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Lo/La vs Le

[deactivated user]

    I was told that you use lo/la when referring to objects and le when referring to people, however I've seen cases where people use "lo" or sometimes even "la" when talking about people, for example the "¿Te dije que me encontré a Jonás durante las vacaciones? Lo vi en Roma." translates to "Did I tell you that I bumped into Jonás during the break? I saw HIM in Rome". Why can't you say "Le vi en Roma"?, is there some sort of distinguishing between tú/usted formal/informal here? Another example sentence I saw it in is "Lo admiro, señor Presidente. Usted es todo un héroe para este país." which in this case "Lo admiro" means "I admire YOU". So it can mean you too? Why wouldn't you say "Le admiro a usted"? Have I gotten a grammar rule wrong somewhere down the line? I need someone to clear things up for me.

    May 22, 2018



    Great question! I wondered this too. “Le” has two uses. The first one is as a direct object pronoun for a male person in Europe. The second is as an indirect object pronoun.

    “Le escribo.” | I wrote to him. You did write him, you wrote to him. Yet both him and it (the letter) are objects. I hope this helps.

    [deactivated user]

      So, what I'm guessing is that in Latin America, when using Usted, you refer to them as "Lo" when you need to use that (I forgot the name of the grammar rule for it but I know WHEN to use it), but in Spain you use "Le"? Is this when you're speaking directly to the person? And then I assume in Spanish overall you can use "le" as well when it's indirect e.g "Le escribé (a él)" = I wrote to him. Obviously when you address said person as "tú", you would use "te" so there's no confusion there... Hmm, I think it all makes sense now but this comment that I'm writing right now seems a little unorganised.

      [deactivated user]

        Thanks for linking these, when you get to a certain level it's always good to learn more about Spanish IN Spanish, it's almost like doing twice the amount of learning at once.


        Creo que el uso de "le" depende de el país en el que estés hablando, en mi país casi nunca usamos "le" para referirnos a una persona, siempre decimos lo/la, por ejemplo: La vimos caminando cerca de la tienda. Por otro lado, usamos "le" más como "him/her", por ejemplo en las frases "A Bella le gusta leer", "Le está dando fiebre". Ese es mi caso acá en Ecuador, pero por lo que tengo entendido, en países como España es mucho más común el uso de "le" que acá, allá sería mucho más natural que digas "le vi en Roma" que decirlo acá. (No sé si me explico) Y en cuanto al "I admire you", quedaría más natural traducirlo como "Lo admiro".

        [deactivated user]

          Ah, depende del país, este asunto tiene mucho más sentido para mí ahora, gracias por haberlo explicado, usualmente aprendo el español de españa, y en duolingo, el dialecto estándar de méxico, y después de escuchar varios dialectos, estaba un poco confundido. Supongo que tendré que aprender un poco sobre cada país antes de visitarlo si quiero hablar con la gente allí de la manera correcta. (Si he dicho algo de manera equivocada en este mensaje y no me entiendes por favor corríge mis errores)


          They lied to you :)

          "Lo/la" are used for direct objects and "le" for indirect objects ("objects" in grammar): Lo compré (I bought it) vs Le compré comida a mi perro (I bought food to my dog). If you are using ud, conjugations and pronouns are identical to third person usage.

          There are 3 complications: 1) le + lo => se lo (Te lo dije vs Se lo dije). 2) some verbs have a double regime, they can be used with lo/la or with le depending on interpretation of speakers and dialect ("ayudar" is well known). 3) in Central and Northern Spain, "le" is also the direct object for men ("Le vimos", "Le quiero") and it apply the same for "usted". 4) In some dialects there exists a polite le used with usted: "le conozco [a ud.]" = "la conozco [a ud.]".

          [deactivated user]

            Well thanks for clearing it up in the first part, and yeah, people seem to be saying that it depends on the region, and I suppose I'll just have to learn a bit about the dialects of whatever country if I decide to go there.


            It depends a little bit. "Lo/la" for direct object and "le" for indirect objects are the normal usage for 85-90% of speakers. If you learn that and "le" for direct object in Spain (only men), you'll have almost all the picture.

            [deactivated user]

              Thanks a lot, I see people such as you and King_Antonnio, and many more whose names I cannot remember, and you all are helping so many people here in the comment sections, and I'm sure we're all grateful for that, muchas gracias.

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