"Él la reconoce a ella."

Translation:He recognizes her.

April 5, 2013



What is the purpose of "la" in this sentence? It would seem complete without it.

April 5, 2013


It wouldn't funnily enough, although it would be complete without the "a ella." The la, however, is non-negotiable.

April 5, 2013


Great feedback. Thanks

February 8, 2015


not le?

April 20, 2015


It's not reflexive

March 21, 2016


you probably mean it is not indirect. The third person pronoun is LO/ LA if DIRECT object, LE if INDIRECT and SE if REFLEXIVE .

March 21, 2016


its the direct object pronoun, introduced a couple of lessons ago - this is the "her" in the sentence. The "a ella" on the end of the sentence simply clarifies that it is "her" he recognises, and not some unspecified "it" or "you".

June 26, 2013


Thank you for this answer. You have provided much needed clarification.

September 19, 2017


Thank you. This helped me understand the relationship with the direct object before the verb and what seemed like a redundancy. Now I understand. Its not a redundancy; its a clarification of the direct object.

March 29, 2018


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.

December 26, 2013


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).

January 18, 2015


As I once saw someone else say to an especially helpful Duo user: Can you just follow me around Duolingo like, ALL the time?! :-p

July 1, 2015


:-) Yes, I believe that was to Luis - who writes really beautiful clarifications and uh... works for Duolingo https://www.duolingo.com/Luis

December 21, 2016


Malkeynz, this is a great explanation. Thank you very much.

June 1, 2015


Correction to "For anything that ISN'T a pronoun ... ". The atonic pronoun is mandatory if the object, direct or indirect, comes before the verb: A la mujer la reconoce see RAE 5.2

July 26, 2016


Yes that's true, thanks. I've mentioned it in some other posts I've made on the topic but decided to leave it out of this one so things didn't get too confusing.

July 26, 2016


Atonic pronoun--so that's the proper name for it...Gracias. Mantente al tanto de todo.

September 14, 2016


very well put..

September 13, 2015


Best explanation ever. ¡Muchas gracias!

September 2, 2017


By RAE it is not necessary although it can be used. Yes, this is to help drill it in even though it becomes a little confusing after you get it.

January 10, 2015

July 25, 2016


Gosh. I need to brush up on grammar again. I still don't quite understand why "la" is here. I thought that "la" functioned as "it" or "the," sooo.....

March 14, 2014


As an object pronoun, "la" means "she/it." It's the other half of "lo," which means "he/it."

March 26, 2014


"la" is the pronoun "her". "A ella" merely clarifies the question "which her?"

June 2, 2017


Spanish tends to use redundancies in order to be more clear. "la" can be translated as "it."

July 30, 2017



December 30, 2017


I got the question with the list of translations to choose from. One of the options is "He is her tool."

I thought this was a family friendly web site... :-P

July 5, 2013


Ha ha ha ha!!!

March 14, 2014


I don't see why this couldn't mean "He admits it to her."

April 23, 2014


That was my question too.

June 28, 2014


Same here

November 5, 2015


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!!!

August 22, 2014


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.

February 7, 2015


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:


September 3, 2014


This is a nice test of pronouns :) The "a ella" is used to clarify what is being seen otherwise without context it could also be "He recognizes it/you (formal usted)"

May 22, 2013


Shoot just got done with past tense and wrote this in past tense.

April 14, 2015


Can 'el' be taken as 'it'? Like 'It recognizes her'?

March 3, 2014


No. We don't translate «it» when it's the subject.

September 24, 2014


We can, just with conjugations though.

January 10, 2015


Why not "He knows her"?

December 16, 2014


Here's a different Duo exercise for the verb conocer:

  • Yo la conozco. = I know her.
November 8, 2015


I believe reconoce can also be he knows.

April 1, 2016


reconocer = to recognize

August 29, 2017


I get that the 'a ella' is the clarifier for the 'la.' But what if I wanted to say 'he recognizes it' (with the it being a feminine noun), while clarifying that the 'la' means 'it' and not 'her'?

August 13, 2015


ok, I get the use of la, redundant or otherwise, however i read this as "he admits it to her" I am just looking for a little clarity. My native Spanish speaking wife understands my confusion.

July 13, 2016



  • 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

July 13, 2016


Brillante. Gracias.

September 14, 2016


Can't it be, "he recognizes her"?

March 5, 2015


Why wouldnt it be "él reconoce su" ?

June 30, 2016


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.")

June 30, 2016


SqueezeboxSarah. I agree with you except for your last sentence which has ella as a direct object and therefore must contain ella's unstessed direct objectform la: "Yo la he visito (a ella)".


June 30, 2016


Shoot. I should have suspected that. Object pronouns and prepositions have been a constant source of irritation for me in my Spanish-learning quest.

June 30, 2016


An excellent explanation thank you. I hope I don't forget it. Sven

January 7, 2017


Would "Él reconoce ella" be like saying "He recognises she" in English?

March 14, 2017


How does the 'a' tie into this sentence?

June 6, 2017


I am still unclear what the actual function of the "a" is. Seems like a simple convention that does not add meaning. The "la" functions as the equivalent of the English "her" in the sentence and "ella" clarifies or emphasizes but what doe the "a" do.

June 20, 2017


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.

April 1, 2018


Él la reconoce a ella.☺

March 22, 2018


he admits her is wrong. why it is?

December 3, 2014


That would be an odd phrasing in English. "He admits her to hospital" would be the connotation, with admit having quite a different meaning to "recognise".

June 12, 2016


Mojojojo style

January 11, 2016


Notice me, senpai!

April 24, 2016


In most Spanish-speaking countries, the direct object pronoun is not used with the object of a preposition in the same sentence. You use either "la" or "a ella" not both because there's no need for clarification compared to indirect object pronouns which don't have gender agreement.

September 23, 2014


If you're using a personal pronoun (él/ella/usted/ellos/etc.) as a direct object, you NEED the direct object pronoun, in this case "la".

This is not the case when you're using a normal noun or proper noun (name of something), which is where the confusion tends to arise.

But for personal pronouns you need to think of it in terms of "la" being the primary thing indicating the object, and the "a ella" just clarifying.

January 18, 2015


A ella is unnecessary but la has to be there.

September 24, 2014


I had to yell at this and it still said it couldn't hear me - and took a heart away - bastard!!!

April 11, 2014


i feel your pain. I stopped using the mic for precisely that reason

April 11, 2014
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