That is incorrect. The verb atender does not mean to attend. It means to tend to, as in to look after, to pay attention to, to serve. You can tend to a patient, a client, or a customer, but not a meeting, concert, or conference. The verb you're looking for there is asistir (which does not mean to assist!). These are false friends.
Overall those are good comments wchargin. THE ONLY ERROR IN WHAT You said is that "Assist" does not mean "To Assist". Well "To Assist" and "To Help" are pretty much synonymous and according to the popular online translator SPANISHDICT.COM one of the meanings of "Asistir" is "To Help" or "Attend to". Click on the following link if you would like to confirm this: http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/asistir I agree with what you said about the word "atender" however, and also those learning Spanish do have to be care of the FALSE FRIENDS KNOWN GRAMMATICALLY AS FALSE COGNATES.
Asistir: intransitive verb 1. (to be present) a. to attend Ella asiste a un colegio de todo niñas.She attends an all-girl school. 2. (to observe) a. to witness Estamos asistiendo al comienzo de una nueva era.We are witnessing the beginning of a new era. transitive verb 3. (to help) a. to attend to La enfermera me asistió porque era una urgencia.
Hey sk1ph1x—thanks for your feedback. You're right that, in some cases, the verb asistir can mean "to assist" in the sense that you described. However—and I italicized this because it can be quite misleading—it doesn't mean "to assist" in the general case. For example, "puedo asistirte" could mean "I can help you" as said by a department store clerk ("I can help the next customer"), but not as in "I can help you with your homework." (That would probably be ayudar.)
So, in summary, yes, but tread carefully!
Aside: these actually are false friends; false cognates are different. A false cognate is a pair of similar-sounding words with similar meanings but that actually have different etymological origins. See here for a very nice explanation.
Hola wchargin, I also want to thank you again for your comments. For the most part we are in agreement.
You may want to note however that according to the various sites that I checked in regards to cognates and false cognates, both are in fact pairs of words typically from two different languages that share a similar look and sound as well as the SAME ETYMOLOGICAL ORIGIN. But of course the False Cognates although sharing the same etymological origin have a quite DIFFERENT MEANING. It may be further noted that the words "FALSE FRIENDS" and "FALSE COGNATES" appear to be the same and are used interchangeably as a linguistic term according to the sites I checked. . I must admit however that I was familiar with the term Cognate but I was not familiar with the term 'False Friends".
Asi es que parece que los dos aprendimos algo nuevo. Tambien yo chequee con la Real Academia Española acerca de las varias definiciónes de la palabra "asistir". Hay muchas definiciónes diferentes dependiendo del contexto. A coninuación he proveido algunos enlaces: http://www.elearnspanishlanguage.com/vocabulary/falsosamigos.html
Falsos Amigos - False Cognates One of the great things about learning Spanish or English is that many words have the same roots in the Romance languages and English. However, there are also a great many falsos amigos, or false cognates, which look similar but are in fact very different. This is one of the biggest pitfalls for students of Spanish. There are also semi-false cognates: words that can only sometimes be translated by the similar word in the other language. http://www.brown.edu/Departments/LRC/pluma/voc_false_cognates.pdf FALSE COGNATES There are literally thousands of words that are the same or similar in appearance in English and Spanish, and have the same meaning in both languages (“cognates”). There are also, however, many instances where appearances are deceiving and words that look alike are quite different in meaning (“false cognates”). The following list includes some of the most common false cognates, also known as “false friends
(3-23-15) Just FYI, "Serve", which was used in a previous example ("We can serve the woman" - "Podemos atender a la mujer.") does not work here, at least as of this posting. "I can serve him now" was marked incorrect (with the strikethrough through "serve"). I have reported it.
The difference between "lo" and "le" is not "him vs it" but "direct object pronoun vs indirect object pronoun".
Direct objects are the ones that can answer the question "who?" or what?" Ex: I helped him. (Who did you help? Him). Lo ayudo (a él)
Indirect objects are the ones that can answer the question "to who?" or "for who?" Ex: I wrote him a letter. (Who did you write to? Him). Le escribo una carta (a él). In this sentence, the direct object is "a letter" (What did you write? A letter).
Thanks, but they didn't. :(
The best explanation I can come up with is that since there is no other DO (stated or implied), "you/he/she/it" has to be the DO, since you can't have an IO without a DO. I'm guessing this verb (to attend) came from "give attention to," where "attention" was the DO and whomever/whatever you were giving your attention to was the IO. Somewhere along the line we dropped the "give" and now just say "attend to" as a verb. Since "attend" isn't the DO anymore, the "you/he/she/it" becomes the DO and there is no longer a IO, even though the "to" is still there (I can attend to you now). Does this make sense to anyone else besides me?
Here you must remember what lo and le "are". They are "representatives" of the Direct and indirect object, respectively. So far so good.
Now, the next step is, what is with a verb, does it accept a D.O. (transitivo) or it does not, intransitivo (Hint, this is always noted in any good dictionary).
Thus, if you know how does your verb behave, it will help you decide whether it will be one or another and ultimately deciding for a le or lo.
those are the good news. The bad news are that some verbs behave as both depending on the meaning... and atender is one of them. The consequence is that the meaning of the verb is somewhat different and you may have a look here:
Here you see that in the case of the customer example, the transitive applies, thus the correct pronoun is Lo and not le, minus for me, my bad then.
In the case of a problem, you shall use the intransitive thus having an Indirect Object.
Thanks for pointing that one out!
Lo puedo atender ahora = I can attend to you now. Lo puedo, goes for 'it'. Lo puedo atender al perro, or whatever object/animal. If it is 'attend to you' it should be 'le puedo' (a usted) or 'te puedo (a tí). Right?
Lo is the masculine/neuter, singular, third-person direct object (accusative) pronoun. It can refer to either él or usted. For example, "Lo estoy comiendo" means "I am eating it [presumably some masculine food item]," while "Lo estoy mirando" could mean "I am watching it" or "I am watching you [usted]."
Does this clarify the usage? If not, what specifically are you having trouble with?
Ahh…I think I see the source of your confusion. This is a long-standing dialectical variation called leísmo. Search for leísmo in the Duolingo discussions section (under Spanish for English Speakers) and you'll find a bunch of discussions: here and here, e.g.
The consensus seems to be that the use of le for the Usted form is primarily Iberian (i.e., "Spain"/"peninsular" Spanish).
Nope—attend as you've used it is wrong; asistir means to tend to or to attend to (please see the discussion above). With this in mind, the object is much more likely to be an animate object (almost certainly a human) than not. While I suppose you might atender a nagging problem, this is certainly much more uncommon.