Hola meharned: Duolingo requires the "redundant direct object pronoun" so the "la" is required even though the sentence already has "a ella".
I have not seen this taught in any of the other (many) language schools I have attended.
You can do a Google or other search of this question and you will get a variety of answers.
But if we are using Duolingo we go by their rules.
This confusion arises because we're using a personal pronoun (e.g. him/her/it/them/you/me/us) as an object, which REQUIRES the direct object pronoun (known as a "clitic" or "atonic" pronoun) in any case, period.
i.e. in this case the "la" gives the primary meaning of "her/it/you-formal", while "a ella" is just to clarify that it does in fact refer to "her". It may help if I tell you that that is not a personal "a" per se, it's a prepositional one used to set up the clarifier. You can drop the "a ella" if it's clear from context, but you can't drop the "la".
It might be easier if you think about another example using a different pronoun. To say "I love you", you don't (and can't) say "amo a ti", you say "te amo". You could say "te amo a ti" but the difference in this case is that there's no point (unless it's for emphasis), because "te" is not ambiguous. Note that the prepositional pronoun "ti" is used since we're referring to an object, not a subject - however apart from mí and ti the subject and prepositional pronouns happen to be the same, which contributes to the confusion.
For anything that ISN'T a personal pronoun, e.g. just a normal noun like "woman", or a name like "Maria", then the direct object pronoun SHOULD be EXCLUDED, just like we've been learning up until now (there are a few exceptions in certain constructions/Argentinian dialect). So you can correctly say "él reconoce a la mujer", or "él reconoce a Maria", and adding a "la" in front of the verb would be considered incorrect (almost) everywhere.
There are no contradictions, it's just that personal pronouns don't get treated the same as other objects grammatically.
Note that this all applies to direct objects - indirect objects have slightly different rules.
Edit: if anyone needs a source or just wants to do their own research, have a look at section 5 here: http://lema.rae.es/dpd/?key=pronombres+personales+atonos#5 (mainly 5.1). Just be warned that it's in Spanish and the terminology is pretty technical, but it's very informative if you can comprehend it (there are some correct and incorrect examples given which help a little).
This is a correction to your error:
quote by malkeynz:
i.e. in this case the "la" gives the primary meaning of "her/it/you-formal", while "a ella" is just to clarify that it does in fact refer to "her". It may help if I tell you that that is not a personal "a" per se, it's a prepositional one used to set up the clarifier. ...
My first impression when I initially saw this Spanish sentence was that it is probably a personal A. After studying the matter to make sure I am right, I conclude that I am right. It is a personal A.
We don't use the personal A before non-specific things or people. We don't use the personal A when the person we’re talking about could be anyone.
Él necesita un doctor.
― He needs a doctor.
However in this Duolingo exercise, the Duolingo Spanish sentence is referring to a specific individual that "he" recognizes. So there is no reason not to categorize the A in this Duolingo exercise as a personal a. It is a personal a.
If anybody desires further clarification, then I recommend the chart on the following web page:
quote from the chart on the web page I just referred to:
Personal a used:
5.With tonic (stressed) pronouns: Lo vi a él.
If anybody just wants to read a simple essay about the personal A:
Doctor Lemon explains the personal A
It was a good post. I am not disputing that. But we cannot describe the post as the "best ever." Not if we want to stay in reality. Let's be real.
kirakrakra found one mistake and malkeynz acknowledged this by writing a post in reply.
I found a second mistake and I posted a reply to malkeynz. And I am sure that someone who is capable of making a careful review of my post can confirm that I was right.
So, I am counting two mistakes.
That's because it is a really complex issue which is not easy to explain http://hispanoteca.eu/gram%C3%A1ticas/Gram%C3%A1tica%20espa%C3%B1ola/Complementos-redundancia%20pronominal.htm
Could someone explain the difference between direct object pronouns and indirect? I've look on numerous grammer websites and I still can't figure it out. At least when it comes to Spanish.. I just don't see why it couldn't be " El le reconoce a ella." They seem to be saying the same exact thing. Any help would be appreciated, seriously!!!
Jackherbach12, Le = to her
So your sentence would sound akin to 'he recognizes to her.'
I also have a hard time with the DOP and IOP. I still haven't found a definitive list that explains all circumstances that require a redundant object. However, i can usually clear up confusion with the spanish objects by refreshing my english grammar. Check out this link:
Consider the sentence Dave baked Sue a cake. Dave is the subject, he's the one doing the action. Baked is a transitive verb, it needs a direct object that will receive the action.
What did Dave bake... Sue? ^_^ No, Dave baked a cake. Cake is the direct object. But why did he bake a cake? He baked it FOR Sue. Sue is the indirect object. Here, the indirect object is a beneficiary.
What about this... Sue sent a thank-you card to Dave. Sue is the subject, the card is the direct object, and Dave is the indirect object. But this time the indirect object is a recipient, because something was sent TO the indirect object.
If we already know what we're talking about, we can substitute pronouns for our subject and objects... She sent it to him.
Spanish requires that if you have an indirect object present, then the indirect object pronoun also needs to be there...
Ella le envió la tarjeta a Dave - - - or dropping the direct object...
Ella se la envió a Dave - - - or dropping the indirect object...
Ella se la envió - - - or dropping the subject as well...
Se la envió
Duolingo is being a fruitcake requiring the direct object pronoun to be present when the direct object itself is present. In fact, all other learning resources that I've seen show that you have one or the other, but not both.
With the exception of the personal A, normally prepositions are not used in front of direct objects.
Notice the personal A:
Él la reconoce a ella.
― He recognizes her.
Notice the personal A:
Él reconoce a la mujer. Él la reconoce.
― He recognizes the woman. He recognizes her.
In contrast with the previous Spanish sentence:
¿Él reconoce la oficina? Sí, él la reconoce.
― Does he recognize the office? Yes, he recognizes it.
"en la oficina"
― in the office
― at the office
The object of this prepositional phrase is oficina. If we insert this Spanish prepositional phrase, en la oficina, into a Spanish sentence, it isn't going to work as a direct object in a Spanish sentence. I don't think anyone can create a Spanish sentence using this particular prepositional phrase as a direct object.
With the exception of the personal A, prepositional objects ≠ direct objects
He admits it to her = (Él) se lo reconoce (a ella). The pronoun IT is a DIRECT object = LO. The pronoun SHE is an INDIRECT object and its indirect objectform LE is MANDATORY whereas its stressed form A ELLA is REDUNDANT. The order is first indirect and then direct. Then the L in LE becomes S. Hence the SE LO
(Él) la reconoce (a ella) = He recognizes her. LA is the MANDATORY DIRECT object form of ELLA. The stressed objectform A ELLA is REDUNDANT. He recognizes her
In English we use "her" as both an object pronoun and a possessive pronoun, but in Spanish this is not so. "Su" means her as in "belonging to her" (Su mochila = her book bag,) whereas "ella" can mean both "she" (subject pronoun, as in "Ella es mi amiga - "She is my friend,") and "her" (object pronoun, as in "Yo he visto a ella" - "I have seen her.")
SqueezeboxSarah. I agree with you except for your last sentence which has ella as a direct object and therefore must contain ella's unstressed direct objectform la: "Yo la he visito (a ella)".
The sentence "Él la reconoce" could be either "He recognizes her" or "He recognizes it" in reference to a feminine object. It any given conversation your meaning is going to be clear without "a ella" since it will be obvious whether you mean a human or a thing. However, it's nice to know how to use the "a" to add a clarifier should you ever need to.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Native English speaker - US, Southern Appalachian dialect. Other uses of English may vary. Advice about Spanish should be taken with a grain of salt.