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  5. "Lo vi a él hace poco."

"Lo vi a él hace poco."

Translation:I saw him recently.

March 9, 2013

105 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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


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

Hace poco is a Spanish idiom.


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

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


[deactivated user]

    That idiom course was dreadful!


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

    They could still update it someday.


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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lisou26

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


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


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


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


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

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


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

    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


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

    Very useful link, thanks.


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

    TY, wswymond!!!


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kassandra8286

    It was accepted just now.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tx91791

    "Recently" is not the same meaning as "a while ago". Not in my english.


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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidKelly19

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


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

    IMHO, incorrect and unusual English.


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

    The recording just bounces right over the "a el". I could hardly hear it in the sentence.


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

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


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

    I can't believe I'm level 17 and just came across this. It's useful for sure.


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

    I have no idea. I can't remember back two years, but there must have been something useful somewhere on this thread.


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

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


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

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


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

    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".


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

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aidan8

    what about "lo vi hace poco"?


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

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


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

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/miza713

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


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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SusanSchre1

    Good. Now I get it.


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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/uripi2

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanaRose2

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


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

    Why not "I saw it"


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

    Because of the "a él".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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."?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jeanne1002

    does duolingo have an "idiom" section?


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


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


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

    Nobody in Australia would say "i saw him a bit ago" it is awkward.


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

    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.


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

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


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


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

    Got it sir...thanks!


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


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


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

    "I just saw him" should be correct.


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

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


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

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sanyam5891

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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


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

    What does lo mean in this context?


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

    the link is really helpful. many thanks!


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

    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.


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

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


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

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


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

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/charlie.ng2

    Is it incorrect to say, "Vi a él hace poco"?
    Or is the direct pronoun necessary?


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


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

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tomasz1

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


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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuanDavid2013

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


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

    Because the DL sentence includes a él which indicates the direct object is a male (baby, boy, man, male doctor, male barber, whoever).


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

    I feel like I'm missing something in this translation... Isn't "a él" always contracted to "al"?


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

    No.

    A él(he) with accent mark is not contracted

    A el(the) without accent mark is contracted


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


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

    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.


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

    I watched him recently = denied


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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kathy975

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adahad26

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


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

    No, it is used like a ella, a ellos, a ellas, etc. to clarify direct object pronouns.


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

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


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

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


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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bluejasmine93

    Why are two words needed to say recently?


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


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


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

    Avery, you mean contraction, not conjunction!


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

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


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

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pplw1

    Why is "Recently i saw him" not correct?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cancerian1988

    I saw him a little ago? Not accepted


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

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/manny540266

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aidan8

    Because "I seen" is bad grammar. "Seen" is the past participle of the verb "to see".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dee811953

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stephen597728

    Why not "I saw him just now"?


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

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