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  5. "Él les escribe un libro a el…

"Él les escribe un libro a ellos."

Translation:He writes them a book.

April 1, 2013



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

August 2, 2013


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.

August 2, 2013


I am SO thankful to read this explanation!

November 17, 2013


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

August 9, 2013


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.

August 9, 2013


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

June 23, 2014


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?

September 16, 2014


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.

October 3, 2014



March 28, 2015


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 :(

February 17, 2015


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 ?!

October 3, 2015


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

October 7, 2015


Is Michel Thomas audiobook free?

October 15, 2015


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

June 8, 2016


it is if you pirate it

October 15, 2015


'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!

October 21, 2015


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

May 18, 2014


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

October 22, 2014


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.

April 3, 2015


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.

February 27, 2015


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.

May 3, 2016


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.

June 19, 2016


I put, he writes a book them.

June 2, 2017


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.

April 1, 2013


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.

January 1, 2014


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

August 3, 2014


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.

February 1, 2015


"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".

April 5, 2018


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.

May 10, 2013


Click top right corner and you will see the answer.

December 15, 2013


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

April 18, 2013


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

July 10, 2013


Things just got complicated......eurgh

September 15, 2014


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

September 16, 2014


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?"

September 16, 2014


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

May 27, 2013


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

August 3, 2013


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.

February 1, 2015


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

November 6, 2013


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?

December 5, 2013


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.

December 5, 2013


Thanks! That's a great explanation

December 5, 2013


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

March 9, 2014


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

February 2, 2014


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.

October 3, 2014


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.

December 16, 2015


What does write a book to them mean

April 17, 2014


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

April 22, 2014


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

May 21, 2014


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

November 21, 2014


I cannot imagine when anyone would use such a sentence

February 12, 2015


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

March 9, 2015


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.

March 13, 2015


This is really confusing part of course ,

March 14, 2015


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

September 3, 2015


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

November 11, 2015


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.

May 17, 2016


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!

July 1, 2016


"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.

October 20, 2016


Why is it not He writes the book to them?

November 7, 2016


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

November 8, 2016



November 30, 2016


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

February 28, 2017


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

February 28, 2017


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

June 2, 2017


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

June 26, 2017


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.

March 6, 2018


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).

March 6, 2018


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

May 2, 2018


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".

May 2, 2018


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.

June 11, 2018


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.

June 15, 2018


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

June 21, 2018


Do you mean writes?

June 29, 2018


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

June 23, 2018


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.

June 23, 2018
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