"He treats his employees well."

Translation:Él trata bien a sus empleados.

5 years ago

74 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/suezq
suezq
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So why isn't it, los trata bien a sus empleados ? Help I am really struggling with this and the explanations are usually so complicated they don't really help at all. AAAARRRGGGHHHHH. : (

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thesizeofanocean

To explain it without all the grammar jargon... This is what a native speaker said, about when to use lo/la/los/las.

You say "Yo lo/la/los/las trato bien a él/ella/ellos/ellas."

In any other case, you say "Yo trato bien a *anyone specific; mis empleados, su hijo, etc*".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnnaDunste
AnnaDunste
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Thanks, that's a nice simple explanation, let's see if I can remember it when I need it. ;)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thesizeofanocean

Maybe it helps to note that in this case, lo and a él both mean him. They are used together, to make it specific:

  • "Yo lo trato bien a él" = "I treat him well."

  • "Yo lo trato bien" = "I treat him well" OR "I treat it well".

So a él is used to clarify that it's about him. When context already makes that obvious, you can leave the a él.

Whereas saying "Yo lo trato bien a su hijo" is wrong, because it would mean something like "I treat his son him well." So lo doesn't belong there.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hfh777
hfh777
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thesizeofanocean, your explanation is simplest and clearer I've seen so far.

Have a lingot on me. Use it wisely.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidMoore622957

I'm not sure that's quite right.

You can say in English - "I treat him, his son, well." The "his son" clause clarifies who "him" is. Admittedly, it is not the smoothest sounding sentence, but it is grammatically correct and you will see such constructions in literature. The point is there is no rule that makes it wrong in English.

Spanish rules of grammar are often different from English rules of grammar. Trying to understand why Spanish does or does not allow certain constructions from a purely English speaking point of view can be problematic. The use of object pronouns is a case in point. They simply don't make sense from an English grammar standpoint.

If you really don't want to get bogged down in Spanish grammar rules (and I can certainly empathize with that view), I suggest running through the "obj. pron." drills in Duo until they become second nature. Personally, I find the best approach lies somewhere between becoming a grammar expert and learning solely through trial and error.

EDIT: my comment is really not directed at thesizeofanocean. He or she certainly seems to understand this well enough to try to put it in terms that others can easily grasp. I'm just trying to encourage students to think of Spanish grammar independently of their English usage.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/blibby0

Good explanation! thesizeofanocean!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

my take, from my grammar book: In a simple subject-transitive verb-direct object situation you don't use a pronoun if the direct object is named (as in this situation). If you do you're saying he treats employees/employees. BUT if there is an indirect object and a direct object the INdirect object pronoun must occur before the verb,even if it is named. Miguel gives me the money = Miguel me da el dinero a mi. The 'me' must be used even if you use 'a mi.' This happens with verbs of 'exchange' where something is given, sent, told, taught, delivered, etc. = dar, enregar, mostrar, decir, contar, enviar, mandar, pedir, etc.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/the_wildgoose

This is very helpful. Thanks.

Can i check my understanding then. In your example would the indirect object become optional if it was named and mentioned before the verb?

Would this be correct: A mi Miguel da el dinero

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidMoore622957

No, that would not be correct. First, a mi references a personal pronoun which makes the complement me mandatory. Second, because the object a mi comes before the verb, you also need to include me.

Thus, it would be A mi, Miguel me da el dinero.

I inserted a comma, because it sounds weird to me without it. Spanish doesn't use commas as much as English, but they probably wouldn't start such a sentence with a mi either. To emphasize that Miguel gave me the money and not someone else, you'd only need to include a mi at the end. That's emphasis enough, since a mi is completely redundant. So, I'd write it as rspreng did:

Miguel me da el dinero a mi

With verbs like gustar, you will see constructions similar to yours (i.e., with object first). So, A mi me gusta el dinero - "I like money." Again, the a mi is redundant and can be omitted, but me is required.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreasWitnstein
AndreasWitnstein
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Clitic doubling (i.e. the ‘los’ here) is optional for direct objects, but common if the direct object is animate and definite (as it is here). It should be accepted. Please report it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zacherri10

Clitic doubling with direct object pronouns is actually extremely uncommon unless the direct object is a pronoun, in which case it's obligatory. (ex. "el los trata bien a ellos" is fine, but "el los trata a sus empleados" is considered incorrect.)

see the response from "thesizeoftheocean" above. Or if you want to read the RAE. see this link

http://lema.rae.es/dpd/?key=pronombres+personales+atonos section 5.2

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zhangxiaoye

I have the same problem too? Why is it not "El los trata a sus empleados bien"? I tot there must be an indirect object pronoun (los in this case) as long as long there is an indirect object (sus empleados in this case). Please enlighten me ...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreasWitnstein
AndreasWitnstein
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‘sus empleados’ is a direct object in this sentence. The ‘a’ functions as an accusative preposition here, not as a dative preposition, because the direct object is animate and definite.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bdbarber
bdbarber
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So, what the heck are accusative prepositions and dative prepositions? To the best of my recollection there has been no discussion of such things here.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreasWitnstein
AndreasWitnstein
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An accusative preposition is one that takes a direct object.
A dative preposition is one that takes an indirect object.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheNO237

Then why was "I treat him well" translated to "Yo lo trato a ėl bien?" That seems to follow the same structure.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnnaDunste
AnnaDunste
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maybe because it uses he, a pronoun rather than employees, a noun?.... I don't understand either, just guessing!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VladTepesX

Your answer is actually correct and it should have been accepted.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Felimare
Felimare
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According to the Microsoft translator on Spanish Dictionary "los trata bien a sus empleados" is a correct translation for "he treats his employees well." There is redundancy in this response considering that the "los" refers to "empleados" but to my knowledge such redundancy is not incorrect. This answer was still marked incorrect on 3/13/2018. Reported.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mjhenley

You don't need the pronoun (los) when you have the object (empleados) specified. In other words, if you knew the sentence was referring to employees, you could just say, "he treats them well," or "los grata bien"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/conradlovejoy

I know I'm technically contributing to the clutter; however, I can't help but feel that the DL peeps are having a go at us when they put options like "él come bien a sus empleados." That made me laugh out loud...and simultaneously gave me the creeps.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jellonz
jellonz
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It's not just clutter as it makes a valid point. People often comment about DL's stranger question sentences, but if you bother to translate all the multichoice options you will find some that are downright bonkers. Personally I think, especially on the advanced lessons, DL should make incorrect multichoice answers only a little bit wrong so that we can better understand the nuances of the language, instead of being bashed with options so obviously wrong that they can be dismissed at a glance.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Wonderboy6
Wonderboy6
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what is the most comon form of try? tratar or intentar....or what sitiuatiuons are each used in or are they both equally interchangable?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SarahLeopo1

I found this online.

Probar has a very clear difference and has been elucidated and made distinct very well. Probar is used for testing out, trying food, trying on clothes, for example.

Tratar is to try to do something, to attempt, have a go at, and also means to treat, as in the manner of behaviour you exhibit to a person.

Intentar is to intend to, to mean to do something.

Tratar requires the "de" after, Intentar does not.

How people actually use the verbs, however, is not necessarily reflective of their actual meaning.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gmartins

I answered "el trata sus empleados bien" why do I need "a sus"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/frint93

It's the personal a. When the object is a person or a pet, you need a, even if it doesn't hold a particular meaning

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreasWitnstein
AndreasWitnstein
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The accusative preposition ‘a’ is used only if the direct object is definite, as it is here; and it is used for any animate definite direct object — including jellyfish and swarms of locusts. The term ‘personal a’ is a misnomer, and the supposed restriction to persons and pets is a false rumor, unfortunately widespread on the Internet, which ignores reams of scientific research on the prepositional accusative.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/frint93

Could you please direct me to one of these studies? I have only heard this proposition used for certain animate definite direct objects, and would be interested in research on this topic, particularly for non domestic animals.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreasWitnstein
AndreasWitnstein
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If I had to pick just one, I'd recommend The evolution of differential object marking in Spanish by Klaus von Heisinger & Georg A. Kaiser, 2005, which is fairly recent, because of the historical context it provides. It has a decent bibliography too.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jellonz
jellonz
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Hey Andreas. I have read lots of your comments in discussions and find them succinct, knowledgeable, and above all helpful. Are you sure about this one though? It would mean both the following sites are wrong regarding the absence of the "personal a" with animals that aren't pets: http://spanish.about.com/cs/grammar/a/personal_a.htm http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/persa.htm

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreasWitnstein
AndreasWitnstein
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Yes, they are unfortunately both wrong. There is a vast scholarly literature on this issue, both in philology and contemporary linguistics. Centuries ago, the use of the prepositional accusative ‘a’ was more restricted, but the expansion in its usage in dialects all over the Spanish-speaking world, both written and spoken, is well documented. The source of this obsolete rule, forgivably, is the Real Academía Española, whose job, after all, is to conserve the Spanish language.

For a particularly clear example, see the headline of a recent article in El País, the newspaper of record in Spain: «Encoger salvó a los dinosaurios de la extinción» = “Shrinking saved the dinosaurs from extinction”. The extinction the dinosaurs were saved from occurred, the article says, 66 million years ago — more than 60 million years before “persons” or “pets” came on the scene. Moreover, this is a scientific article discussing dinosaurs in a detached, impersonal way.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jellonz
jellonz
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I asked the question on SpanishDict to get native speakers' opinions, and they don't agree. They all said the same - only people, pets, and anthropomorphised direct objects require the "personal a," so I don't know. When it comes down to academic texts versus native speakers I think I'm going to have to go with the real life people on this one.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreasWitnstein
AndreasWitnstein
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In Spanish, when the direct object of a verb is definite and animate, it always takes the preposition ‘a’.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/plainanjelik

What I don't understand is when the sentence "he treats him well" shows up duolingo forces use of the object pronoun. Why is it wrong in this case? Isn't it basically the same sentence with empleados being the object this time?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/through2014

When, oh when, will I remember to use the personal a? Argh!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GringoSolo

I struggle with this whole IO/DO subjective completion business (sounds like charlie browns teacher) and i am a native english speaker who never learndeded grammar, sentence structure, see spot run. Run spot run, stuff. :-B

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreasWitnstein
AndreasWitnstein
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Grammatical terminology and rules are crutches that sometimes helps those familiar with them to learn a foreign language faster. If linguistics isn't your thing, don't worry, you can master a foreign language perfectly the natural way, just by using it — the way you learned your first language.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Yerrick
Yerrick
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Well, technically you can't; learning your first language happened before you were really sapient or self-aware, before your earliest memories were formed. All languages learned after the age of two or so are different because they're conscious and intellectual activities, rather than purely intuitive and instinctive. And they're perceived in contrast with, or through the filter of, your first language.

On the other hand, yes, immersion is a perfectly valid way to learn a language.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arunkumar90

Él sus empleados trata bien is wrong? Why?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hazeleyedmonster

Why is "él trata a sus empleadas bien" wrong? What, there can't be an all female work force? Is "empleado" a gendered noun like "la victima"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreasWitnstein
AndreasWitnstein
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It's not wrong. No, ‘empleado’ is neither epicene (having the same form and grammatical gender regardless of the sex of the creature referred to) nor common-gender (having the same form but changing grammatical gender in agreement with the sex of the creature referred to). In general, all nominal adjectives (including nominal past participles such as ‘emplead{o|a}’) ending in ‘-o’ or ‘-a’ change their form and grammatical gender to agree with the sex of the creature referred to.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hazeleyedmonster

Thanks for the grammatically precise answer.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vlauntern

And the employees treat him well

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/suezq
suezq
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Thanks for that, but I refer you to my previous comment, you lost me at subject-transitive. Sorry.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DuoMonster
DuoMonster
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Is sus necessary here

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreasWitnstein
AndreasWitnstein
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Yes. In Spanish, possessive adjectives (‘mi(s)’, ‘tu(s)’, ‘su(s)’, ‘nuestr{o|a}(s)’, ‘vuestr{o|a}(s)’) are not required, and normally not used, for inalienable possessions such as body parts, but they are generally required for alienable possessions such as employees. Without the ‘sus’, «El trata bien a los empleados.» would, out of context, mean that he treats all employees well, not just his own.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lifeseyephoto

But why is it sus instead of su? He is singular.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreasWitnstein
AndreasWitnstein
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All Spanish possessive adjectives (like Spanish adjectives in general) agree in number with the noun the modify. Here, ‘su’ modifies ‘empleados’, which is plural, so ‘sus’ is pluralized.

The possessive adjective ‘su(s)’ mean ‘his’, ‘her’, ‘their’, or ‘your [formal]’. To distinguish between these, in place of ‘su + noun’ you have to use the paraphrase ‘noun de {él | ella |, ellos | ellas | used | ustedes}’.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gerbair

I used empleadas. Why was this considered wrong with the correct answer being empleados?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreasWitnstein
AndreasWitnstein
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«Él trata bien a sus empleadas.» should be accepted. It assumes either that all his employees are female, or that the speaker is only claiming that the subject treats his female employees well.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TamFerg33

Why is "él trata empleados de él bien" wrong?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreasWitnstein
AndreasWitnstein
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The phrase ‘his employees’, even if it refers to someone else's employees, is definite, so you have to say ‘los empleados de él’; and since it's also the direct object and animate, you need to use the accusative preposition ‘a’: «Él trata a los empleados de él bien.».

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rebecca2663

Why is 'los empleados de él, él trata bien' wrong?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/knwoke

I used bueno instead of bien and got it wrong. Why???

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreasWitnstein
AndreasWitnstein
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‘bien’=“well” is an adverb, modifying the verb, the verb phrase, or the sentence here.

‘bueno’=“good” is an adjective, which can only modify a noun or noun phrase, and has to agree in number and gender with the noun or noun phrase it modifies. The only noun here is ‘empleados’=“employees”, so you could say ‘Él trata a sus empleados buenos.’, but that would mean “He deals with his good employees [i.e. with those of his employees who are good].”; or ‘Él trata a sus buenos empleados.’, which would mean “He deals with his good employees [i.e. with his employees, who are good].”.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dleehii

Would los have been necessary if the sentence was "he treated them well?"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marcy65brown
marcy65brown
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Yes. He treated them well = Él los trató bien.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jamal459325
Jamal459325
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Why it is sus empleados and not su empleados? ?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jellonz
jellonz
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"Su / sus" is a possessive adjective and must match number with the noun it is describing.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gordonjackson1

Is this a personal "a"??

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marcy65brown
marcy65brown
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Yes, it is. It comes before people (in this sentence) who are the direct object of the sentence.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GloriaGoeke

Ok so a basic question for you that consistently confuses me. Su vs. sus. I use it as su for his in one place and am told to "watch gender". The next screen is use sus for his and again get told to "watch gender". Please help me understand when to use which.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jellonz
jellonz
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Both "su" and "sus" can be "his / hers / theirs / its" so the "watch gender" message sounds strange. I can only assume DL is trying to say "watch number" because it is the number that must match. Use "su" if the object being modified (possessed) is singular, "sus" if it is plural. Here "empleados" is plural so "sus" is required.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OMichaelMageo

Why is "bien" at the beggining of the sentenc

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hughmcjr
Hughmcjr
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El trata sus empleados bien

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VladTepesX

You can't say that. It has to be: Él trata bien a sus empleados.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IrisDurfee

Can someone explain why there is an "a" before "sun"?

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rand0mTurt13

But why isn't it "Él trata a sus trabajos bien?" Does bien have to be in front?

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IyeshaODon1

Why not 'el trata sus empleados bueno'?

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KazzLewsader

So, I'm confused as to when to add the word "a". Can someone explain or cite a rule?

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Espanolisto

I put "Él trato bien a sus empleados". It's him treating a masculine plural noun well, so why is duo insisting i use the feminine form trata instead of trato?

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jellonz
jellonz
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"Tratar" isn't an adjective, it's a verb, and it needs to be conjugated third person singular here, so "trata" is correct. "Trato" would be first person singular.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DaveLange2

What does the 'a' do in the sentence? It has no counterpart in the English grammatical structure.

6 months ago
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