
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"Recently" is not the same meaning as "a while ago". Not in my english.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JuevesHuevos

I just used "I saw him a little while ago" and it was correct - looks like Duo updated it to include this correct translation

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidKelly19

"I saw him a little bit ago" was accepted for me.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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IMHO, incorrect and unusual English.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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The recording just bounces right over the "a el". I could hardly hear it in the sentence.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/2langs

I noticed how, sometimes, if you slow it down, you virtually get a different recording. Ah, the road to fluency.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/michisjourdi
michisjourdi
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I can't believe I'm level 17 and just came across this. It's useful for sure.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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What's useful?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/michisjourdi
michisjourdi
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I have no idea. I can't remember back two years, but there must have been something useful somewhere on this thread.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WolfJared

I'm having trouble understanding when to use "le" and "lo" where applicable

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/arturohiero

Correct Spanish sentence: "Vi a el hace poco".

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/malkeynz
malkeynz
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My understanding is that if you are using a personal pronoun for the direct object (él/ella/usted/etc.), you also NEED the direct object pronoun in front of the verb. Hence "lo vi a él".

However if it's just an ordinary noun or the name of someone, or there's a preposition involved, then the "lo" (or whatever) should be dropped. e.g. "vi a mi amigo", "vi a Juan".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RaviOnline

No. "Lo" is mandatory, while "a él" is optional.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aidan8
aidan8
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what about "lo vi hace poco"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/moramajama

Without "a él", your sentence means "I saw it recently."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/droma

without the "a él" the sentence could mean I saw "it/him or you" recently.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/miza713

I'm not sure that's technically true, but it does clarify things a lot.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adriandz

It is technically true, although it's not the only thing it could mean. "Lo" is a direct object pronoun and can mean "him", "it", or "you (formal)". Therefore, "Lo vi" can mean "I saw it", "I saw him", or "I saw you (formal)". The addition of "a él" clarifies who was seen.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SusanSchre1

Good. Now I get it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/beantorrent

But given some previous context in conversation or in a preceding sentence in a paragraph, it wouldn't be necessary to clarify "a él". https://www.duolingo.com/comment/131295

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/uripi2

Ay Duolingo, hay mas de una manera de vivir la vida....

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JanaRose2

I used "I just saw him" why is it not correct?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Platachica

Why not "I saw it"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adriandz

Because of the "a él".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Languagetarian

Would it be alright to say "Lo vi a él recientemente."? Or if it is already known who the "him" is referring to then could you also say "Lo vi recientemente/hace poco."?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jeanne1002

does duolingo have an "idiom" section?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JuevesHuevos

Yes, but it's really weird. Idioms like "every rose has its thorn" and "good fences make good neighbors"

But the Spanish versions of these are completely different, so everyone is confused, and each one has 100's of comments that are mostly just "it should be like this not like this, this is stupid"

It would be great if Duo had a useful, day-to-day idiom section, like "querer decir" means "to mean to say" or "hace años" means " years ago" - but they don't.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jeanne1002

Even if they simply defined them as they occurred (as opposed to marking the literal response wrong), that would help to learn them in context.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/markfocas
markfocas
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Nobody in Australia would say "i saw him a bit ago" it is awkward.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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Nobody in the USA would say that either. The DL official answer is: I saw him recently. I saw him a while ago is probably also accepted.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CidAcedo

Can we also use "Le" instead of "Lo"?... I thought "Lo" means "It"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adriandz

No. Lo is a direct object pronoun meaning him or it. Le is an indirect object pronoun, meaning him or her. Check out http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/dopro1.htm and http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/iopro1.htm

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CidAcedo

Got it sir...thanks!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/maimelody
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AdamSkelto

Can someone explain when to use "hace poco" and when to use recientamente? I'm sorry if someone has explained it already and I overlooked it in the comments.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AdamSkelto

Gotta love Google.. "hace poco" is literally listed in the definition of recientemente next to the adverb "recently." It doesnt give examples but I assume that means they can be used interchangeably.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tsheaff

"I just saw him" should be correct.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mark_dal_bianco

my answer: "i saw it recently" was not accepted

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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DL is correct. It should not have been accepted because the "a el" reinforces the "lo" to make it definitely mean HIM (i.e., a male) vs. you or it.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sanyam5891

"a el" here actually clarifies that "Lo" is indicating to "him" rather than "it"...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/venetoblu

Actually what ensures 'he' is meant rather than 'it' is the inclusion of the 'personal a'.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jargoness

Is it correct to say "I saw him a little ago"? Bear with me, I'm not an english native speaker.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sheridend

No, we english speakers would say "I saw him a little while ago."

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlterKatie

I would say, "I saw him a little while ago" or "I saw him earlier." I am a native english speaker from northwestern US. "A little ago" sounds weird to me.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nazzanuk

What does lo mean in this context?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/patschge

the link is really helpful. many thanks!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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means HIM because the a él indicates the direct object is a MALE. Without the a él the sentence could have two possible meanings: 1) I saw you recently. 2) I saw it recently. I saw her = La vi hace poco.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/probablyvincent

Your question was already answered.Please take time to read the comments in order to help prevent repetitive questions.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nazzanuk

It wasn't at the time of asking. Please read the date the question was asked in order to help prevent redundant answers.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EugeneTiffany

The Duolingo app does not show dates. So not everyone can know what dates comments were made.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/charlie.ng2
charlie.ng2
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Is it incorrect to say, "Vi a él hace poco"?
Or is the direct pronoun necessary?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElenaElder

This was my question. When I learned it in college we didn't necessarily have to use the "lo" - I mean I see why you can, but why complicate it? I don't believe it would be incorrect to simply say "Vi a él hace poco." Can anyone else give insight?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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Elena, You were taught incorrecty (doubtful) or like many of us forgot something from your university Spanish class. This sentence demands a direct object pronoun just like the equivalent English sentence does: I saw HIM a while ago. The Spanish direct object pronouns are not as gender specific as English pronouns. Without the a él this could mean I saw it recently. or I saw you recently.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tomasz1

I didn't see him lately? What's wrong?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JuevesHuevos

Didn't = did not. There is no "no" or "not" or negative in that sentence.

I saw him recently.


To add the negative, with the word "lately/recently" you would have to use the past perfect:

I HAVE NOT seen him lately/recently.

"I did not see him lately" is not correct in English.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JuanDavid2013

'I saw it recently' was counted wrong ...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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Because the DL sentence includes a él which indicates the direct object is a male (baby, boy, man, male doctor, male barber, whoever).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hasdeztwazi
hasdeztwazi
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I feel like I'm missing something in this translation... Isn't "a él" always contracted to "al"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eualb
Eualb
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No.

A él(he) with accent mark is not contracted

A el(the) without accent mark is contracted

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rothll

I thought I clarify this at the top of the discussion threat as I saw a few people asking the same question;

"If you are already in a conversation and you both know that you are talking about a specific person you can simply say "lo vi hace poco". The "a el" is just used to point out the gender, nothing more!"

I personally find it quite annoying that duolingo does this with all the object pronouns as it is simply not a natural thing to say.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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Mavry, un hispanohablante, comments on this quite often. DL unnaturally loads its sentences with examples using the clarifiers (a ellos, a él, a ella, a ellas, etc.) which are truly not needed that often in Soanish conversation.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/talkersw

I watched him recently = denied

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielBlan352496

I was just wondering, what makes the difference between "Imperfect" and "Preterite"/"Indefinido"? When do I use which form? I cannot really diffentiate between the two of them!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kathy975

As of 1/31/15, a "little while ago" has been accepted

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adahad26

Isn't "a el" used only with Indirect Prounouns?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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No, it is used like a ella, a ellos, a ellas, etc. to clarify direct object pronouns.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/periplayer

Can someone please explain why the "a" is in this sentence. Thank you

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/serenittee

I saw one comment about using recientemente instead of hace poco, but no response. Any input on this?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sweetamber84

Thanks for all of the explanations it really helps alot! Im having a hard time with this while lesson, past tense. Its hard for me to keep track of all the changes: fui fue; eran eras; lo la ti is espcially hard for me to grasp.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bluejasmine93

Why are two words needed to say recently?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adriandz

A Spanish speaker might reply, why are two words needed in English to say, "I am", when in Spanish you can simply say "Soy"? The languages are different. There are plenty of explanations of what "hace poco" means on this page, but if you wanted a single word in Spanish that means "recently", it is recientemente.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AveryHD

The two words are not really needed in English. "I" refers to the person or subject and "am" refers to ones "state" or "state of being". Spanish has it also I think" yo" and "soy" "yo soy". We also have the conjunction "I'm".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/skepticalways

Avery, you mean contraction, not conjunction!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/skepticalways

But I'm not the one who down-voted you.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AveryHD

Yes contraction; not conjunction; too much Spanish on my mind at that time lol.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pplw1

Why is "Recently i saw him" not correct?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cancerian1988

I saw him a little ago? Not accepted

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adriandz

Because that's improper English and no one talks like that.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/manny540266

Why is "I seen him recently" not accepted???

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aidan8
aidan8
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Because "I seen" is bad grammar. "Seen" is the past participle of the verb "to see".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/manny540266

Lol thanks

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dee811953

I agree. If duo lingo is going to use an idiom, then explain it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Stephen597728

Why not "I saw him just now"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/beantorrent

If you are wondering like I was, yes you can say "Lo vi hace poco." https://www.duolingo.com/comment/131295 The object that directly receives the action of the verb is called the direct object. Let's say it is Juan. "Lo" is used here because the pronoun replaces the name of the direct object "him", Juan. http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/dopro1.htm The subject pronoun "él" is used to replace the name, Juan, who is the object of the proposition "a"—"at Juan". http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/oppro.htm This is confusing because the word "him" is being used redundantly to replace the object, Juan. So let's just use "Juan" instead of the substitute "him" to break it down. "Lo vi"—"Juan I saw" or in correct English "I saw Juan." "Vi a él"—"I saw Juan." Now let's put them together "Lo vi a él"—"Juan is to whom I looked at Juan." Such redundancy hardly seems necessary. If asked whether you have seen Juan, it seems you could reply "Lo vi hace poco" and it would be understood that you're referring to "him" and not "it". "Lo vi a él" appears to be correct Spanish, but I hate the redundancy so I wanted to post on behalf of efficient speaking to say it is acceptable to drop "a él" any time "him" may be inferred from context. "Cuando lo vi, la semana anterior a su partida, aunque lleno de años, no había casi ninguna falla en su mente." http://www.linguee.com/english-spanish/search?source=autoquery=%22lo+vi%22+%22i+saw+him%22

2 years ago