The original Spanish sentence does indicate the direct object, so we can be sure that "He has not.." is wrong.
"Esto no lo ha preparado bien. "
The "lo" here is only a direct object pronouns, so him or it (as a direct object). The "lo" cannot mean "he" in English. That means the "esto" is the subject. The fact that Spanish is more inflected than English allows sentences with less ambiguity than English.
"Lo" isn't referring to "him", it's referring to the thing that hasn't been prepared well (the direct object). I'm thinking that in Spanish you have to say the direct object even when you specify what it is (in this case "this").. when I speak Spanish I'm always being told that I've missed out a few little words here and there, usually when I forget to say "lo", because it's very different to English!
It is very interesting to see the difference between "Esto, no lo ha preparado bien" y "Esto no lo ha preparado bien"
The first sentence would mean that he does not have prepared "something" well. The second would mean that "something" has not prepared him well.
What do you think ?
Native Spanish speakers please help! I have the same question as CzarnyCzesio. I do not understand how this Spanish sentence can mean BOTH "This has not prepared him well." AND "He has not prepared this well." It seems the latter is a better translation to me. Would someone who actually KNOWS add some clarity please? Thanks!
I ran this by my Spanish teacher colleagues and they all agreed that only "This has not prepared him well." would be correct. Since the "lo" is definitely a direct object, the "esto" has to be the subject. They also added that if the esto were a direct object, they'd want it placed after the verb, ideally.
I wouldn't argue stubbornly against their conclusion. However, there's quite a bit of room between grammatically incorrect and "ideally." Spanish is a strongly S-V-O grammar (i.e., subject-verb-object). So, it makes a lot of sense to have "esto" last in such a language and definitely not first. Nevertheless, Spanish, like English, does permit some variations. I'm sure your colleagues could come up with perfectly good examples of such variations themselves.
I think the bigger issue here is that the sentence as written leaves out some important bits of information, such as who or what really is the subject. To intuit that solely from the sentence structure seems to put too much burden on the rules of grammar or even conventional usage. That's certainly the case in English.
So, while I completely agree the "this has not prepared him well" version seems the most likely, that's not enough to make "he has not prepared this well" wrong.
FYI, earlier there was a sentence, "Eso lo hemos establecido." Obviously, "eso" is not the subject in this sentence. How would you account for this construction?
Ahhh! Now I see what you're getting at. You're other sentence, "Eso lo hemos establecido" has one key difference. "eso lo" is clearly a unit. My colleagues added that the fact that "esto" and "lo" are separated by the "no" shows that they are two separate parts of the sentence, making the sentence clear. If we had the positive version of the sentence, it would indeed be ambiguous.
Of course, as you said, the ideal grammar isn't always how the language is used. The real lesson here is that sentences like this are far from clear and should be avoided if you don't want to sow doubt in a conversation ;)
Good point about the "no. " I hadn't considered that, which strengthens your other reasoning too. Also, point taken on the value of clarity. The beauty of Duo is that it surfaces these issues in the context of learning, where learning from mistakes is part of the deal.
All- I am an ESL teacher mostly to Hispanics. I also speak and read/write Spanish at a very high level as I lived and worked in South America 6 years and took over 200 Spanish lessons there. One thing I learned is that we as ESL teachers and we as Duolingo participants want most to be able to communicate in most situations and be able to read and write well enough to be understood. While working in SA, we spoke Spanish in the office all day and I emailed to my native secretary in my Spanish and she cleaned it up before sending. Never did she ever ask my meaning. My point is we are asking how many angels can you put on a head of a needle instead of just becoming more communicable.
In this case the word "Esto" precludes "lo" being a reference to the thing that has not prepared "him" well. If, let's say, "lo" was considered to mean "it." the sentence would read: This has not prepared itself well. That would make no sense. that said, I got it wrong the first time, too. Se, lo, la... it all gets confusing. Just keep at it.
Is ok because "esto no lo ha preparado bien = él no ha preparado bien esto". En español. Y para "This has not prepared him well. Esto no lo ha preparado a él bién."
La frase "esto no lo ha preparado bien" también puede ser: This has not prepared him well, pero no es frecuente encontrar este significado.
Well, yes and no. I mean it's not grammatically incorrect if that's what you're wondering. But it's an odd variation.
I guarantee someone else will come along and insist it should be accepted, but I personally would just move on. It's not how I would ever express myself, I understand exactly what the Spanish sentence means, and now I feel confident enough to use the phrase as I see fit in actual conversation.
Life's too short to spend time testing Duo's ability to handle stilted, archaic or rare phrasings.
Indeed. There are a lot of alternative meanings for quite a few of Duo's sentences. We should think about other possible meanings to avoid miscommunication, but we should also be careful not to fall too far down that rabbit hole and stray from the goal of learning to communicate effectively.
Okay well. I am going to fail this present perfect section because the english translation is always going to mess me up. I think Duolingo should rework the translation. It doesn't always have to be word from from translated...maybe they can do word to word translation then underneath, put a more commonly used english sentence to make it easier.