http://lomastv.com is only one of the good sites you can use to accompany this site because it will help you learn to understand spoken Spanish by watching Spanish language videos. Then there is Spanishdict.com, a site that has totally free Spanish lessons by a professional Spanish teacher in 60 video lessons.
Thanks. Spanishdict.com looks very useful. I've run across it googling for translations and discussions, but didn't realize how much more there was.
lomastv.com looks good too, especially with the controls to speed up and slow down the video. But it costs, so for now, I'll stick with the bookbox.com videos on youtube where they read stories to children, very clear and somewhat slowly.
I liked the variety. The iVersity course I just finished was video-based, so there was good listening practice. FluentU is also video based, and there are many levels. Some are music videos, and sometimes there are videos intended for children, but I enjoy them, too!! Busuu is helpful because there is a strong writing and speaking component -- you have to record yourself periodically and write short paragraphs, which native speakers critique; I find this very helpful!
Another good comprehension helper is to find a few Spanish speaking podcasts to listen to, or look for any Spanish community radio stations from your country.
Being Australian, i've been listening to the SBS radio Spanish podcast, so I get to practice my comprehension while listening to something that is actually relevant to me.
For a little humor, I would add theflama.com, which are short videos put together by Spanish-speaking comedians (bilingual ones) for English speakers on how crazy Spanish is, and sometimes how crazy English is. Lots of very funny stuff, and you learn from it too. I often watch one for fun after I've done my daily Duo lessons.
I love Destinos! I had the same problem with the website being blocked but I now use a free VPN to access it. I use Proton VPN to give me a US I.P. address so that I can access it. https://protonvpn.com/. The free version only gives access to a few countries once the trial period is over but it still always connects to the US for me.
Don't know why someone downvoted you, I have an A Level in Spanish UK, Spanish Bachillerato), and studied it for several years, and I can't follow it. Mind you, my teacher was English, and I have very little experience of listening to native speakers. Anyway, good luck with your listening.
just some muy feo people ... no te preocupa mas que se necesita! I just spent 28 days in Sth America and no one downvoted me over the five countries we travelled. (perhaps because I don't know how to say 'downvoting in Spanish'!) I must admit I have gone through the whole tree and never understood or try to understand or even care one iota about voting and all the DL's side dishes. I just do the exercises and keep going another way when hiccoughs turn up. Yep it is just me, but I think if you really want to be serious and become an academic DL is the wrong tree to bark at. Now I just spend a little time here just for the fun of it!
Thanks Miguel. You are right, things get taken a little too seriously on here at times. I am new to Duolingo, only been here for three months (feels like forever - kidding). I was getting to the very end of my Spanish tree, when a couple of days ago, I discovered that this course had been "updated" with a whole lot of new subjects, and my tree turned somewhat upside down. I am glad they have included some other new features that I didn't have before on Android, as I can now power through a lot of unnecessary repetition (really basic stuff) by taking a test. Makes it a bit more exciting too. Nevertheless, am looking forward to doing the reverse tree too.
Technically, "I had given it to him" would be "Se lo había dado a él" since "a él" makes "él" the indirect object of the verb (normally that would require "le" but when "le" precedes lo/la/los/las it turns into "se"). In this question's sentence, "Me" is the indirect object pronoun for "yo."
The reiteration is not mandatory. "Se lo había dado" is perfectly acceptable. However, I was always taught that the indirect object pronoun was required regardless of whether the IO is present or not (see here: http://www.cliffsnotes.com/foreign-languages/spanish/spanish-i/direct-and-indirect-object-pronouns/indirect-objects-and-indirect-object-pronouns), so "Lo había dado a él" would not technically be correct.
Since Spanish allows the subject to go at the beginning or the end, Spanish speakers can choose to put the object first and the subject last, if they feel the object is more important.
Aside from the way this article sometimes use the word "noun" where I think the word "subject" would be clearer, it explains it pretty well. http://spanish.about.com/od/sentencestructure/a/word-order-in-spanish.htm
(If you're wondering why Spanish allows the subject to go at the end, that probably can't be explained even in 200,000 words.)
It's merely a matter of emphasis. Putting the subject at the end of the sentence shifts our focus to the object(s) and verb. Note that there's no flexibility with respect to the placement of "me" and "lo." They must precede the verb in this case. Also, "me" is required and cannot be replaced with "a mi." On the other hand, you could replace "lo" with whatever it is (e.g., a book, a ball, etc.) and place the named object after the verb.
Placing the subject at the end of the sentence gives more weight to the object, and when we want to do that in English, we use the passive. I translated this sentence as passive: : "I was given it by him", but it was not accepted.
I understand that active is different from passive, but we don't have this construction with the subject at the end in English. It seems that the passive is a close approximation. Thoughts?
Hola, Allinuse. I see that this is an old post but for those of you who are still wondering here's an answer. Only your first sentence is correct. The order is: subject (in "standard" position) + indirect object pronoun + direct object pronoun + past perfect verb (imperfect of haber + past participle). The second sentence is wrong because the order of the indirect and direct object pronouns is reversed. The indirect object pronoun (me) must come before the direct object pronoun (lo). The third sentence is wrong because the indirect object pronoun (me) is missing. The indirect object pronoun is required, even if you add a clarifying phrase (a mí).
Am I correct in saying that the "el" at the end of the sentence is for clarification only....because "habia dado" could mean "he/she or it" had given it. The "lo" is the direct object (it) and the "me" is the Indirect Object (to me). I look forward to a reply and hope that it is not too long in coming or I will forget I wrote this post. (sorry there are no accents!)
It's basically the same sentences as "Él me lo había dado", but with different emphasis. Spanish often has the subject at the end this way. You're right that adding the "él" might just be to clarify who's being talked about, but putting it at the end might also be for changing the emphasis.
No, even if you have "a mí", the "me" is required. So it would have to be "Él me lo había dado a mí".
This page http://www.spanishdict.com/topics/show/17 says "the indirect object of a sentence will ALWAYS use an indirect object pronoun whether or not there is also an indirect object noun phrase".
Update 2017-12-06: As DavidMoore622957 says below, the indirect object pronoun isn't always required. Spanishdict have removed that sentence from their page.
That "rule" is wrong. The reason for the "me" in this particular case is that "a mi" is a personal pronoun. Whenever the indirect object or direct object is a personal pronoun, you must include the complementary (unstressed) object pronoun.
There are plenty of situations where you don't need to include the indirect object pronoun. However, it is common to include one, especially in spoken Spanish.
Cool. Now, if I could just go back to all of the Duo discussions where I said the exact same thing, ....
The more time I spend trying to understand what the RAE has to say, the better my grounding in these "rules" becomes. But some of them still elude me. I guess I just need to accept the fact that this will take a lot longer than I hoped it would.
Neither one is more correct. The subject can go at the end in Spanish. http://spanish.about.com/od/sentencestructure/a/word-order-in-spanish.htm
No, it's "Me it had given he"; the final "él" is the subject. See? It's so much clearer now. Hehe.
But once you know what the subject is, it's not that bad to unwind it. Putting the subject first, it's "He had given (it me)/(me it)". Since the indirect object pronoun comes first when there's two, "me" is the indirect object and "lo" is the direct object, so "He had given it to me". Ta daa.
Me lo habia dado el. What a confusing phrase , the translation is all over the show! me ia at the end, he at the biginning ! what a hotch potch, I think I will have to call it a day. This is a real back to front phrase. To the uninitiated, a word for word translation seems to be: I it had given he!!! I feel there are some aspects of spanish I willnever master. No wonder they call it the back to front language!!!
The "peculiarity," if you want to call it that, is that Spanish allows a fair amount of flexibility in word order. It's normally a subject-verb-object (SVO) language like English. However, it allows speakers/writers to alter that word order to change the emphasis. This exercise is an example of an intentional OVS word order. I don't consider that unusual, but I assume it's used here for instructional purposes (as you surmised).
Im beginning to give up with Spanish, this is too hard and ridiculous, its so tedious with all that you have to learn,like these stupid word orders and the verbs, instead of 'i can', 'you can' etc its 'puedo', 'puedes' and then you get all these irregulars to remember like hacer, puedo etc and there are so many more which hurts my brain, i dont know what to do, i might just not bother learning Spanish anymore but if anyone could help you'd have my gratitude...thanks
I assume you are a native English speaker. I am and I have to say, English takes the cake when it comes to "stupid" and "complicated" and "makes no sense." By comparison, Spanish is very easy.
You need to let go of your native language bias and accept the Spanish language for what it is, a different language. Once you relax the assumption that Spanish fails to follow the patterns you've learned in your language, you have only to learn the patterns intrinsic to Spanish. I wouldn't say that's particularly easy and some people are much better at learning languages than others. Even if you aren't one of those people, keep reminding yourself you managed to learn one language. That means you can learn another if you want.
Personally, I don't think you can master Spanish or any other language without an open mind and a lot of constant exposure. Duo, IMO, is the next best thing to being in a Spanish speaking country, in part, because of the tremendous community of users that patiently explain everything to those of us without a clue. But it's also an incredible platform for working with sentence structures. Regardless of how you approach learning, if you don't regularly apply yourself, none of it will truly stick.
The other thing I believe is necessary to learn Spanish is to avail yourself of the vast resources of the Internet to gain a more complete understanding of Spanish grammar, vocabulary and verb conjugation. Use Google and other search engines to research specific issues.
In the end, I doubt you have to learn Spanish. If you really don't want to take the time and spend the energy, then don't. Most of the Spanish speaking world speaks English. So, you can visit many Spanish speaking countries and get around speaking only English. I don't recommend it, but it is possible. Lastly, I doubt you will get much sympathy here starting out with, "this is too hard and ridiculous, its so tedious with all that you have to learn." You might want to check that attitude at the door.
Bravo, David! My feelings exactly! Have a couple of lingots.
However I disagree with you about learning the native language. Yes, you would probably be fine if you stick to the big cities, but if you really want to explore a country you need to speak at least some of the native language. Even in the big cities, funny things can happen...
I was in Chicago in the wee hours of the morning, after a night of heavy drinking, and after all the bars had closed. I found myself in a Mexican neighborhood. I had to go to the bathroom - badly. I headed to the only place that was open, a Mexican restaurant. No one there spoke English and I didn't know any Spanish. I tried English in vain. Bathroom? Toilet? WC? They gave me a menu. Nothing worked! Finally, the only way I could make them understand my need was in the crudest way possible. As embarrassing as it was, I grabbed my crotch and grimaced!
Thanks! Now, I can get the Owl something nice for Xmas.
I love your anecdote. If one ever needed motivation to learn some Spanish, that would be it! :) Another big motivator is el amor. Grabbing your crotch is no way to impress the ladies.
I completely agree, with a few exceptions, that one should know at least some of the native language when visiting a foreign country. Otherwise, you might as well go to Disney World and call it a day. Although I'm amazed by how far one can get with pointing and grunting, there's no substitute for carrying on even simple conversations with the locals.
This one is a little tricky because the word order is not the usual subject-verb-object order. Instead, this reverses the order of subject and object. You can tell because the Spanish personal pronoun me never means "I." Likewise, él alone doesn't mean "to him." So, even though había dado could mean "I had given," that doesn't work with me there. As amble2lingo shows, this sentence could have been more conventionally written as, él me lo había dado. That would have made the subject "he" more obvious.
Verbs like gustar normally switch the word order to object-verb-subject. Anyone familiar with those constructions, might be tempted to think the personal pronoun me can mean "I," since me gusta... is typically translated as "I like...." But it's actually closer to "...is pleasing to me." Again, the Spanish me is
a personal an object pronoun and never the subject.
wow this is heavy and I'm probably too old to digest it (But it sounds right, which is a crazy statement I'm making when I basically said i can't quite grasp it!) But I'm also looking at the statement " The Spanish 'me' is a personal pronoun and never the subject" Isn't this very contradictory? Because a personal pronoun, I thought, can always be subject, and I thought if it can't be then it's no more a personal pronoun. But it's highly possible I could be wrong in this although I don't think so. It's just from where I stand it does not look correct!
For "Él me lo había dado a mí", you can leave out the "a mí", but you can't leave out the pronoun "me".
The pronouns have to go before the verb. http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/placing-spanish-object-pronouns-correctly.html
Spanish allows more freedom over where the subject goes. "Él me lo había dado" and "Me lo había dado él" mean the same thing.
Okay... let me see if I am (slowly, slowly) getting this... "Me lo había dado el." means "I had given it to HIM," BUT "Me lo había dado él." means "He had given it to ME." Why does the accent make that significant of a difference in the meaning of the sentence, and how can one tell by sound? Is this something that one just understands by implication, or is there a meaningful difference in sound? Because if there is, I have not been able to detect it (yet).
"Me lo había dado el" isn't a separate sentence; it's just missing the accent on "él". It doesn't mean "I had given it to him". The "me" is the indirect object in both sentences. If it was "I had given it to him", it would be "Le lo había dado yo".
The only way "Me lo había dado el" would be correct is if the "el" was a definite article followed by a noun, "Me lo había dado el perro" (The dog had given it to me).
To break down the original sentence
"me" (indirect object of "dado", who it was given to)
"lo" (direct object of "dado", what was given (it))
"él" (the subject of the sentence, the "he" who did the giving)
"I had given it to him" would be "Yo se lo había dado a él" if we wanted to make it perfectly clear who was the giver and who was the receiver. If, in context, this would be understood and there would be no confusion, we could shorten the sentence to "Se lo había dado." The "le" in your sentence has to change to "se" because you cannot have two object pronouns in a row that start with "L."
http://www.indiana.edu/~call/reglas/pron_se.html (At the top of page)
http://www.bowdoin.edu/hispanic-studies/tools/newgr/ats/38.htm (Scroll down a bit)
The answer to your question is buried in the numerous responses above, so I'll give you a quick (?) summary here.
1) In a conversation where it was understood between the speakers who was being talked about (him), "Me lo había dado" would be fine. But DL',s sentences are stand-alones. So, since "había dado" can mean "I, he, she or it had given," the "él" tells us that "He had given..." is the correct translation.
2) Now, about the placement of "él" at the end of the sentence. Spanish is much more flexible than English about the placement of the subject. Placing "él" the end of the sentence puts the emphasis on "lo." If the sentence had been "Él me lo había dado," it would have translated the same, but we wouldn't have learned about this flexibility and emphasis of the subject.
You're misunderstanding the role of "me " and "lo " in the Spanish sentence. Neither can be interpreted as "I" and, therefore, the meaning of the Spanish can't be "I had given ..."
When you see object pronouns like "me " and "lo " in Spanish you should immediately be wary of the word order, which will often be different from English and even conventional Spanish. In this case, the subject ("él") appears at the end of the sentence. We know this because it can't possibly be anything else. If "él " was an object rather than the subject, we would expect it to be preceded by a preposition (like "para " or "a").
Many people have commented on the placement of "él " at the end of the sentence, because the usual word order in Spanish would put it at the beginning. There's no grammar rule that requires the sentence subject to come first and word order is much more flexible in Spanish than in English. So, when it happens, you should assume it's for a reason. In this case we don't know the reason, since Duo often throws curve balls. However, in normal conversation or writing, this word order should cause us to shift the emphasis from "he" (the subject) to the object(s) of the sentence. For more, please read through the comments. You have to scroll past the top third of them, which are about something else, or you could read from the bottom up.
David M Where I stand (not interested in being perfect, only to be understood) I find this quite complicated and way passed my ability. Yet it's very interesting what goes (or don't go) between two languages. I keep thinking it's quite important to detach oneself from one's own language and take the similarity as a bonus. Grammar was never my forte and despite to write quite well in French my native language, I was atrocious when it came to stick to, or remembering the rules. Anyway thanx for explaining the way you did I'm sure many people will appreciate it.
Grammar is not my forte either. I've forced myself to learn both English and Spanish grammar in order to understand why I was always getting the Spanish wrong. I couldn't even understand the explanations that other Duo users were giving until I brushed up on some basic terms.
Your English is quite good. So, you're clearly doing something right!
Hello David M again, checking a new email contact about this discussion I read again your post and my reply etc. And again trying to understand better I just realised that I always read that preposition 'a' that actually is not there and your explanation got me back on the right track and why "el" is the subject. Yes it's amazing how subject can be thrown at the back (also how one's brain reads what seems more convenient)! I'm trying to compare with French where we often use 'reflective' something a little like "I myself did this and that", but this is not the case here. Perhaps it's something I believe German does with verbs; a long sentence with a verb at the end, so you have to wait for it to know what it is about! Given to me he did! ha ha! I guess in Spain you have to do what Spaniards do! Thanx again (Funny, here it says this was 2 months old Seems older to me. Yet some more recent posts I have seen have 1 year ago!)