"Ellos me escribieron."
Translation:They wrote to me.
In the Spanish sentence? It is implied. In the Spanish sentence, me is an indirect object, which by definition, says who the action is being directed towards. We have to fill in the preposition in English, but it isn't needed in Spanish for indirect object pronouns.
As far as why some American English speakers say that They wrote me sounds correct, I'm not convinced. To me, it sounds strange to have an indirect object written this way without a direct object in the sentence.
They wrote me sounds incorrect (to my ears) but They wrote me a letter sounds perfectly fine.
And how do you say "They wrote on me" in Spanish?
Can you write this using a direct object pronoun?
It is confusing when we focus on how it is said in English. Thanks for explaining the SPANISH meaning - it makes perfect sense to me now!
Actually when I learned English in Grade school (from a flawed teacher) I was taught that the me in to me was not actually an indirect object. Me is the object of the preposition to, and the prepositional phrase stood in lieu of an indirect object pronoun. You talk about American usage. Does that mean you are not American? In American English I wrote him is absolutely correct, and considered by many to be better since prepositional phrases make a sentence sound stringy.
It's sort of a casual way of speaking to drop with the preposition in this case. "How did they contact you?" "They wrote me. " I still think they shouldn't allow it but I can see why they do.
Let's go over 2 scenarios and clear all this up.
1) Assuming 2 speakers and Standard English.
A: How are you Mark? B: I am doing well. Did you hear back from your brothers?
At this point we are going to figure out which of the two responses is the correct one to use:
1A: Yes, they wrote me. 2A: Yes, they wrote to me.
The first answer may be appropriate when having a slang conversation, but you would not say or write 'they wrote me' in any other context. Knowing this information, the conversation between our two people would end like this:
A: How are you Mark? B: I am doing well. Did you hear back from your brothers? A: Yes, they wrote to me.
2) Assuming 2 speakers and Southern American English:
A: How goes it Mark? B: Good. Hey, did you hear from your bros? A: Yes, they wrote me.
I hope this helps us see the difference between Standard English use and slang sub-varieties. Using sub-varieties, 'they wrote me' is acceptable, however, we are learning Standard English and thus, 'they wrote me' is an unacceptable answer.
I hope this helps us to understand the context. : )
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "They wrote me" is acceptable in North America
2.1 North American Write and send a letter to.
‘Mother wrote me and told me about poor Simon's death’
Essentially, for those of us in the US, the preposition is optional unless needed for clarity to distinguish between "They wrote me" (a letter) and "They wrote me" (the word "me" was actually written). Generally, the context is clear in conversation, so the "to" would be extraneous. Also, one can distinguish the two concepts above in writing with quotes:
They wrote me. (a letter) The wrote "me". (the word me)
However, I'm a strong advocate in understanding, when possible, the grammatical differences from one country to another. The purpose of language is to communicate. In the UK and when speaking to someone from the UK, I would do my best to say "I wrote to him". (I would also do my best to remember to talk about my trousers instead of my pants and not to look shocked if anyone asked me for a rubber.)
It may be the literal translation, but it doesn't convey the best SPANISH meaning. See Wazzie's explanation above.
I was going to ask,"Why is a personal 'a' not needed here?". When I looked into it, I realised the answer is - because there is no direct object. To me, it appears that a Spaniard thinks like a Brit and would disapprove of "I wrote him", because that really sounds like a direct object. The American is a corruption analagous to, in a sport, the difference between "I passed the ball to him" and "I passed him the ball" (and I don't think anyone would defend "I passed him", or would they?
How would you say, "They wrote 'me'"? As in, they wrote the word "me" on a blackboard.
At normal speed, it sounds exactly like "Ellos ne escribieron." At slow speed it's "me" but at normal speed it is definitely "ne." This audio is really bad.
Is it possible to write "Ellos me escribieron a yo" ? Since "Yo le escribo a e'l" is the long version of "Yo le escribo"?
It is possible if you want to put extra emphasis on the fact that it's me they wrote to. But other than that it's pretty redundant.
Me can only ever refer to one person - the speaker. On the other hand le can refer to any person outside of the conversation (or even within the conversation if you use the usted form), so it's customary to define further which person is talked about with the "a [persona]" object. Unless the context makes it unambiguous whom you're talking about.
EDIT: Yes, gosh. I overlooked that one. You can't write "a yo", it would need to be "a mí". The pronouns used after prepositions are different than the nominative pronouns for yo, tú, and reflexive 3rd persons, becoming mí, ti and sí, respectively.
No. Spanish doesn't have much of a case system left either, but you can't put yo as the object of a preposition. It would be possible to say Ellos me escribieron a mi, but that would be unnecessarily redundant even for Spanish and would only be said for absolute emphasis if at all by a native speaker. The third person objects le and se can refer to multiple possible subject pronouns, so it is not uncommon to have that clarified with a prepositional phrase. But me only refers to yo and is never ambiguous.