I guess the 'le' (and the 'them' in the english translation) could be referring to 'domande'. But is there any reason that it doesn't accept "Certainly he will have asked her"?
That's because "chieste" agrees with "le", and it can only agree with the direct object, while "her" would be an indirect object. So in this case "le" is the direct object. You can use the clitic pronoun "le" as an indirect object but in this case it would be "chiesto", not "chieste". In that sentence there is no indirect object specified - you have no way of knowing who is being asked.
The only problem is that in the dictation, "chieste" sounds like "chiesto" to me.
I think "chiedere le domande" is ungrammatical (unless you mean "ask for the questions"), so I don't think le and chieste refer to domande. "Certainly he will have asked her" as a translation doesn't explain the E ending on chieste.
Maybe it's not the best lexical choice, but why should "chiedere le domande" be ungrammatical?
Maybe that's a better way of saying it. "Ask a question" is "fare una domanda."
The translation doesn't seem right to me - I would translate "Certainly he will have asked for them". Here the verb "chiedere" means "to ask for".
he will have asked them = either lui gli avrà chiesto or lui avrà chiesto loro
he will have asked her = lui le avrà chiesto (note that here "chiesto" agrees in number and gender with the subject, while in "lui le avrà chieste", "chieste" agrees with the object "le")
I thought asking to a person used an indirect object so this would have meant he asked 'her' instead of 'them'.
To say ask them the right pronoun would be 'gli', right?
this was my impression as well .. it is too bad, there aren't any explanations here
I believe it would be "loro", then, the plural indirect object pronoun. "Gli" is singular :)
Chiedere qualcosa a qualcuno = to ask somebody (for) something. The indirect object is the person being asked, and the direct object is the thing being asked for. So I think the translation should be Surely he (or she) will have asked him for them.
Why is "le" not her? Isn't this the Ind. Obj. pronoun? Them would be "loro"? If not, how would you say "he will have asked her" And I don't understand "asked for them"
"le" can be both an indirect (feminine singular) and direct (feminine plural) object pronoun. In this case it is a direct object pronoun that refers to something feminine and plural (e.g. "le sedie", "le magliette"), and you can see that because the "chieste" part of the verb changes accordingly, while it does not change when "le" is used as an indirect object pronoun: compare "lui le avrà chiesto" ("he will have asked her") and "lui gli avrà chiesto" ("he will have asked him"). It can be useful to remind that while in English you ask "for something", in Italian you ask "something" (direct object).
This is a very difficult part of Italian grammar! Clitic pronouns such as "le" and "gli" behave differently than "normal" pronouns such as "lui" and "lei". At which point of the tree is this topic presented?
This is a well stated explanation. I am very grateful. It is still not totally clear, but now I know why it's not clear. I'll have to spend some time digesting the difference between Eng. & It. usage of these pronouns. Thank you very much.
The right pronoun for them is "loro" but in this sentence them is traslated by "le" which means something female and plural. (if it was something plural and masculine it would be "li")
As explained by several people above-
"le" only means her if it is an INDIRECT object. If it had been an indirect object here then chiestO would have been the participle--the participle only changes to agree with DIRECT OBJECTS--
but it was chiestE- which means "le" has to be a DIRECT object agreeing with the end of the participle. And in Italian, the DIRECT object of chiedere is the thing you ask for. The person you ask is an INDIRECT object.
He will have asked her- Le avra' chiesto
He will have asked for her (or a feminine it) - La avra' chiesta
He will have asked them - Avra' chiesto loro
He will have asked for them -Le avra' chieste or Li avra' chiesti