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"Something has happened to my car."

Translation:Algo le ha pasado a mi coche.

5 years ago

47 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/wcraig3927
wcraig3927
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Why not "Algo ha pasado a mi coche."?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheSupernatural

If you have an indirect object, you need the le

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Herb13
Herb13
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Please be more supernaturally explanatory. Some of us don't have your superpowers :-) See Melita2's very helpful explanation below.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Melita2

My explanation is above now :-). OK, folks, in Spanish, they have this thing about using an obligatory indirect pronoun 'le' before the verb and a optional indirect noun after the verb to explain the 'le'. You cannot leave out the 'le' but you can leave out the noun, if it is not needed to understand the sentence. I gave the book to Juan. Le di el libro a Juan. You must use the 'le' but if everyone knows to whom you gave the book, you can just say: I gave the book to him. Le di el libro. You CANNOT say: Di el libro a Juan. Bad, bad, bad...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mandydax
mandydaxPlus
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Eight years of Spanish in high school and college, and I'm just learning this now? Have a lingot. TYVM.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MarkofSky

In this sentence what is the object?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Melita2

Marko, there is no direct object, but coche is the indirect object, which is why the "le" (indirect object pronoun) is necessary along with "a mi coche".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LowKey99

This is really hard. Thanks Melita. I will have to work on this.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ranchers1

Hello LowKey99; I know what you mean. You aren't alone. It's fun learning though.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda_from_NJ

This has been very hard for me, too, LowKey99, but perhaps it may help you to remember that the genitive case (which is the "a mi coche" part) is always the indirect object.

Also, "lo" is the direct object pronoun that goes before the verb and means either "it" or "him," and "la" is the direct object pronoun that goes before the verb and is used for the feminine. The indirect object pronoun changes to "le" for the singular third person, and "se" for the plural third person.

The problem with this sentence is that it is counterintuitive to use the indirect object pronoun "le" when usually you see the direct object "lo" when there is only one object pronoun appearing in front of the verb. My reasoning as to why "le" is used instead of "lo" appears below this comment. I would love to hear from a native Spanish speaker as to whether my analysis is correct.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda_from_NJ

IMO, the most connotative translation of the Spanish sentence "Algo le ha pasado a mi coche" to English is "Something has happened to my car," which is natural sounding English syntax. Literally, the Spanish syntax applied to English words is "Something (it) has happened to (it) my car," with the first "it" being a null subject pronoun that does not actually appear in this English sentence, just as "it" does not appear when acting as a null subject pronoun in Spanish. The second null "it" (supplied for English syntactic purposes) is an English appositive pronoun equivalent to the Spanish indirect object "car."

However, as DanD8 points out below, this Spanish sentence and its English translation are both using "algo" instead of the null "it" as the subject. Also, as gmalcom77 points out below, it is correct Spanish grammar that if an indirect object (think "car") receives the action, then there must be an indirect object pronoun used to indicate that action was received. In this particular Spanish sentence, the direct object has been placed at the beginning of the sentence, perhaps for emphasis.

What this means is that the actor (in terms of who or what is acting) in this sentence is "something," and because "something" is being used as the subject of both the English and the Spanish sentence, its translation into Spanish must include a "redundant" (from an English syntactic viewpoint, but not a Spanish syntactic viewpoint) direct object pronoun as a syntactic marker (think "it") so that the sentence contains a direct object (think it/le/algo = the actor) and an indirect object in the genitive case (think a mi coche = the recipient of the action).

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NickJParkinson

How are we to know if an object will be direct or indirect? Do we just have to know whether or not verbs are transitive and the prepositions that they take?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gernt
gernt
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Only intuitively. If you hear this construction and repeat it enough, it will come out right. You don't usually have time during real communication to remember rules. Good thing the text processing programs can catch construction errors as well as spelling.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gmalcolm77

A direct object answers the question 'what'. Indirect objects denote the person or thing to, for, or from whom something is given, told, sent, etc.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/klgdarwin11

Isn't "algo" the direct object?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DanD_8
DanD_8
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Algo is the subject. There is no direct object here.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joehhendrickson

I thought Coche was the object of the prepisition "a." I thought Spanish distinguished between prepositional objects and indirect object and even had different pronouns for them.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gmalcolm77

In Spanish, the indirect object pronoun usually stands alone in front of the verb(except for commands, infinitives, and gerunds) without a preposition. In English, 'I talk TO HIM' vs 'LE hablo' in Spanish. If a prepositional phrase is used as the object of a verb then the pronoun as object of a preposition is used.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BerNico

Yeah, same question for me. Why the "le"?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/votrexflame

I have the same question: Can someone explain why "le" is necessary here?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rocko2012
rocko2012
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I missed it like everyone else here but it is probably required because "a mi coche" is clarification to the shorter sentence "Algo le ha pasado" = "something has happen to it/him/her/etc". Where these evil object pronouns make sense to use we maybe often forced to use them. Something glued to a sentence with an "a" maybe a red flag that tells us we need to think if a object pronoun could be used.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LowKey99

So it's like saying "Something has happened to it, to my car." Another double coverage thing. I love those. Someday I will get the hang of it!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/davidrosa.tt

i'm not sure if i'll ever get the hang of these indirect object pronouns as far as the rules are concerned i'm just memorising phrases and repeating them

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GilGriffith
GilGriffith
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I said Algo ha pasado a mi coche, and my Spanish friend said OK!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/drockalgzemoser
drockalgzemoser
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I would venture to say it's a grammatical construction native speakers often leave out (just 'cuz).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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I would venture your friend doesn't want to correct your Spanish cuz he (she?) is your friend.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/g1hodg
g1hodg
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But is he really his friend? "OK" seems pretty apathetic to me...

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RobertFairless

I used the verb care but it was rejected, i.e. "caido"

por que no?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ArielleM123

I thought that le was only for people.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gernt
gernt
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I put this question to a Cuban Spanish teacher. "¿Cuál suena mejor: Algo le ha pasado a mi coche o Algo ha pasado a mi coche?" She said the le is only theoretically just for people. In the New World, the le would be more commonly used in this construction, but not in Spain. Later she came back to me and said that both constructions sound fine to her. But when it's a person, it HAS to be like Le pasó algo terrible.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gmalcolm77

I looked around at six translation sites for this sentence and Babylon was the only one that required the LE. My grammar tells me that IO pronouns denote the PERSON to, for, or from whom anything is given, told, sent, etc. Note that things (coche) aren't included in this. I have to conclude that while LE may be acceptable usage, here it is certainly in no way necessary or required.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DanD_8
DanD_8
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I'm not totally sure about Spanish, but other languages can have indirect objects that are things. In English one can die for one's country or talk to the wall. Latin literature is full of indirect objects that are things. When I teach my students about (Latin) indirect objects I tell them it's usually "to/for someone" since we tend not to put things into the Dative case, but does happen.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gmalcolm77

Yes, this is true, however, I think they meant the IO pronoun LE isn't used for things as things themselves(coches) definitely can be IO's. Also I understand there may be some difference in Castillan and Latin American usage on this as well to further confuse the issue. Thanks for the good discussion and maybe someone else can kick in on this too as it could benefit us all.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DanD_8
DanD_8
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I checked my Barron's Spanish Grammar book; le can indeed mean "to it". Melita2's explanation above would mean that le would need to cover "to it" for those cases where a thing is the IO. I had never heard of the obligatory indirect pronoun, but it does make a lot of sense.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mdtorress
mdtorress
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Both 2 and 3 are correct

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ehsanz89

"Algo ha pasado a mi coche" is wrong?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JohnV.Wylie

If the car was a person or an animal I would buy this!

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sanna479660

As I find this helpful, I'd like to be able to save a conversation like this for later. Is it possible to find it again?

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gernt
gernt
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"Algo ha sucedido a mi coche" did not work. I'm complaining.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TimEsh

"Algo lo ha pasado a mi coche." Is this wrong because lo is neuter and car is masculine, needing le instead?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithR
KeithR
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It's "le" because it's "to my car". Indirect, not direct, object.

English is very lazy with direct and indirect objects, whereas Spanish is quite strict.

E.g. in English you can say "I sent him the letter" or "I sent the letter to him". In Spanish the first is not possible. The letter is the object, "him" is the recipient of my action with the object, and thus must always be the indirect object: "Le mandé la carta".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RobertFairless

My Exam Spanish Book tells me in a chart about personal pronouns viz. it: nom: el, ello, ella// Accusative: lo// Dative: lo he: nom: el, Acc: le// Dat. le she: nom: ella,// Acc.:la// Dat. le So, IT is always le and le HE is always le and le SHE is la if it is a direct object and le if an indirect object. Order.- Dative before accusative. Confused? There might be easier ways to explain it but this is why schoolboys in the past used to chant these things out like a prayer in order to memorise them.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gmalcolm77

In the indirect object there is no 'lo ' . 'le ' serves for both him and ' it'.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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and also serves for her

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gmalcolm77

So True.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda_from_NJ

Hey guys! When it's a good question, it shouldn't be voted down. Rather, vote up the correct answers to the question.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gernt
gernt
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"Algo ha sucedido a mi coche" did not work. I'm complaining.

3 years ago