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  5. "Yesterday we bought her a do…

"Yesterday we bought her a doll."

Translation:Ayer le compramos una muñeca.

April 12, 2018



Why is 'la' not correct?


In this sentence, "her" is the indirect object and the unstressed complement is le for both masculine and feminine indirect objects. It would be la if the direct object was feminine ("he'll never forget her" - nunca la olvidará a ella).


This is a difficult one because detecting that it is an IO instead of a DO isn't obvious; in english we don't use a preposition generally that would give it away. But the "the doll" is clearly the DO so "her" must be an IO. I guess!


@Julie: Without using technical grammar language (My eyes glaze over when I hear words like “indirect object”) I think of ‘le’ as meaning ‘to/for him/her’. "La/Lo" do not have the directional element of to/for that Le has. So, if in English, 'to' or 'for' could possibly be used, then Le must be used in Spanish.

le dar (give to him/her)

le decir (say to him/her)

le comprar (buy for him/her)

le escribir (write to him/her)

If you want to clarify that you are talking about a female, you would say "Ayer le compramos una muñeca a ella".


Adding a ella to clarify the direct object le should not be wrong.


Where did you put it?


I don't know about Barry but I wrote "Ayer a ella le compramos una muñeca" and I was told I was wrong.


I would expect a ella to come last, as "Ayer le compramos una muñeca a ella"


Duo accepts your sentence, Hans. 14 April 2019.


I wrote this and it was rejected.


Duo should accept it. I'm guessing that sentence structure wasn't expected, but it's certainly correct. You should have a good reason for changing the usual word order, such as wanting to emphasize "her" vs. someone else. In fact, just adding "a ella" adds some emphasis to "her." So, "a ella le compramos" really puts attention on "her."


Why is the present tense 'compramos' used with yesterday?


compramos can be either present tense or preterite tense. See https://www.spanishdict.com/conjugate/comprar.


"a ella" should be in there somewhere. "le" could be him or her. At least in the US a boy could have a doll.


If you just walk up to someone and say, "ayer le compramos una muñeca," they won't be staring at you quizzically because you omitted the "a ella." Without a conversational context, this sentence is just nonsense. So, you have to assume it's being said in some context. Moreover, it's easy to imagine one that makes it unnecessary to add "a ella" to this statement. In fact, "her" age, name and relationship to the speaker are probably known as well.

  • 392

Without disagreeing in any way, I just want to add that sentences using 'a ella' are in the list of Duo's Correct Solutions for this exercise.


Yes, and they definitely should accept translations with "a ella." It might be that 2 years ago those weren't in the database.

My comment was obviously late to the party, but I thought I'd comment because some people evidently agree with the idea that "a ella" is needed. You encounter the same view when it comes to subject pronouns. A lot of us English speakers seem to have a hard time letting go of them, especially when the subject could be "he," "she," "it," "you."


Why is "Ayer compramos una muñeca para ella" wrong?


It isn't wrong and should be accepted. Duo sometimes wants us to use specific constructions to get used to different points of Spanish grammar. Here, it's about the use of the indirect object pronoun. That doesn't make what you wrote wrong. It's simply an issue of what Duo wants to accept for this particular translation exercise.

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Doesn't that change the sentence from "we bought her a doll" to "we bought a doll for her"?

That seems to be significant enough to be rejected by Duo.


Yes, that's true.

I see them as identical, but strictly speaking they aren't. One uses an indirect object, "le" and the other uses a prepositional phrase "para ella." I tend to ignore that difference because in English constructions like "I give her the present" and "I give the present to her," I've seen "her" described as the indirect object in both. So, when I compare "bought her" and "bought for her," I treat them as similarly interchangeable.


Why it is LE here? Both she who get the doll and the doll is female : LA!


@annekaribs: It's not about muñeca. The le is the pronoun for the person that the doll is being given to. And although this person is female, the pronoun does not differntiate.


My thought, too. Why is muñeca not feminine?


they don't differentiate between female and male here! you're giving something to someone --> that someone will always be referred to by "le", unless it is plural, then it's "les"


Whats wrong with ayer NOS le compramos......


Why do you want to insert the object pronoun "nos"? That would make the purchase reflexive (we bought ourselves) or reciprocal (we bought each other). Neither of those fit with "we bought her."

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