1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "Ella les habla en español a …

"Ella les habla en español a sus amigas inglesas."

Translation:She speaks in Spanish to her English friends.

June 12, 2018

66 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Khent4

Why is les there?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Khent4

What is it supposed to do?


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

Les is an indirect object pronoun, in this instance it's being clarified by 'a sus amigos inglesas'. Without that it would be:

ella les habla en espanol - She speaks to them in spanish.

Explained here:

https://www.duolingo.com/skill/es/Object-Pronouns/tips-and-notes


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mick076722

In google it is translated without the 'les' - Ella habla en español a sus amigos ingleses


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mick076722

There are so many variations in the Spanish language. I have friends in Spain and Mexico who use very different words. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J1QWf

Yeah but you didnt add the rest of the sentence


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

Some verbs such as hablar appear to require a redundant indirect object pronoun in Spanish even if there is already an indirect object in the sentence. In English, we usually have either one or the other, but not both.


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

Not required. Les is optional here.

There are some Spanish verbs that really need an indirect object pronoun, but hablar is not one of them.


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

In the reverse topic they are saying that "les" is required -https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/26208450

It seems suggested under the Community 3 module tips.

Apparently 'habla con' is direct meaning speaks with(to) when 'les' is not needed, and 'habla a' indirect meaning 'speaks to'. les - to them - is needed.


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

It's a common misconception that the indirect object pronoun is always required. You're always allowed to include it and it's usually used in Spanish sentences, so it's just easier to learn "Always use the IOP" than to figure out every time whether you're allowed to leave it out. But the IOP is not always strictly necessary.

The full rules are stated in this document, especially section 5.2 a), but the gist is that the IOP is optional when

  • the indirect object is a noun and
  • the indirect object noun appears after the verb and
  • the indirect object is a "receiver" of the direct object

All three are true here (the friends receive the (unmentioned) words from her), so in this particular sentence it's okay to leave the IOP out.

If you use "con sus amigos" ("with her friends"), the friends are not an indirect object anymore, so you can't use the pronoun in that case.


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

Thank you!

Unfortunately Duo marks it incorrect for leaving 'les' out of the sentence.


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

Hmm... Elizadeux, my understanding is that redundancy is not required for any verbs when using an indirect object pronoun. If there is an indirect object (to whom or for whom an action was done) in a sentence, there must be an indirect object pronoun used. The prepositional phrase (a sus amigas inglesas) is not required but provides clarification as to who is being spoken to. When there is an indirect object, the pronoun (me, te, le, les, nos) must be included, but the prepositional phrase (what makes it seem redundant) does not need to be included regardless of the verb type.

Communication verbs (hablar and decir) provide a grey area in regards to whether there is an indirect object. With communication, there CAN be an ASSUMED direct object (what is being communicated) and in that case you CAN use an indirect object pronoun to refer to the person the "thing" is being communicated to. I don't think it is required to use an indirect object pronoun with communication verbs but that usually they are used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AOD2016

Thank you. That's clearer to me now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sguthrie1

See this tip from the beginning of this lesson: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/es/Community-3/tips


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mariza117439

Duo should accept answers that use "with" instead of "to," since using "with" is 100% natural and more likely. We don't sit around and "speak to" our friends when we hang out with them. We "speak to" someone we meet on the street, or when we go to "speak to" the boss or some person for a specific person. I am not saying using "to" is wrong, but "with" is also correct and normal, and should be accepted.


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

07/19/18. Respectfully disagree here that "with" is acceptable.

Note that "a" here is not the 'personal a,' but rather the preposition. The 'personal a' is only used before direct objects and, here, "sus amigos" is an indirect object. Next, the meaning of the Spanish preposition "a" in English is "to" (and other English prepositions but not "with"). One could say "habla en español CON sus amigas" and mean "speak... with her friends," but that was not the Spanish sentence to be translated. Finally, there is a subtle but sometimes significant substantive difference between "to speak to" (speech going at least one way and not necessarily coming back) and "to speak with" (shared speech).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ron.seymour

You have explained this very well wordwing.I wholeheartedly agree with you.


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

Most of the times I would say you could go with either, but to me using 'with' here implies that everyone involved in the conversation is speaking Spanish, whilst using 'to' implies that only she is speaking Spanish.


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

I've had the opposite problem with several other Duolingo sentences. They've accepted "talk with" in many cases but not "talk to." In most cases, both are correct although the meaning is ever so slightly different.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fedor-A-learner

both to and with should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mariza117439

Duo seems to care about what is natural, rather than what is a literal, so answers without "in" should be accepted, as it is very natural to do this in English. Also, "with" and "to" should both be accepted. Using "with" is very natural when expressing this idea.

She speaks Spanish with/to her friends.


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

She speak Spanish to her friends. - Only she uses Spanish.
She speaks Spanish with her friends. - Everyone uses Spanish.

The original sentence is expressing the first idea.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nEjh0qr4

Mariza, Duo now accepts "She speaks Spanish to her English friends." (I didn't try "with.") 14 Feb 2019


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

I must say DL seems to have gotten a little more flexible. I tried "She speaks Spanish with her English friends", expecting it to be rejected for one reason or another. It was accepted, Jan 2019.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnthonyTam110694

"speaks spanish" , "speaks in spanish" are synonymous, and the former is probably more commonly used by english speakers.


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

"She speaks to her English friends in Spanish" - That's what I put because it sounds better this way in English. I think this is another one of those cases where a direct translation is a little too strict.


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

"to" or "with" To speak to is a sort of one way street, a bit commanding. To me it seems a wrong choice here. But "with" is rejected Why ? ? ?


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

Because it really is one-way here - only she talks in Spanish. "Speaking with", where everyone involved would speak Spanish, would be expressed as "hablar con".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/debbos1

Why is 'a' used here? Very unusual to see hablar used with 'a' instead of 'con'. Is it to convey that the friends don't speak spanish, so she is speaking 'at' (as we might say in english) her english friends rather than 'with' them? That would explain why Duo rejects 'with' this time although imo the point would be clarified if the Duo translation was 'at' instead of 'to'. As Duo normally accepts, 'to' and 'with' are virtually interchangeable when used with 'speak' in english - grammatically if not always semantically.


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

That's precisely correct. Only she is using Spanish to talk, so the directive a is used here instead of the more mutual con.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/barrdogg2000

How would you say 'She speaks to them in Spanish about her English friend'? That is what I thought this originally meant.


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

Ella les habla en español de/sobre su amiga inglesa.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rick392366

She speaks in Spanish with her english friends = not accepted .

Why is that ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JosephH.Oh

I think for "with" there would need to be the word "con"; "a", of course translates to "to"; see up above. What worries me more is that she would speak in Spanish to her English friends. Who does that?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fiona325448

A native Spanish speaker who is helping her non-Spanish-speaking English friends pick up the language through hearing it daily.


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

A native Spanish speaker who doesn't know enough English (yet) to confidently talk in English.


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

Maybe a bilingual person who doesn't realize they're code switching.

Seriously, this happened to me several times at my last job. Most our clients were Spanish speaking. So, every so often, I'd accidentally start speaking Spanish to English speaking customers and not realize it until I saw the confusion on their faces. LOL!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vickiewill2

I got every word right except I spelled "inglesas" as "ingleses, but instead of a typo, I was marked wrong.


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

Ingleses is the masculine form, so it's considered a different word.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Russell729037

I said 'She speaks in Spanish to her English girlfriends' since the text was 'amigas...' Do Hispanic speakers not have nuance to allow females with female friends to call themselves 'girlfriends' without the romantic context of 'novias'? Needless to say, Duo rejected 'girlfriends' in favor of 'friends'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StefanKR77

The translation in Spanish just sounds wrong. "ella habla espanol a sus amigas" without les is also correct and sounds better. Skipping les should be accepted as an answer!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jesuspi89

For real? You have to accept british as an english, is the same


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

England is just one part of "Britain". There's still Scotland and Wales, at the least.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ggriffey7

Why does DL translate "inglesEs" to English/British but "inglesAs" to just English. I tried to use British and got it wrong...


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

I wouldn't translate inglés as "British" at all. Inglés refers to "coming from Inglaterra", which is England, just a part of Britain. "British" is británico in Spanish.


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

I answered "She speaks in Spanish to her English girlfriends" and was marked wrong. Reported. Amigas means girlfriends (2nd definition, between girls) according to SpanishDict:

https://www.spanishdict.com/translate/girlfriend?toolbar=true


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

"Girlfriend" is mostly used nowadays to refer to romantic partners, which amiga doesn't cover. Amigas are female friends.


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

"Amigas are female friends." That's what I thought when I answered it.


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

Question: is hablar treated differently than preguntar. Meaning: ella les preguntar cosas a sus amigas inglesas translates into She asks her English friends things.


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

Hablar and preguntar follow roughly the same grammatical pattern here. The people you're asking/talking to are the indirect object.

Or are you confused with the English translations?


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

I do not understand the grammar in this sentence. I would say "Ella habla a sus amigos inglesas en espan(tilde) ol. This probably is poor Spanish grammar, but I imagine it would get the point across? Comments??


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

It is okay Spanish grammar. Usually you first talk about how the action is modified (in this case that the speaking is happening in Spanish) before mentioning the objects. Also it's customary to include the indirect object pronoun (le, les) if you have an indirect object in your sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David8970

Guess I should join the fray once more: They speak to their English friends in Spanish Wrong???????? This is yet another example where a human maestro would be far preferable to an application.


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

As a human maestre I can tell you: "they" is not a proper translation for ella. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamesLefor1

She speaks to her English friends in Spanish. Right - but wrong. Phht!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rossmartin96253

This female voice is low volume & hard to hear on top of running words together. When I clearly and accurately answer, my words are not recognized. Fudge!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shaun558318

Why is "les" in the sentence? It seems redundant. Thanks


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

In Spanish it's customary to include the indirect object pronoun le/les even when the indirect object itself is stated in the sentence. It is redundant.

You can leave le/les out in most circumstances (but not all), which includes this sentence, but it usually sounds better if you keep it in.


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

"She talks in Spanish with her English friends" was marked wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nEjh0qr4

AjoyBhatia, Duo apparently is teaching the difference in Spanish between "speak/talk to" and "speak/talk with".

The current prompt is: Ella les habla en español a sus amigas inglesas or "She speaks in Spanish to her English friends." A sus amigas is an indirect object (and Duo has included the indirect object pronoun, les).

But, if you want to say "She speaks/talks in Spanish with her English friends," it would be Ella habla en español con sus amigas inglesas. This way, sus amigas inglesas is the object of the preposition, con--not an indirect object--so the Spanish sentence is different.


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

This sentence is so weird...


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

what a pile of horse ❤❤❤❤


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

talking WITH them...talking TO them...it's the same.


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

They are not precisely the same. "Talking with them" is a coversation, back and forth. "Talking to them" is one-sided.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amu801859

She talks in Spanish with her English friends. This should be accepted as this is correct English Duo.

Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.
Get started