"Can we pay for a one-way ticket to the moon for him?"
Translation:On peut lui payer un aller simple pour la Lune ?
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The syntax is clear. Thank you! The way that French uses indirect objects ... not so much. If I write
I pay you $10 for a t-shirt for Anne
then the direct object is $10 and the indirect object is "you". "T-shirt" and "Anne" are objects of prepositional phrases that provide more detail, but they aren't objects of the verb "pay". I have gotten used to French ignoring the $10 and treating "a t-shirt" as the direct object of payer. (Would that be je te paye un t-shirt pour Anne?) But the idea that Anne would be viewed as the indirect object of "pay" blows my mind.
Exactly! We agree that Anne isn't an indirect object. Meanwhile, in the French sentence we're actually talking about, lui plays exactly the same role as Anne, being the recipient of the item being paid for. Yet somehow lui becomes an indirect object! I'm not arguing about whether that's right in French --- I'm just a beginner, after all --- just that it's extremely counter-intuitive.
Now I'm totally confused. I thought we agreed that when we say "for Anne", there's no way to think of Anne as an indirect object. But when we say "for him", then in French "him" becomes an indirect object?! Please explain. If "him" doesn't refer to the money being paid, or the person receiving the payment, or even the item being paid for, then how can it be an indirect object of "to pay"?
Edit: I may have misinterpreted your last message. Did you mean that "yes, in French they treat the beneficiary of the purchase as an indirect object of "to pay", and I agree that's weird", or "of COURSE lui is an indirect object, since it replaces for him. What's strange about that"?
My question isn't so much the placement of the Indirect Object as it is the use of "pour". In most other exercises, Duo uses directional constructions like "à la" or "jusqu'à la" or something like that. Is this, in fact, the preferred construction or merely an acceptable one? I think it's a bit of a failure on Duo's part not to make that kind of clarification.
I think the discussion above makes clear that we're paying the price of his ticket to go to the moon. The weird thing is that, depending on the sentence, the direct object of payer can be either the money you're paying or the thing you're buying, while the indirect object can either be the person you're giving the money to or the person you're buying the item for.
A direct object receives the action of the verb; an indirect object indirectly receives the action of a verb (often preceded by to or for). I buy the book for you. "book" is the DO and "you" is the IO. In French, often they omit the words to/for when using an IO pronoun. same sentence in French would be "Je t'achete le livre." Going back to your first comment, in the sentence "On peut lui payer etc. " we ARE paying for him, hence IOP (lui)
I think we have a difference in terminology that doesn't actually matter for understanding French. I was taught that:
1) I give you a book has a direct object (a book) and an indirect object (you).
2) I give a book to you has a direct object (a book) and does not have an indirect object. Instead, the prepositional phrase to you adds extra information (the same information as an indirect object would), and you is the object of the preposition to.
3) A verb can only have one direct object (which might be plural, of course) and one indirect object, but can be modified by an arbitrary number of prepositional phrases: I bought a ticket [for him] [to the moon][on sale] [for $1,000] [on Wednesday] [at the store] [on a whim].
For the verb payer (to pay/ to pay for)
I am paying him for two tickets for Jack. Je lui paie deux billets pour Jack.
In Duo's exercise, "for him" is neither a direct or indirect object of the verb. The French sentence does not mean what the English sentence means.
On peut payer un aller simple pour la lune pour lui ?
The recipient of the payment would be the indirect object of the verb in French, but in this example, there is no indirect object.