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"Él les escribe un libro a ellos."

Translation:He writes them a book.

April 1, 2013

77 Comments


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

I thought that "El les escribe" would mean "he writes to them," so why is "a ellos" at the end too?


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

The ¨les¨ is indispensable, but ¨a ellos¨ is optional, depending on whether you need to describe who ¨les¨ are in the context of the conversation - ¨a mis padres,¨ "a mis amigos," etc.


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

I am SO thankful to read this explanation!


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

So if we use "a ellos" to specify who is he writing to, can't we just say "Él escribe una carta a ellos?"


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

The "les" before the verb is apparently never optional. Describing who "les" refers to, if it isn't clear in the context of the conversation, is an option and can be done with a phrase such as "a ellos" (in this case) at the beginning or the end of the sentence.


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

thank these explanation clear the clouds of confusion. no i really saw cloud in front my eyes


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

I think I understand--so you're not duplicating that the book is being written for them ("El les escribe" and "a ellos"), the "a ellos" is clarifying who "les" is?


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

Yes, in most conversations, you won't need 'a ellos'. If you need to differentiate between ellos/ellas and ustedes, then it's helpful to include the information. Context is key. It is helpful of Duolingo to let you associate 'les' with 'ellos' in practice though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/casmar1234

This is the same logic i would apply? I know this is like a direct translation from English and we're here to learn Spanish but adding these 'le', 'les, and 'nos' has thrown me right off :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aadi.k6

I still don't get the thing which teoinke had asked. I understand that "a ellos" is used just to remove ambiguity of "you" or "them" caused by "les" and "a ellos" is optional if there is no ambiguity. Cool ! But the thing is why would I even ever need to use "les" ? Can't i directly write "Él escribe una carta a ellos?" It is non ambiguous and clearly explains with no confusion that " He writes a letter to them". Help please ?!


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

Unfortunately that is how Spanish works, when a verb ends in 'a' or 'e' it could be talking about he/she/it/you(formal), and is never really specific enough like in English. A great tool to use in conjunction with DL is the Spanish audiobooks by Michel Thomas, he really helps to explain a lot of this stuff and how to wrap your head around it. I have found DL much easier after listening to those Spanish audiobooks


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JustinHunt11

Is Michel Thomas audiobook free?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aadi.k6

Thanks will listen to those !

Just a help, in case you guys are okay with piracy :) https://kat.cr/learn-spanish-fast-easy-with-michel-thomas-audio-book-t5553830.html#main


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

it is if you pirate it


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

'les' is the indirect object pronoun that translates as the phrase 'to them' or 'to you (plural)', and is supposed to come in front of the verb. The 'a ellos' (them) is put at the end, to clarify whether the book is being written to 'them' or to 'you (plural)'. Or, at least that is my understanding!

I'm glad that we don't lose lingots with mistakes during the lesson... trying to figure out these pronouns is tough!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/budb373

I agree this is a great explanation of a sentence structure that was puzzling me!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Soxx54

I agree as well. I find it very hard to understand why you need to say "them" twice in the sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bert2603

Third sentence in this exercice and already a sentence structure that is not explained in the grammatical explanation that joins the exercice. I don't get it.


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

It is necessary in order to directly mention who are you referring to. But it would be just okay if you leave the "a ellos" from the sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Faux3

And that is it in a nutshell.

Les can't be dropped; a ellos can be, if it's not needed to disambiguate -- really a clarification of "them" refered to by les.

Per this lesson: The book is a direct object here; them (les) is the indirect object to whom the book is written. Hope that is correct...

Thanks to those who actually know explaining for those who, like me, were quite confused.


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

The usage of "a ellos" is optional, people put "a usted, a ustedes, a mi, a ti" at the end to clarify who is being spoken to. Some times it can be confusing to who the speaker is talking to, "Les" can me you or them, so the speaker wanted to clarify that the teacher was writing the book to them, "a ellos" and not you(plural). Remember you don't have always use "a _" if it's already establish who is being talked about.


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

I put, he writes a book them.


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

This is getting ridiculous. First of all, who writes a book "to" someone? They might dedicate a book "to" them, but write a book "to" them. DuoLingo's approach to this topic of clitics is not teaching - it is torture.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alonso.Bus

Duo's sentences are non-sense many times. BUT it could be used when some guys receive a long e-mail from some other guy and hypothetically say it is like a whole book.


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

Is it the same as writing a book for someone? Because that makes more sense and would be used in English.


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

Yep. The indirect object can be the recipient or beneficiary of the action of the verb. If the indirect object fills a recipient role, we would translate the pronoun to english as being to someone or something. But in this case the pronoun fills the role of a beneficiary, so we translate it as being for someone.


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

"He writes a book for them" is correct and is accepted by Duolingo. Likewise "El les cocina una comida a ellos" could be translated as "He cooks them a meal" or "He cooks a meal for them".


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

I wish they would leave their "beta" designation up a lot longer. However now in the "report" section you can complain in your own words or mention that the sentence in your native language is stilted or unnatural.


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

Click top right corner and you will see the answer.


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

I cant agree more, clitics has been the worst section in here and I'm four away from finishing.... however this sentence is grammatically correct even though if it is a little weird... just replace libro with carta and you will feel better


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nickolette22

Because the action is not directed to him (El), it is directed to them (Ellos)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamSmith390112

Things just got complicated......eurgh


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

One cannot write "them." The writing is done to create a book. Thus, to say "write them a book" is incorrect.


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

but "them" in this sentence is the indirect object pronoun, so it is the receiver of the direct object, which is book. So wouldn't it be still correct to say "write them a book?"


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

What I do not understand, why is there no "A" in front of "El" here.


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

‘Él’ is the subject here. The ‘a’ preposition is only used for indirect objects and for definite animate direct objects.


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

Not quite only. There's three other cases to consider where ais needed.
¤ To express a time, where it would translate to at or is
¤ To indicate motion towards, where it translates to to
¤ To connect a conjugated verb to an infinitive, where it doesn't translate at all to english.


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

I love the way this sentence appears in "Basics II". It seems once you've completed a category, once you have to repeat it due to the new decay algorithm the category is basically meaningless


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

This sentence seems strange to me. Why not just "Él les escribe un libro" or "Él escribe un libro a ellos"? Doesn't the spanish say "He writes to them a book to them"? Why is the indirect object stated twice? Is that normal Spanish?


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

The "les" before the verb is apparently never optional. Describing who "les" refers to, if it isn't clear in the context of the conversation, is an option and can be done with a phrase such as "a ellos" (in this case) at the beginning or the end of the sentence.


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

Thanks! That's a great explanation


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JGarrick62

a ellos is added because les is ambiguous and could refer to "ellos" or "ustedes"


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

Can we just write, "Él les escriben un libro"?


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

Yes, this is how you'd say it in a conversation when there's no confusion between 'them' and 'you' (plural), unless you're being emphatic.


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

No, it would need to be "escribe" instead of "escriben, since it's "él" who is writing. Escriben with an "n" at the end would indicate that there are several writers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EdwardBarr3

What does write a book to them mean


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/climber915

Why don't you have to use 'para' here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marketbroiler24

Is it also correctly translated, "He writes a book for them"? Or does that change the object of the sentence?


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

why couldn't it be she writes them a book? it sounds the same.


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

I cannot imagine when anyone would use such a sentence


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Star-Chaser

In case of english , it needs 'to' next to 'write'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmandaK0

Does anybody hear a little sshhhck! in the audio starting at "escribe"? Or am I just hearing things?! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John542030

I am just wondering whether this programme is obsessed with reading books as most of the translations are to do with this, pretty boring and repetitive.


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

This is really confusing part of course ,


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

Could this be "él escribe un libro a ellos"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Go4it2015

It also accepted "He writes a book for them."


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

Some of these English translations leave a lot to be desired. No one talks like that. No one! He writes them a book? Seriously? "He writes a book for them" is what a native English language speaker would say.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PatrickClark42

Why is the "les" in the sentence? It's unnecessary, the sentence without "les" in it still says "He writes a book to them" WTF is the "les" in there for it's just confusing!


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

"He writes a book to them"...

No one writes a book TO someone. A letter maybe but not a book! "He writes a book". Or "he writes a book FOR them", would be correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CPJL2

Why is it not He writes the book to them?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/idan22330

"Él escribe in libro a ellos " is not right sentence to say ? What the cause of "les" ? Por favor ayuda me


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenjaminBl12

Earlier it said that "Les" means "they". Im reaaaallllly confused about how that could possibly be true, especially since "they" is nominitive


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

It shouldn't have said that. "les" doesn't ever mean "they", it means "to them" or "to you" (formal plural).


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

:'(': Two faced smiley face!!! Hahaha!!!!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Snow272266

the progam is not actually listening to your voice back. Even if incorrect, it still states correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joyceluna3

again, a ellos to them to them are we not to directly translate the words given ? i know i know, all the explanations in the world don't make sense of this in terms of what we write back.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

It's an issue with English, not Spanish. In English "He writes a book to them" and "He writes them a book" mean the same thing, the "to" is omitted and you can never say "He writes to them a book". Spanish is more consistent in that any translation would use "les" (to them).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidJames554997

Excuse me , but a don't get the meaning or use of "les" at.Can someone supply me with an idiotproof explanation in simple english, PLEASE


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

Okay, first ignore the "a ellos". "les" can mean: to you (formal or plural) or to them. So the sentence is:

Él (He) les (to them) escribe (writes) un libro (a book).

So what about the "a ellos" you say? Well it's another way to write "to them" (a = to and ellos = them) but it's optional and it can never replace the "les", it only serves to add emphasis or clarification In this case it confirms that "les" means "to them" and not "to you".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/porkrind94

I wrote " He writes them a book" they said it had to be "one book" This time the same sentence. I put "He writes them one book" and they say it is wrong. Then they use the sentence again. they say that "un" does not mean one specifically, now it means "a book". It really is time for duo to start editing these things. There are so many volunteers out there and they never call on any of them and they never fix. Such a good plat form going to waste.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

If you think that Duolingo isn't accepting a correct answer then use the report button. They should get around to reviewing your report eventually, although they don't have a lot of resources to do so.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Phil712772

Why can't this be ' He reads a book to them' to account for the 'a ellos'. Seems redundant either way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

Do you mean writes?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tamaldutta1957

Writes a book to them? So odd! Nobody writes book to sombody.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tamaldutta1957

I wrote "He writes a book for them". It was accepted but it is so different to "He writes them a book". DL should review.

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