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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?


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.


I am SO thankful to read this explanation!


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


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.


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


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?


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.


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 :(


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 ?!


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


Is Michel Thomas audiobook free?


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


it is if you pirate it


'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!


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


I put, he writes a book them.


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.


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.


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


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.


"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".


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.


Click top right corner and you will see the answer.


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


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


Things just got complicated......eurgh


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


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?"


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


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


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.


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


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?


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.


Thanks! That's a great explanation


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


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


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.


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.


What does write a book to them mean


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


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


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


I cannot imagine when anyone would use such a sentence


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


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


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.


This is really confusing part of course ,


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


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


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.


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!


"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.


Why is it not He writes the book to them?


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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).


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


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".


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.


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.


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


Do you mean writes?


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


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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