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"I send letters to my English friends."

Translation:Yo les mando cartas a mis amigos ingleses.

June 17, 2018



Can someone explain why you need les


Because what you're really saying here is:

I send letters 'to them'.

to them = les.

les = a mis amigos ingleses (to my English friends) which is clarifying what les (to them) actually means.



But why say "to them" if that's not what Duolingo asked? Why not just "yo mando cartas a mis amigos ingleses"? Is that just how it's done in Spanish?


Unlike in English, in Spanish you always use the indirect object pronoun, even if you are explicitly stating the indirect object of the sentence. If you already include the indirect object explicitly (like "English friends" here) then the pronoun is just a placeholder but the grammar says it has to be there.


The IOP is not strictly necessary in most cases. If someone is the receiver of something, and that someone appears as a noun somewhere after the verb, you can leave the pronoun out.


You can leave out the les here if you want. It's just often included when having an indirect object pronoun to make the grammar somewhat clearer.


That’s exactly what I wondered too! Seems a bit of a long winded way to say it?


https://www.spanishdict.com/guide/indirect-object-pronouns On my own search I found this article, which provides a lot of helpful explanation and a quiz for practice. Unfortunately I still can't answer the heart of the question here, which is why "les" is required before the verb if you are going to say "a ellos" afterwards. I will ask my friends down here in Peru and report back.


If the object you're talking about is just a personal pronoun (like "a mí", "a ti", "a él", and so on) you also need an object pronoun before the verb. If the object is an actual noun, you don't need it.

Direct objects:

  • Veo a mi hermana. (noun object)
  • La veo a ella. = La veo. (pronoun object)

Indirect objects:

  • (Le) escribo una carta a mi hermana. (noun object, le is optional, but often used)
  • Le escribo una carta a ella. = Le escribo una carta. (pronoun object)


Ahhhh! Finally, I think I got it! Thank you so much for this explanation RyagonIV!


yes... always good explanations....Thanks Ryagon


Is this just convention or can it change the way the sentence is interpreted?


Whether you use the object pronoun or not wouldn't change the meaning of the sentence, but the rules of the language dictate when they are used. Meaning, you could say "Veo a ella" without using the intial la and it'd still be understood to mean "I see her", but it's grammatically wrong.


Thanks a lot for explanation.


I guess the only answer, Jeff, is that "that's just how it's done".

  • 1609

The RAE agrees with milrecan---so Duo is wrong to require les. Reported.

The redundant pronoun is required only if the object itself is a pronoun---or if the object precedes the verb.


isnt it okay to say "yo les mando cartas a mis amigAs ingleses"??? it still means friends...


Yes, but it has to be amigAs inglesAs.
(amigo inglés, amiga inglesa, amigos ingleses, amigas inglesas)


thank you.......did not know that!


Mando cartas a mis amigos ingleses = ( Yo les ) mando cartas a mis amigos ingleses


"Yo envio cartas" should also be accepted.


"Les envio cartas..." was accepted. You need to include the indirect object pronoun of "les" before the verb envio or mando.


It's not strictly necessary to include that pronoun for either of those verbs.


"Yo les mando cartas a mis amigos ingleses" y "yo envío cartas a mis amigos ingleses" ambas respuestas son correctas.


does envio cartas a mis amigas inglesas mean the same thing?


i searched using google translator. 'yo mando cartas a mis amigas inglesas'. there is no need to use 'les'. using 'les' is creating more confusion


Google Translate is not a reliable translation service.

The les is not strictly necessary in this sentence, but it's usually added. It doesn't create any more confusion.


To clarify @Ryagon's statement: Google Translate is reasonable for translating individual words and usually for short phrases, but you should not rely on Google Translate for being grammatically correct when translating whole sentences.


"Yo envío cartas a mis amigos ingleses" debería ser aceptada


OK... I've gone thru the discussion and see that my little departure from the norm was not discussed. I an earlier lesson the use of "para" was discussed. I thought I would try "yo les mando cartes para mis amigos ingleses" Duo didn't like it??? Any thoughts on this?


Felix, using para here is also possible, but less used. It would sound more like "sending it towards my friends."

Also when you use para, you cannot use les anymore. Les only works with indirect objects, and indirect objects are marked with a, not with para.


Les mando carteras a mis amigos ingleses
why is this wrong


You want the word cartas and not carteras. You said you send your friends purses or wallets. :)


Are we splitting hairs here again with masculine friends instead of feminine ones? I wrote the exact same words except for "amigas". Doesn't "les" cover both fem. and masc.?


If you used amigas did you switch the adjective from ingleses to inglesas to match?


Aha! Thank you. I forgot that "ingleses" had a feminine form! Couldn't they just "say" that somehow instead of just, in effect, shouting "You're WRONG!!!" lol


Yep it's one of those tricky ones that just adds an "a" instead of changing "o" to "a". Usually the adjectives that don't end in "o" don't change, but nationalities are different.

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