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"She is interested in this class."

Translation:A ella le interesa esta clase.

February 28, 2018

145 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Donald798622

Am I alone, or are these really difficult to grasp?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

You are not alone, Donald. Some of us have simply studied these parts of speech before. In English, direct and indirect objects are often the same words. "I hit her. I hit the ball to her." ("Her" is a direct object in the first sentence and an indirect object in the second.)

Add the fact that there has been a rebellion against teaching English grammar over the past several decades and most English speakers don't know the difference between direct and indirect objects in their own language; so, yeah, it's difficult to understand them in another tongue. (One year of Latin in college was a great help to me. You literally can't write a single sentence in Latin without understanding parts of speech.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TeresaGrif5

I don't think it's fair to rant about a "rebellion" in teaching grammar. They did teach identifying different parts of speech and direct vs. indirect objects when I went to school, but as someone who is not a recent high school or college grad or a fifth grad teacher, those classes were a long time ago and I haven't been quizzed on this stuff in decades. It's not something that most people generally need to remember to do our jobs or get through our lives, so yeah, people forget this stuff. Not everyone on this board is a teenager who could/should still remember this stuff.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Teresa, I have my own experience on which to draw; I was in primary and high school in the 1960s and early 70s. Where I lived the system was to give you a diagnostic test and if you passed, advance you on to the next chapter. Since my parents were college educated, I merely answered with whatever sounded right to my ear and was promoted without ever understanding grammar.

Later, for 15 years I taught freshmen and women at one of the top-20 ranked universities in the country. I had to teach them to/two/too and their/they're, etc. These were all A+ students in high school and very, very bright--and I read thousands of essays over the years. I know for a FACT they were not taught English grammar.

If you want to do the research--as I did years ago--you can find still-current theories of education that hold the rules of grammar to be "totalitarian" and "unfair to minorities who speak a dialect at home", etc. It wasn't an accident that my students (mostly American) didn't learn grammar; it was a deliberate decision on the part of institutions that were training teachers. My post to which you refer wasn't intended as a rant, it was an attempt to reassure a frustrate poster that he wasn't alone in not knowing direct from indirect objects. As I noted, I didn't learn grammar until I studied Spanish and, particularly, Latin.

To be fair, with a diverse class of students who need to learn to write, I can understand not burying them in rules at the beginning. Let them learn to get their thoughts and feelings on paper; then teach them how to conform their usage of English so it is clearer to others. But as so often happens, the theory has gone way overboard until the simplest of constructions are a mystery even to many of the brightest kids.

But I do agree with you to this extent: many of us have simply forgotten grammar rules, however we learned them decades ago. I am relearning all the time here, even though I had four years of Spanish in high school and 3 years in college (all 35 to 50 years ago).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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theories of education that hold that the rules of grammar are "totalitarian" and "unfair to minorities who speak a dialect at home", etc.

Speaking as someone who was taught standard grammar in school and as someone who has a degree in linguistics, they're going about it all wrong. It's not the rules of grammar that are "totalitarian" or "unfair to minorities who speak a dialect at home", it's how it's taught that is "totalitarian" and "unfair to minorities who speak a dialect at home".

There is no such thing as not a dialect. Non-standard dialects are not the standard (i.e. prestige) dialect with errors any more than Spanish is French with errors. The rules of grammar are not something handed down from on high. They are closer to "a mammal gives birth to live young" than "thou shalt not park here between 8:00 and 3:00". English is an SVO language not because someone decreed it but because that's what linguists concluded after analyzing how native speakers talk.

Is the standard dialect useful? Yes. Is it somewhat artificially maintained because almost no one speaks it natively? Yes. Should it be taught in schools? Yes. And not a whole lot has to change other than the teacher's basic attitude. Instead of telling students that they're fundamentally wrong for speaking their dialects, they should be told that here in school, we're learning the standard way and so while you're here, that's what you're expected to use. Just like there's nothing inherently wrong with Spanish, but please only speak French while we're in French class because that's what we're learning.

I have a friend who is a high school English teacher, and that's his approach. Rather than promoting the stigmatization of the non-standard dialects his students speak, he merely says "This is a Standard English Zone". Standard English is taught, no one is oppressed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Rae, I agree 100%. I am old enough to remember when even white Southerners were told when they arrived at college that the first requirement was to drop their Southern dialect. As a playwright, eliminating dialects is a tragedy to me.

I was merely reporting one, dominating pedagogical theory of the past 30 years.

My own policy with students was this: "I have 150 of your papers to grade. There is no way I will have time to correct your grammar. So this will be our policy: if I understand what you mean--even if you make a grammatical error or your handwriting is atrocious--you get credit for the statement. If I can't understand you, then you do not get credit." I graded accordingly and the vast majority of my students did well, regardless of their background (foreign, domestic, urban, rural).

One day I was really annoyed with deciphering the messy papers I had had to wade through, so I thought to "punish" the class by making them sit through a lecture on English grammar, such as "to/two/too", etc. To my surprise, they were not insulted, they were GRATEFUL because nobody had ever taught them those things. That's when I began to realize how bad our educational systems had become in this area. (I'm not damning all things about American schools, by any means.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

I just want to reiterate that I was in no way passing judgment on any poster's dialect or knowledge of grammar. I was merely trying to reassure one poster who said he was confused by direct and indirect objects that he was by no means alone. There are entire generations of Gen X and Millennials in the same boat. (Again, not criticizing the kids; it's not their fault they weren't taught grammar.)


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

Eloquently put, and I agree wholeheartedly about not stigmatizing people for who they are/speak-at-home. Yet it is important to elevate one's level of reading and writing - and therefore grammar - to the highest level possible.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thomas88363

at the end of the day, the FACT remains that a "Direct object" is a direct object and an indirect object" is an indirect object" whether taught or not!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rsNl6wgF

I would have to agree with you. I went to high school in the 70s and have no grasp of English grammar. Often the explanations as to why something in this course is a certain way is lost on me, because the explanation uses English grammar as a comparison and I am lost. I didn't forget it, I was never taught it. I speak and write English on an instinctual level.

I live in El Paso and those native Spanish speakers who grew up on this side of the border can not explain the Spanish grammar to me either, but the one who had formal education in Mexico do better at explaining it to me.


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

rsNl6wgF, @MarcyBrown @Guillermo @Rae.F I agree with, respect & appreciate what y'all post. (Southern vernacular there!)

Some appreciate our efforts, & others just say, "TLTR" ("too long to read"). On my phone app, I don't do copy & paste or links well, so I have to rely on explanations.

I follow @Lynettemcw & @RyagonIV as well. I really like getting to know you, my forum friends, from these discussions!

I'm not a linguist, but had SUPERB English teachers who taught complex-sentence diagramming. I've worked as an editor, too, so I notice mistakes in word use, & agree that the grammar knowledge of even Advanced Placement students over the last 20 years seems not as good as we were taught (back in the Dark Ages for me - ha!).

When I see others struggling to learn Spanish (as I do, with my bad memory), my posts are often long because I try to answer them both simply & completely, or to share memory tricks.

I sympathize with those who see "promomial, indicative, preterite, 'voice-not-tense,' subjunctive," etc., & their heads just SPIN, because all that knowledge is cumulative. They can't instantly understand all of that just to apply to an exercise so they can finish a lesson!

Thanks for taking the time to patiently explain how things work in Spanish. I had only 30 days experience before finding Duolingo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Why thank you, skeptical. I recognize the importance of brevity, but at the end of the day, I figure everybody has a scroll bar that works as well as mine! LOL.


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

She is the subject here though, not the direct object. They still teach this stuff in school. Duolingo is being extremely stupid here by switching the subject and direct object in the translation when they could have easily preserved it.

In general I hate how far from a literal translation they get. I would literally prefer to have a word to word translation so I can understand the grammar; switching the grammar to what it "should" be is an impediment to learning imo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

While there is a more word-for-word translation from the English into Spanish, I don't think that's worthwhile for Duo to drill in this case. At this point in Duo's tree, we should all be able to figure out the more obvious word-for-word translation. (And, for those still struggling, one version would be, "(ella) está interesada en esta clase").

Duo is trying to show how the more common English phrasing aligns with the more common Spanish phrasing. This is absolutely necessary to move beyond mechanical word substitution. What's more, if you cling to word-for-word translation, you will quickly find yourself misunderstanding or misinterpreting what is being said or written by native Spanish speakers. Similarly, you will encounter a lot of head scratching by native Spanish speakers who are trying to figure out what you just said. I'm not talking specifically about this particular Duo drill sentence. A more word-for-word translation would be easily and correctly understood. However, such translation only generally works for comprehension and usage around the level of a two year old. The two grammars are that different. There is nothing in English grammar, for example, that can prepare you for understanding the Spanish sentence Duo is using here. So, when you say you want to understand the grammar, you have to accept that a simple word-for-word translation won't do anything except reinforce what you already know in English. It won't teach you anything about uniquely Spanish grammar.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Very well said. Now, duck!

ETA I was kidding, as David certainly knows how things go here. But there is a group of posters who not only don't want to read detailed explanations, but who get pretty hostile when they encounter one. I don't understand it. The scroll function on my Mac works quite well and I can roll on by anything I don't want to read. But I would never miss a word of a DavidMoore or a Rae.F post!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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"She" is the subject here ... in English.

As explained in other comments on this page, in Spanish they say "This class is interesting to her". For more details, please refer to Guillermo8330's various comments.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Geo, I hear you, but you should check out some of the discussions where DL offers a more direct translation from Spanish that results in an awkward English sentence. Users lose their minds over it!

I doubt you will find a language educator who will agree with you that distorting a Spanish thought by translating it into an unusable English sentence is helpful to anybody.

If that's the way you want to learn, that's your prerogative, of course. But you'll have to parse both the Spanish and the English with "verbs like gustar".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MmeBrown14

Finally, I think I got it thanks to your explanation!!!!! Yipppee!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DuncanJenn1

nope i cannot for the life of me get the hang of the "personal" "a" thing, why a ella?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

I think you have it. You just defined the "personal a" pretty well.

A ella le interesa esta clase.

The problem is that the a in this instance is NOT the "personal a". It is the indirect object, just as we use it in English and it is translated as "to".

E.g., "He hit the ball TO her." (Emphasis added.) The ball is the direct object of the action ("to hit") and to her is the indirect object. "Hit the ball" is direct; to whom he hit it is indirect. The same is true in Spanish.

HOWEVER, Spanish is much more fluid in terms of word order. (Blame Latin, where every single word is a conjugation (verbs) or declension (nouns, etc.) and word order is almost irrelevant.

A ella le interesa esta clase.

So let's translate it literally;

"To her it interests her this class."

Obviously, this is an odd sentence in English because we don't decline nouns; their meanings are usually derived from where they fall in the sentence. Not so much in Spanish. So let's break it down:

A ella = "To her" (Note that "a" in this case means "to"; this sentence has no "personal a".)

le enteresa = "it interests her" (but it could also mean "it interests him" or "it interests you", which is why the a ella was added at the beginning). (As someone else has written, le is used instead of la because with Indirect objects, le stands in for either gender.)

esta clase = oddly, but only to English speakers, this is the SUBJECT of the sentence, even though this construction puts it at the end of the sentence.

So in the end, we have "This class interests her." But in English, we are more likely to say, "She is interested in this class."

The construction may seem convoluted to English speakers, but that's really just a function of the differing syntax of English and Spanish. This is a very common usage of interesar in Spanish.

Let me know if you get to a problem that actually uses the "personal a" and we can discuss that then. Sorry if my response here is too long. It's hard to break down the sentence in two languages and still give a credible account of each.

So the translation is "This class interests her." DL tries to be helpful by giving us the more common, "She is interested in this class." But it can be confusing because in doing so, DL has reversed the subject and objects in the process of translation. "She" (actually "her") was an indirect object in Spanish, but in English (per DL's translation) it is now the subject. "This class" (the subject in Spanish) is now an object in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DuncanJenn1

well thank you Guillermo for the best explanation i have read, that really clears up the issue for me :-) i appreciate you taking the time to write such a comprehensive responce.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

You are very welcome, Duncan. Let me know anytime I can help.


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

Great explanation. I have been confused thinking it was the "personal a" I was susposed to be using instead of using it as an indirect object. Have a Lingot for you troubles!


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

Thank you for your time in putting together such a nice piece of information. Have a lingot!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Thank you very much. As I've written elsewhere, my explanations are by no means infallible, but I ALWAYS learn something by trying to explain the differences between the grammar of the two languages. So no hardship at my end whatsoever.


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

Great explanation, unfortunately it doesn't explain why when one hovers over a word A ella does not appear only Ella :-(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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The hover hints are a bit stupid and don't reflect the greater context of the sentence. It's a bit like directly looking up a word in a dictionary. You still need to know which sub-entry is the relevant one.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Julia864262

The best explanation I've had.


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

One year down the line, your explanation is helping others including me. Thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

You are very welcome. I wish I had left out the comparison to Latin. My good friend Rae.F has taught me it is reductive to say word order doesn't matter in Latin.


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

Even if that is the case, it is not going to matter for our Spanish here. Your comments most places above have been just helpful. Cheers.


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

Thank you very much for this explanation


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

Yep! Mind boggeringly, frustratingly difficult. Got the personal "a" wrong again! Can't tell my objects from my subjects it appears.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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The Spanish verbs interesar, gustar, encantar point the opposite way as the English equivalents. In English, we say "I am interested in X; I like X; I adore X." In Spanish, they say "X interests me; X pleases me; X enchants me."

In this case, it's not the personal "a". The Spanish sentence literally says "To her, this class interests her."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carol820708

I feel like they add or remove the a in the beginning of the sentence when it suits them very frustrating


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

DL isn't inventing random requirements to attack your self-esteem, Carol. A ella (A él, a nosotros, etc.) is not added randomly. Sometimes the prepositional phrase (a ella) is added for emphasis or clarification, sometimes it is not. DL is teaching us both.

In an English class, one might be expected to learn: "I hit the ball to Jane." "I hit the ball to her." "I hit her the ball." "I hit Jane the ball."

All are forms of the English sentence a fluent speaker must know. There's no trick to it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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Both "A ella le interesa esta clase" and "Le interesa esta clase" ought to be equally accepted.

This should explain:
https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/26436940?comment_id=35588431


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Terri720898

I am confused about this one. Would someone please tell me what is the subject, direct object and indirect object in this sentence? I thought that "le" indicated that "ella" was the indirect object, but then what would be the direct object?


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

"A ella" is feminine gender, and it is used to clarify that the indirect object "le" is referring to a female. You know it's an indirect object because of its position before the verb. Also, "le" is the indirect object pronoun used to mean "him" or "her."

"Interesa" is the sentence's predicate verb with the null subject "it." "Esta clase" is the direct object of the verb because of its position, and because it receives the action of the predicate. Finally, think of how the genitive case works: The indirect object can become the subject. For example: The class is interesting to her/She is interested in the class.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marcy65brown

I think esta clase is the subject of the sentence, even though it comes after the verb. The sentence is literally "this class is interesting to her." The subject (clase) agrees with the verb (interesa 3rd person singular).

If it were "She is interested in these pictures," we would have to think "These pictures are interesting to her." The subject pictures would make the verb 3rd person plural (interesAN) and our sentence would be "A ella le interesan estas fotos."

That's the thing that makes verbs like gustar a little challenging: the subject generally comes after the verb.


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

For sentences like these, English uses the passive voice: 'She (subject) is interested (verb in passive voice) in this class (which is not really an object)'. Contrariwise, Spanish uses the active voice: 'This class (subject) is interesting (verb in active voice) to her (indirect object)'. Hope that clarifies rather than confuses!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Well put. "In this class" is a prepositional phrase that tells us where the action occurred. Otherwise, your parsing looks good to me.

ETA see Rae.F's post below mine as to why my post above is wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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We-e-e-lll...

If one were to say "She ran around in the class", then "in the class" would be a prepositional phrase acting as an adverbial saying where she ran around.

The English "to be interested in (something)" is a phrasal verb. You can't really say the thing you're interested in is the location of any action. The thing is the indirect object.

https://www.verbling.com/articles/post/breaking-down-phrasal-verbs


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Thanks, Rae. I stand corrected.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Well said, I think. The only thing I would add is that indirect objects/reflexive verbs are no more complicated than passive tense in English.


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

The passive is a voice, not a tense, which pertains to time, eg past, present and future.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Thanks for the correction.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

And to clarify, the verb interesar is intransitive in this sentence. There is no direct object and that is why there is no la. To be used as a transitive verb you would need to make someone interested in the class. For example, "the teacher got her interested in this class" - el maestro la interesó (a ella) en esta clase.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

David, I'm not sure about this. I'm not saying you are wrong, but I'm not sure. "The class interests her." "Her" is the direct object, but le is used because the direct object is a person, not because the person is an indirect object. There are other verbs where your analysis would be spot on, but not here, IMO. I think it's an exception to the d.o. v. i.o. rules, as discussed in other threads. There is a thread somewhere in which posters discuss how the usage of le for people who are direct objects is used in some countries (e.g., Spain), but not all. Some places would use la instead.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

This probably won't help, but Duo doesn't respect leismo and doesn't ever use standard indirect object pronouns for direct objects. I assume that's because they favor current prescriptive Spanish grammar over colloquial usage. More important, it would be very confusing to students if they did allow it. As independent speakers, we are free to adopt whatever conventions are used by those around us. Just know that Duo hasn't strayed from current grammar rules here and "le" is indeed an indirect object pronoun.

That said, the only way that "interesar" can be a transitive verb (and thus involve a direct object pronoun) is in a construction in which "this class" causes "her" to take an interest in something. But that's not how it's being used here. It really is just saying she's interested in the class, and there's no direct object.

If it helps, you can think of it like "gustar." We shouldn't look at "le gusta esta clase," translate it as "this class pleases her," and wonder what happened to the direct object. Instead, we should interpret it as saying "this class is pleasing to her" and recognize "her" as the indirect object.

RAE has this to say:
Cuando significa, dicho de una persona o cosa, ‘ser motivo de interés para alguien’, es intransitivo y el complemento de persona es indirecto: «No le interesa leer, no le interesa el cine, no le intereso yo» (Martínez Vuelo [Arg. 2002]). Cuando significa ‘hacer que [alguien] sienta interés por algo’, es transitivo y el complemento de persona es directo: «Fue el historiador Walther Laroche el primero en interesarlo en el culto del afiche» (País [Ur.] 8.11.01).

My translation :
When it means, applied to a person or thing, 'to be of interest to someone', it is intransitive and the person-object is indirect. When it means 'making someone feel interest in something', it is transitive and the person-object is direct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

From Portland State U., the following was my understanding (only because I read it somewhere else as well, not because I can compete with David in Spanish fluency):

"This is what we call “leísmo”: when we use “le/les” as a direct object. Although it is grammatically incorrect in all cases, the RAE accepts “le” as direct object if the pronoun is referred only to a male person, but never to female or things. This variation is much extended in the north and the centre of Spain, but not in Latin America." (Emphasis added.)

https://www.pdx.edu/tutoring/sites/www.pdx.edu.tutoring/files/aSpanish%20-%20Problems%20using%20la%2C%20le%2C%20lo.pdf

To be totally candid, the article goes on to show how people use le to refer to a female as well, despite what the RAE may hold.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

Yeah, this is an interesting case of usage fighting the current ruling. It's a bit like the way English speakers will say "did used to ..." rather than "did use to ..." While the former is accepted as widespread usage, students are advised not to use it on an exam.

Think of Duo as an exam. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

David, with the utmost respect and fully acknowleging that you know Spanish grammar far better than I, I think you trip yourself up when you transliterate "verbs like gustar" into English SVO sentences using the present progressive.

In your example--Le gusta esta clase--the most literal translation IS "This class pleases her" and Le is standing in for the direct object pronoun per customary usage, but in contravention of the rules.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Thank you, Rae! I thought "transliterate" meant "rough translation" and have been misusing the word for half a century! It's about time I was corrected (so graciously). (To be clear, I am being absolutely sincere; no sarcasm here.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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[Quick note: You mean "translate", not "transliterate". Transliteration is what you do when you convert from one writing system to another. You transliterate "שלום" into "shalom". You translate "shalom" into "hello" or "peace".]


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

I really can't claim superior knowledge of Spanish grammar. I have, however, looked at this particular usage quite a lot. Regardless of how we might translate between Spanish and English, the "le" in both cases is an indirect object pronoun. It is not standing in for a direct object and is not being used in exception to the rule.

In the end, it's fine if you translate the standard Spanish expressions into English using a transitive verb form. I would even accept that the transitive form is most common in English. I was merely suggesting a structure that leads to an indirect object. If you don't like that approach, which is fine, you should convince yourself that the Spanish construction differs from the English one and is intransitive.

And, for fun, you should look up the etymology and usage of both "gustar" and "like." I think it's really fascinating how the two have developed over time. See, for example, this entry, which is thankfully in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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I'm going to have to take your word and Rae's word on this.

I'm no expert on the nuances of personal pronouns in Spanish, so please don't use my comments in this conversation as reference material. I had only been re-hashing what I read in the forums, mixed with my own English-biased understanding of what constitutes a direct object. I am willing to be shown that I was wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

I mistakenly thought David was "creating" an indirect object by using the English present progressive in translation. But the link he provided confirms ya'll's understanding that gustar, interesar, etc. are intransitive verbs that have no direct object. I still don't understand why, but I know how to use such verbs and objects. (Obviously we are all learning: I just found months-old posts from you and me where we each argued the opposite side of where we were recently. LOL.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

David, as per your suggestion I do just think of "verbs like gustar" as a common Spanish usage without worrying that we say the same things in English is a different way.

I'm going to have to take your word and Rae's word on this. This isn't the first time I've had the feeling that my understanding of transitive v. intransitive verbs is shaky.

ETA thanks for the link, which certainly supports your and Rae's argument. I was already convinced, but seeing it in writing will help me remember.

(And, David, though I am not qualified to judge your overall fluency, I am certainly able to say with certainty that you almost always understand grammar better than I. The same is true of Rae, of course.)


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

Why is it "le" and not "la?"


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

Le is the indirect object pronoun that can mean "him" or "her."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaveHarris809825

It may help you to think:

"This class is interesting TO her."

The TO signifies an indirect object, hence "le".

If you made it a direct object, using "la", the sentence would end up something like:

"This class is interesting her"

which is neither good Spanish nor the meaning intended. In fact, I'm not even sure it's valid. Linda, what do you think?


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

does "interesa" mean "interest in"? Why not "interesa en esta clase"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

No, there are good explanations elsewhere in this discussion (just search for marcy65brown), but the quick answer is think of interesar the way you think of gustar and you'll get it.


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

it means "interests" as in "this class interests her"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

It's easier to understand if you translate the verb as "to be of interest." Otherwise, you have to deal with a nonexistent direct object. If you start from "this class is of interest to her," I think the connection is more obvious. At least, that's how I would break it down.


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

Ella esta interesada en esta clase. This was an easier translation for me and was accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Yeah, but you're not "verbs like gustar". Your business, of course, but such verbs are quite common in Spanish and you aren't going to understand them when you encounter them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adama356582

@Guillermo8330...your post/rant matters! Although it may not directly answer the question, it certainly gives perspective. If we tried to speak another language the way we speak nowadays in text messaging, this app would be called DuoEmoji. What I gathered from your post is that we're not dumb for not getting it sometimes, and that it has less to do with our intellect, but more so how language and grammer was taught to us, or not. On average, most people use "too" wrong, it's vs its, and ......s and quotation marks. As a pre-2000 English major, I am guilty of all of the above. So thank you for your input. Just as most of us aren't court stenographers, and weren't actually taught to use shorthand, the "average" person has become used to symbols and acronyms to express their written thoughts. Dialect is very important and is going to be lost on future generations. And forgive me if I'm misspelling mispelled, auto-correct doesn't seem to work for these comments, further proving my point/rant. I am laughing out loud! Relax, this is a FREE app. Let's spend more time appreciating that and people like G who take the time to give feedback when us so-called educated folx find ourselves face to face with our particular learning deficits and challenges. The point is too learn something new, not to defend what you think you know. To be fair, I never really got an answer from this stream... only to get caught up in this conversation... There's those dots again, lol! Moving on to the next question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Sorry, Adam, I'm not sure at this late date WHAT my original point was, but if it was that nobody is stupid just because he or she struggles with "verbs like gustar", then I stand by my assertion!


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

GUILLERMO8330, I Understand and agree with you totally. I noticed your post was even misunderstood. It was for the same reason you were articulating. The problem is, the system has watered down the brandy


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Thank you, trophy. I've been posting in this thread for over 2 years now, certainly long before I became a moderator. I find I have been wrong at least as much as I have been right. LOL.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fudge865327

I put “a Ella se interesa esta clase” Why can’t I use se?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

Your construction seems to combine two different ways to express the idea of taking an interest in something.

The pronominal form interesarse ("to be interested") would make ella the subject rather than the object. So, you should not use the prepositional phrase a ella with interesarse. I believe what you're looking for is something like, ella se interesa en esta clase. Note the inclusion of en as well.

The structure Duo is showing in this exercise reverses the object and subject of the English sentence, because interesar means "to interest". Thus, if you were to say ella interesa you'd be saying "she interests (something/someone)" and that doesn't makes sense for the translation here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

English verbs that require a prepositional phrase do not always have Spanish equivalents that also require a preposition. Another example is "buscar", or in English, "to look for". We don't translate the "for" in Spanish because it is included in the verb. "Yo busco mi almuerzo." I look for my lunch. There is sometimes (though I can't promise often) an English equivalent that does not take a preposition. In the case of "buscar", I sometimes think of it as meaning "to seek". I seek my lunch means the same as "look for", but doesn't take a preposition.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Francescaa93

I wrote "A ella le interesa en esta clase". It appears the only thing I got wrong is writing "en esta" instead of "esta", but would that make this whole thing incorrect? I thought "esta" just means this, and therefore adding "en" beforehand would clarify "in this"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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In English, we use the passive voice: She is interested in this class.

In Spanish, they use the active voice: This class is interesting to her.
They also add "to her" which is redundant to English ears, but is part of how Spanish grammar works: To her, the class is interesting to her.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

You can see my explanation a few posts above yours. (Not blaming you for not looking for it there.) Basically, interesar is one of those verbs that require a preposition in English but NOT in Spanish. Another is buscar, "to look for" (or "to seek") in Spanish so adding "for" would be redundant. Adding en makes your answer incorrect. Easy mistake for English speakers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ian892568

what is wrong with ella es interesa en esta clase ??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

See marcy65brown's explanation a couple of posts below. She explains it very well and there's no point in my attempting to explain it again here.

(Note: I'm not blaming you for not seeing marcy's post before. I'm just pointing you toward it now.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thomas88363

interesa mens "interested in", and that is why we do not use "en"???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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No. "Interesar" means "to be interesting to", not "to be interested in". The Spanish literally means "This class is interesting to her."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kaaren170558

How as an english speaker should i translate the apanish of this to help me understand this better? Help?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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There are a handful of verbs in Spanish that work a little differently than they do in English. The three main ones are gustar, which is translated as "to like" but is really "to be pleasing to"; encantar, which is translated as "to love" but is really "to be enchanting to"; and interesar, which is translated as "to be interested in" but is really "to be interesting to". I'll render them as the transitive "to please", "to enchant", and "to interest", but bear in mind that's just a simplification. These verbs also involve slightly different grammar, putting the subject at the end of the sentence.

In English, we say "she is interested in this class."
In Spanish, they say "(to her) this class interests her."
(a ella) le interesa esta clase

In English, we say "she loves this class."
In Spanish, they say "(to her) this class enchants her."
(a ella) le encanta esta clase

In English, we say "she likes this class."
In Spanish, they say "(to her) this class pleases her."
(a ella) le gusta esta clase

When using pronouns, the "to [whoever]" is optional and its use adds a bit of emphasis, like "well maybe you don't, but they do." When being specific, it's mandatory because that is where the specification happens:

A María le gusta esta clase.
A María le encanta esta clase.
A María le interesa esta clase.

This is why the verb will always agree with the thing the person likes/loves/is interested in, because in Spanish it is the subject of the sentence despite where it appears.

Me gusta esta clase.
Te gusta esta clase.
Le gusta esta clase.
Nos gusta esta clase.
Os gusta esta clase.
Les gusta esta clase.

Me gustan estas clases.
Te gustan estas clases.
Le gustan estas clases.
Nos gustan estas clases.
Os gustan estas clases.
Les gustan estas clases.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Unfortunately, the Spanish construction at issue here has no precise English equivalent. Interesar is used like gustar and enamorar:

[Pronoun, if needed] [Indirect object] [verb] [subject], or

Me interesa la clase. "The class interests me."

In English, we sometimes use the passive voice to achieve a similar idea, but Spanish has its own passive voice, so translating "verbs like gustar" isn't so simple as switching to the passive.

I advise you to read the entire thread. You'll find "verbs like gustar and interesar discussed many different ways. Bottom line: these are VERY common constructions in Spanish and we native English speakers just have to get used to them.

ETA Oops! Rae was posting at the same time. She took the trouble to explain the usage in detail. Trust her. I do.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wayne914370

The excerise before this one I needed to add the word "in" but in this excerise it appears to be included in the "interesa". What is the rule for this?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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To recap the other explanations on this page, verbs like "gustar", "encantar", and "interesar" work a little differently in Spanish than how they are translated into English. They essentially have the reverse subject and object as how they are in English.

"Gustar" does not mean "to like", it means "to be pleasing to".
"Encantar" does not mean "to love", it means "to be enchanting to".
"Interesar" does not mean "to be interested in", it means "to be interesting to".

Therefore "esta clase" is the subject that interests "le". And subjects cannot be the object of a preposition.

Le gusta esta clase = This class is interesting to her.
A ella le gusta esta clase = Specifying it interests "ella" as opposed to "él" or "usted". Literally "To her this class is interesting to her".


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

what is the 'le' for in this sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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It's the 3rd person singular indirect object pronoun. "Le interesa esta clase" literally means "This class is interesting to her" or "This class is interesting to him" and the "a ella" is what makes the "le" mean "her".

This has been explained on this page before.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sue297768

Is it always 'le' even when the gender is female?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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Yes, the 3rd person singular indirect object pronoun is always "le".

https://www.spanishdict.com/guide/indirect-object-pronouns


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MiguelitoMD1985

What happened to the "en"? Is this deliberate?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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"En" does not belong in this sentence. The subject can never be the object of a preposition.

There are a handful of verbs in Spanish that work a little differently than they do in English. The three main ones are gustar, which is translated as "to like" but is really "to be pleasing to"; encantar, which is translated as "to love" but is really "to be enchanting to"; and interesar, which is translated as "to be interested in" but is really "to be interesting to". I'll render them as the transitive "to please", "to enchant", and "to interest", but bear in mind that's just a simplification. These verbs also involve slightly different grammar, putting the subject at the end of the sentence.

In English, we say "she is interested in this class."
In Spanish, they say "(to her) this class interests her."
(a ella) le interesa esta clase

In English, we say "she loves this class."
In Spanish, they say "(to her) this class enchants her."
(a ella) le encanta esta clase

In English, we say "she likes this class."
In Spanish, they say "(to her) this class pleases her."
(a ella) le gusta esta clase

When using pronouns, the "to [whoever]" is optional and its use adds a bit of emphasis, like "well maybe you don't, but they do." When being specific, it's mandatory because that is where the specification happens:

A María le gusta esta clase.
A María le encanta esta clase.
A María le interesa esta clase.

This is why the verb will always agree with the thing the person likes/loves/is interested in, because in Spanish it is the subject of the sentence despite where it appears.

Me gusta esta clase.
Te gusta esta clase.
Le gusta esta clase.
Nos gusta esta clase.
Os gusta esta clase.
Les gusta esta clase.

Me gustan estas clases.
Te gustan estas clases.
Le gustan estas clases.
Nos gustan estas clases.
Os gustan estas clases.
Les gustan estas clases.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnPryor9

I get the direct / indirect object, mostly. What confuses me is the "le". I spent some time learning Latin American Spanish. It's my impression that in some of those countries they would use "la" rather than le to refer back to ella. Am I wrong about that? I seem to recall being taught about the le la controversy.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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3rd person singular direct object pronouns are lo/la.
The indirect object pronoun is le.

Verbs like gustar/encantar/interesar take the indirect object, because more literally they're "to be pleasing to/to be enchanting to/to be interesting to".

https://www.spanishdict.com/guide/direct-object-pronouns-in-spanish
https://www.spanishdict.com/guide/indirect-object-pronouns


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Rae.F, I think John is referring to leismo. If I remember correctly--which I may not--it is largely in Spain where many people use le instead of lo or la if the direct object is a person.

John, I think you are right about Latin American usage, which is technically correct (though of course some linguists will argue that any usage that becomes common is "correct").


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertPark18

So, to be clear, there are two indirect objects in the sentence, ella and le?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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No, only "le" is the indirect object. "Ella" is the object of the preposition "a". It's literally "To her the class interests her" (literally "the class is interesting to", which is why it's indirect and not direct).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertPark18

Well sure ella is the object of the preposition, but it seems through the smoke and fog of grammar and translation, that "to her" is implied twice for good measure.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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The "a ella" is optional. It just adds emphasis. It's the difference between a strightforward "she is interested" and "well, you might not be interested but she is".

If it's not a pronoun, however, it is mandatory because that is where it's specified.
A Sonia le interesa esta clase.
A mis amigos les interesa esta clase.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertPark18

Gracias, I'll keep plugging away.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertPark18

ie. "To her, the class is interesting to her. " But I take your point that the second "to " is part of interesa.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PatriciaRe45571

When is it A ella and just Ella please?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Do see the discussions to which Rae.F has linked!

But short answer: Ella when it is the subject of the sentence, A ella when it is the direct or indirect object. (But we're only talking when these phrases begin a sentence; in the middle of a sentence, they may be different parts of speech.)


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

So as far as i can tell no one has mentioned this in the board already but

I got this wrong because i said

A ella le interesa EN esta clase.

I checked the hints before i submitted my answer and en esta is the first hint under under "this".

I was marked wrong and i triple checked to make sure the only difference between mine and duos answer was that "en".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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This has been discussed on this page many times already. The Spanish is literally "This class interests her". The subject of the sentence cannot be the object of a preposition. It's not "In this class interests her".

Please read the other comments on this page, and Google "verbs like gustar".


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

I have given exactly the same answer as yours.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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We can't confirm that what you typed was right unless you show us. Copy and paste or take a screenshot. Screenshots can be uploaded to imgur.com and you can just paste the link in your comment.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShellyHend1

Why is is it le instead of la?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

I believe it's because interesar is a "verb like gustar". Such verbs (gustar, encantar, interesar, importar etc.) always take the INdirect object even though logic would suggest otherwise.

(Whenever I begin a post with "I believe" or "I think", I mean I don't have a rule from a respected source in black and white before me. However, based on my experience...)


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

I put la because I thought it was referring to something feminine


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

I don't know if you can see my explanation that appears directly above your post on my screen.

Basically, interesar is a "verb like gustar" and such verbs take the indirect object (me, te, le or les) even though the direct object makes more logical sense.


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

Can someone please explain to me when to use a mi , a el and a ti ...im confused...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

With "verbs like gustar" you use those prepositional phrases only for emphasis:

Me gusta el café. = "I like coffee." (Literally, "coffee pleases me".)

A mi me gusta el café. = Also, "I like coffee", but "I" is emphasized.

A ti te gusta el café. = "You like coffee."

A él, le gusta el café. = "He likes coffee."

There are other uses for prepositional phrases, but these are the uses relevant to the prompt above.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pam395446

I am confused, on the Duolingo tips for this lesson it shows 'le interesa la ...' for she is interested in. I used that for 'she is interested in ... this class' and it was wrong Why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

I wish you had included your entire answer. Le interesa = "It interests her/him/you (formal)".

I don't know what the la means, unless you wrote A ella le interesa la clase when you were meant to write ...esta clase. If the latter, that was your error.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jovi54
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Duo seems to love to teach this ...... also it accepts ella esta interesada en esta clase


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Charlotte695625

I keep putting translated 'in' into the sentence. "A ella le interesa en esta clase". I keep doing it, I'm finding it so hard to drop the 'in' in my translative mind!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Verbs like gustar and interesar are hard for all English-language natives, I think. The SVO (subject-verb-object) of most sentences in English and Spanish are reversed, leading you to feel you need a preposition.

But such verbs actually reverse parts of speech so the sentence is OVS (object-verb-subject).

If you think of it as "This class interests her", you won't be tempted to add "in". (For gustar, think of it as "to please" rather than "to like".)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David879527

I got it right word for word but it said i was wrong. Wue pasa.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

The challenge wasn't to "get it right word for word". The assignment was to translate the English construction into the very different Spanish construction for "verbs like gustar". The latter are very common in Spanish but have no word-for-word English equivalent.

A elle le interesa esta clase. is the usual way to express this idea in Spanish. As I said, there is no word-for-word English equivalent.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ClaudineCo715793

Puzzle for me too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

What is a puzzle, Claudine? I'll do my best to explain, if I can.

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