Spanish Word: Lo
I have seen that the word, "lo" is used a lot in Spanish. When should I use it, why and in which situations?
Best Regards, Gerhard
When you want to say "him," "you" (formal), or "it" as the direct object of a verb.
Lrtward said it is used for the direct object of the verb, not the subject.
Look up "lo que" also. It's a relative pronoun that means "what" or "whatever."
There are many uses of "lo" and even many expressions: https://www.thoughtco.com/using-lo-spanish-3079438 https://dictionary.reverso.net/spanish-english/lo
It is used mostly as direct object pronoun: "Él me ve" (He sees me) vs "Yo lo veo" (I see him). Not only for "él", also for "Usted" (formal you).
Remember that in Spanish everything is either masculine or feminine, so all the singular words that are considered masculine in Spanish that you are talking about will also use “lo” for a direct object. “Yo lo veo.” can mean “I see him.” or “I see it.” or even “I see you.” if you are a male in Latin America or if you are a male and I am not on a familiar basis with you in Spain. (Some countries do not use the familiar form at all and then “yo lo veo.” or just “Lo veo.” Is always used., some use “vos” instead of “tú”).
If you mean “him” or “it”, you will just have been talking about someone or something and so the context will make it clear. “Where is my book? I see it.” “Do you see Carlos? I see him.”
You probably would not say “I see you.” unless you were talking on the phone and you could not see each other before, until one of you rounded a corner or arrived in a car or something like that and that would be obvious too. You might say “I am almost there.” and I might wait until I see you then confirm it with “I see you.” Then, we don’t need to be on the phone anymore.
Now if you were on familiar terms with the person and use “tú”, then “I see you.” would be “Yo te veo.”
“Yo la veo.” can mean “I see her.” or “I see it.” if the word is feminine in Spanish or “I see you.” if you are female and we are using “usted”.
When to use which form of you is discussed here and don’t forget in these links to press the “Continue reading” button to get all the information:
Also, don’t forget that in all of the above examples, in Spanish you don’t even have to put the subject pronouns. You could just say “Lo veo.” or “La veo.” or “Te veo.” and you would still know that I am the subject since “veo” is only used with “yo”.
I don't understand "if you are a male and I am not on a familiar basis with you in Spain". If you are implying that "usted" is only for Spain, that it not so, it is for all countries and Spain is where it is less used (a more egalitarian culture about that).
I am sorry, that was not well worded. I meant if you are on a familiar basis in Spain than you will use “Te veo.”, otherwise you will also use “Lo veo.” in Spain. Of course, “Lo veo.” is used even more in countries that do not use the tú form. Do you know which direct object form is used for countries that use “vos”?
It means "él or Usted when they are direct object". Not all "him" are "lo" and not all "lo" are "him".
Yes, perhaps we should give a link to information about indirect objects as well:
and Spanish prepositional pronouns for use as objects of prepositions: