La salud lo es todo (why the "lo"?)

Why is the word "lo" included? Isn't "La salud es todo" sufficient? And surely if we do want to put in an article it should be feminine: "La salud, la es todo", or should that be "toda". Notice that I've put a comma in as well. Please can anyone explain the "lo" to me. Many thanks in advance for any replies.

May 5, 2012


Good question. La salud is of course the general subject "health" but the phrase consists of two parts " health" and "it is everything" using the "lo" neuter article (not one or the other) as "it". So literally we are saying "Health, it is everything". It is a tricky (but consistent) part of Spanish grammar.

May 6, 2012

Sorry, ❤❤❤❤, but you are not correct. A native Spanish speaker explained this to me (as well as another helpful soul here on Duo). "Lo" is referring to "todo," not to "la salud." Amaponian (below) is correct.

"Lo" is in the sentence to reinforce that "todo" is an object (a noun) and not an adjective (as it so often is). "Lo" is a direct object pronoun, along with "La."

This native speaker explained to me that without "lo" someone would be left wondering and asking "What is health all of..?" instead of knowing that "Health is everything."

Here's an example of why "Lo" is NOT referring to "La salud." (Or any subject of any sentence for that matter.)

If you were to say, "Él da un regalo." (He gives a gift.) You could replace "un regalo" with "lo" as follows: "Él lo da (un regalo)." or "He gives it, (a gift)."

Notice that lo comes before the verb, but is not the SUBJECT of the verb but is the OBJECT of the verb. "Lo" can not be the subject of any sentence it is an object.

"Él lo es todo." Doesn't mean, "He, it is everything." It means, "He is it, everything" or "He is everything." Likewise, "La salud lo es todo." doesn't mean "Health, it is everything." It means, literally, "Health is it, everything." or "Health is everything."

November 7, 2013

Buena explicación. Gracias.

October 17, 2013

"Lo" is referring to "todo" not to "health" that's why it is not feminine.

May 6, 2012

my Colombian friend says: "la salud lo es todo means that health is important and is the most important thing that you have. La salud es todo sound weird and it just means to some like the health is all"

April 15, 2013

I wonder if one could say "La salud es todo para el doctor".

November 10, 2013

Tricky construction. Usually in a sentence like this lo is the neuter article. One would expect--La salud es lo toda--but that is not the way this one rolls.

October 17, 2013
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