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  5. "Me lo había dado él."

"Me lo había dado él."

Translation:He had given it to me.

May 7, 2013

159 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rjw78741

This is the kind of word order that I can understand if I see it in writing, but could never decipher if I heard it on the street.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fluent2B

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/galletadecolores

Bookbox is very helpful :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuanitaJacobs

I also really like memrise, busuu, FluentU, and MOOCs. There are some really good free MOOCs, such as through iVersity.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuanitaJacobs

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!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Talca

Don't neglect videoele.com It's free and helpful.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/galletadecolores

I have heard of busuu and FluentU, and tried them, but I still like DL best :) I'll have to check out memrise and MOOCs!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mjrobbo

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

Following @theonlymark's great idea, I just found the Spanish version of Radio Canada International. It makes a big difference to listen to something relevant.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bob46196

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gina662993

Brilliant,thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ajabrams

I just can't listen to español de españa. The lisp thing drives me bonkers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kazmax1

If you haven't already tried http://learner.org/series/destinos/, I recommend it. There is a series of 52 videos - most in Latin American Spanish - only one in Castilian Spanish - and it is FREE.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/imdwightbrah

That's amazing - never knew about this. Thank you so much!@


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cmckcook

destinos is awesome!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OxfordW

Not available in UK :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Englishish

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidLeslieJones

Not available in Spain??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peztis
  • 1427

I miss out on that as well ...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Felix14578

Not available in Germany....... Why? Can't understand why this would be blocked....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/irene121212

Not available in England


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miguel280968

Looks like it ok in countries which already speak Spanish! ha ha ha


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carolehutchinson

I love Destinos!!! Have watched it several times.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cmckcook

Destinos is awesome!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miguel280968

What a shame it's not "authorised' in Australia ;(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/guitarscape

yeah, Z's and soft C's are pronounced "th" vs. "s" in Castillian spanish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lyarra
  • 2454

Thanks so much for posting this link. It's exactly what I've been looking for. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steve79123

Thank you so much for this info. After a year using DL I was beginning to despair at not really gaining an ear. Thanks again Steve


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bexxstar

Thank you so much for thesr links.its just what i needed


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miguel280968

I just tried lomastv.com. ! amazing, but it takes a little more than DL's tree to get into it! Yet one has to start somewhere! Thank you for the tip


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmmaMitche89062

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miguel280968

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!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmmaMitche89062

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheReal_Nadia

I agree 100%. I read & write Spanish better than speaking it or hearing native speakers on the street.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LFCAlex

You're one step ahead of me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OpMax1

Such examples remind me of Yoda!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/summonsy

How can you tell which is the subject? I thought it was 'I had given it to him'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dofn2

Me is an (indirect) object pronoun, lo is an object pronoun, él is the only subject pronoun of the sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/1barcafan

Thank you! I think I learn more from comments like this than from the actual lesson. Here's a lingot :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Talca

I feel Summonsy's pain. In the Imperfect HABER, había is identical in the 1st 3rd person singular. At first glance, it could trick a lot of students like us.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Simsolo

Thank you both. I made the same mistake and the pronouns are very confusing! Now I get it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/greatlanguages

Would it be wrong to put the él first?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

Yes, the subject can go either at the beginning or the end in Spanish.

See the responses after @Talca's similar question, starting "I am perplexed".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

It will get a little tricky when you encounter verbs-like-gustar. Of course, challenges like that is what makes this fun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Still_Lrng2

Thank you. Here I am 3 years later, and I had the exact same answer (and question) as summonsy. Your explanation is very helpful. Here are 2 lingots.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WhitePat

Why isn't el (the subject) at the beginning of the sentence rather than at the end? It would be much easier to tell who was giving what to whom that way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hello_world_hola

BarbaraMorris answered this further down. Basically, emphasis, but please do check out her comment.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thesizeofanocean

It's like something Yoda would say, haha. "Given it to me, he had"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thasvaddef

That would be:

Yo lo había dado a él

(I made the same mistake as you though)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carter.ag

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."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yoavtp

Is it necessary to write both the indirect object pronoun and the "a él"? Could one just write "Se lo había dado" or "Lo había dado a él", or is the reiteration mandatory?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carter.ag

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SportyinSpain

I wrote that at first then decided that Spanish 'me' is not 'I' as it would be 'yo' at the beginning and also it would be 'a el'. So those two clues made me change my mind. as thasvaddef said below it would have read " Yo lo habia dada a el."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steve79123

Good points to take on.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Talca

I am perplexed by these sentences in which the subject is thrown to the back of the bus. Can anyone explain that in 200 words or less? Update: I made this comment 3 years ago. Now a subject would not perplex me wherever I found it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

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.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Talca

Yes, but you took a stab at it. Gracias, Bárbara. This is a really helpful link. It explains a lot . Further question: is this done in the spoken as well as written language?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alezzzix

This is done everywhere, sentences in Spanish can have some very weird orders, especially when people are trying to speak quickly.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmmaMitche89062

I like that you put an accent on the first 'a' of Bárbara. My middle name is Louise. In Spanish phonetics, would I write it as Luíz, or just translate it to Luisa? Up to me, I guess.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraPal919012

Whereas in English, you can change the emphasis to any word in this sentence and change the meaning every time, without changing the order: "I never said she took my money" :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ahmeda111

Im wondering more why duolingo sprung this on me about 3/4 into the course, as the order is one of the basics of grammar. I mean colloquial spoken english allows this ex 'want an apple, do you?', but its never written. Im surprised this is formally allowed in spanish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Katrina484421

great explanation, thanks. I had thought you could only change the order of the object in a question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steve79123

Or fewer please


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EdwardBail2

To me it seems like this should be: El me lo habia dado

Is that wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

They're both right. Spanish allows many different word orders. Putting the subject at the end gives a different emphasis.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miguel280968

That's my query too, not quite understanding why El should be at the end. Isn't it the subject?...But so be it. BTW This discussion is full of learning references THANK YOU


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zuquita

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Allinuse

Would it be correct to say "él me lo había dado" or "él lo me había dado" or "él lo había dado a mí" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amble2lingo

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).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StephenTkacs

I get confused about "a mi" and "a ella." When is it ok to use the subjective pronoun as the object of a preposition?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

Those are "prepositional object pronouns" which are all the same as the subjective pronouns except for mí, ti and sí.

This page explains all the gory details: http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/courses/pronoun1.htm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mlncn

Me it had given he.

Perfectly clear! Don't know why everyone is so worked up about word order. ;-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MargoBoylan

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!)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MargoBoylan

Thanks for the quick reply.....much appreciated


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/matthewfred

why no personal a for él?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linguismo

'He' is the subject, the one doing the giving so it is not 'to him' (a él), I am the one receiving so it is to me. The form of haber (había) gives the subject. The él at the end just clarifies that the subject is a him (rather than a her, or you plural)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kriognosz

Would it be "He/she had given him to me" with the addition of an a?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dofn2

él is acting as a subject


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kerkeslager

Why isn't the personal "a" necessary here ("Me lo había dado a él"?).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

Because él is the subject and the personal "a" is used when it's an object.

This is the same sentence as "Él me lo había dado". Spanish allows way more different word orders than English does, even poetic English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Simsolo

I've heard that before, but I endlessly lose hearts because of getting the word order wrong and am constantly second guessing when to reverse the natural order in English and when to keep the it the same :-(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ProudSon

Would "el lo había dado a mi" work as well?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

Thanks! I see that they've removed that rule from the page.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kerinmim

Why is the él at the end of the sentence. Can it go at the begining?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/whelanalexander

I put the correct answer without the accents and it was marked incorrect. Does the marking become more meticulous as the game geta more difficult?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

No, it always just says something like "Pay attention to the accents". I don't think I have ever seen it it actually mark an answer wrong for just accents.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fuego1292

Why isn't it "Él me lo había dado?" or "Él lo me había dado?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

It could be "Él me lo había dado". They often put the subject at the end in Spanish.

It can't be "Él lo me había dado" because when there are two object pronouns, the order is indirect-direct. http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/iodopro.htm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ken.Coyote

Isn't this more properly: él me lo había dado.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ken.Coyote

I was under the impression that Spanish gives respect to people, the personal "a" and pronouns placed at the beginning of the sentence, but here the subject is on the end. It's so rebellious and revolutionary. Te amo Che!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/donrua1

Me it had given him. Got it. Clear as mud.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeslieFielding

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!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EaterofPumkin

Spanish pod 101 is a good website /youtube channel for listening comprehension.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jvjohnx

Thanks fo the links


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitnam

Worst. Recording. Yet.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ekihoo

This word order is quite understandable for me, a Finn. In Finnish it is not very important in which order you put the words - It's like with the Spanish accent. But still: is this here just for to point out 'a peculiarity' of Spanish. If so, WELL done!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

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).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JakeLanzarote

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amble2lingo

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!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tishgab

I still do not understand this, "I had given it to him" is surely the correct translation?!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miguel280968

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!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

Sorry, that was confusing! I meant, the Spanish me is an object pronoun and never the subject.

A lingot for your trouble.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miguel280968

Thanx but i'm not too hot on grammar! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dare3966

What would be the result of this; " El habia dado lo a mi."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/guitarscape

I would think it would be, "me lo había dado" - Why the él at the end ... that seems out of place ... I could understand Él me lo habia dado" ...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Royraju

Las dos están bien, "Él me lo había dado" y "Me lo había dado él".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/josienice

Ugh. I translated the subject and indirect object backwards - thinking it meant I had given it to him. I guess that would have been "yo le había dado a él" ???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Royraju

Yo se lo había dado a él.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarolKornw

"Me lo habia dado el" is not the right translation of he had given it to me. The right answer would be "El me lo habia dado".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

Spanish allows more freedom over where the subject goes. "Él me lo había dado" and "Me lo había dado él" mean the same thing.

http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/213411/why-do-verbs-sometimes-come-after-their-subject-instead-of-before-like-in-english


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jim40

can you say "él me lo había dado"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TageChr

After reading your comments, I endeavour to make words talk thus: Me lo(to me it) habia dado(had given) el(he). What do you say?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaintainMyBrain

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).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

"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))

"había" (had)

"dado" (given)

"él" (the subject of the sentence, the "he" who did the giving)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaintainMyBrain

Pardon me... AAAAUUUUURRRRRGGGHHH!!! Thank you. I feel better now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amble2lingo

"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)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

Thanks. I had forgotten about the "le" becoming "se".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tusy22

I cannot figure out what él is doing at the end. Please help.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

Search for "at the end" in this discussion.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeslieFielding

O this back to front language, no wonder they all want to learn English.!!!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stocker65

I saw some episodes of destinos while I was in Spain -although apparently I should not have received them. But I agree, I thought the series was awesome and I am very sad I cannot watch it now


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ProudSon

Would "El me lo habia dado" work as well? Its a "pronombre personal", right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amble2lingo

I think that should be fine - as long as you correct it to "Él."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ProudSon

Does "el me lo había dado" work as well?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amble2lingo

Yup. As long as you use "Él."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LawrenceHolder

why is el needed at end of sentence? to what is el referring? Wouldn't Me lo habia dado be enough


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amble2lingo

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jill713026

Does one always have to put the EL on the end of a sentence like this. Would it be understood without the EL


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RickFidelisReed

The "Correct Answer" is just wrong. I answer, IMHO, "I had given it to him" should be correct. If not, what am I missing or not understanding?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miguel280968

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

Thanks Miguel.

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!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miguel280968

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!)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

I know exactly what you mean about what our brains read. I just blame it on my eyesight. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miguel280968

Ha ha...I wish! Years ago I was trying to clean my watch that seemed somehow not clean enough for me to see the time...But actually that was the beginning for me to need spectacles! If they made them to put on our brain too...Es posible que pueden ayudar también! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RonaldPrid

Spanish dict and google translated it as "I had given it to him"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

Then, they are both wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RonaldPrid

I believe that dl's translation is incorrect


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

No, it's correct.

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