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''A'' and ''Le''

I don't understand the meanings of ''a'' and ''le'' in these sentences. What is the rule? Why do we use them? Thank you so much guys!. :)

''Jose no LE habla A ella.'' why a and le?

''A el no LE gusta el pescado.'' why a and le?

''Veo A un hombre.'' why a?

December 8, 2012



This is a tricky one in Spanish. I do not wish to write a long and useless reply, but you have to take a look to the grammar. LE works there as indirect object and some verbs need it.

When a person acts as a direct object, then it has the "a", as in your examples. You can say "veo una casa", but "veo a una casa" is incorrect.

Hope it helps.. I am aware this indirect and direct objects is a pain...


Look up object pronouns here: www.studyspanish.com


I can't answer the question for le (it's something i know but can't explain). as for "a" you have to put it in front of pronouns referencing people


So, in the example of "a el no le gusta el pescado" the "a" and the "le" is there for the same reason. In spanish with the verb "gustar" it's the object that actually does something. A more direct translation would be "The fish is appealing to him". Now, the word order in spanish is not the same but if we throw that around a little big we get "to him is appealing the fish".

That sounds weird, but it's the reason for both the "a" and the "le". So now the only question is why are both of them used? That's just the way it works in Spanish - there is a lot of redundancy where you repeat things where you don't in English. In this particular case though, the "a el" is not actually necessary ("no le gusta el pescado" means the exact same thing), and the same is true in many situations but it is used frequently and there are exampled where you need to use both.

It might be a bit clearer in first person, so an example: "A mi no me gustan los caballos". "gustan" because it's the horses, in plural, that doesn't appeal to "me".

The same thing is true for your first example, but a bit tricky to understand since both "José" and "ella" are in third person. Let's make a first person example: "Yo no le hablo a ella". The verb is conjugated after the person who is talking. the "le" and "a ella" means to whom. So in plural it would, for example, be "yo no les hablo a ellas"

Hopefully that clears it up somewhat. This is called indirect object, and this might help a bit: http://spanish.about.com/od/pronouns/a/indirect_object.htm

As for the A, that's called a "personal A" and this link might help you a bit as well (I have no connection to about.spanish, they just happen to have some decent articles): http://spanish.about.com/cs/grammar/a/personal_a.htm


I understand ''a'' now i guess, thank you. But as for ''le'' i think it is something relavant to verbs like habla, gusta. But i really want to know exactly. :/


Its easy, we use "le" to avoid using an indirect object or to repeat the indirect object, like in the example, "Jose no le habla a Ana" "le" is optional, normaly we use it, but the sentence "Jose no habla a Ana" has the same meaning, in fact, "Jose no le habla" is also correct if the context refers to Ana.

Now, Spanish native speakers have a common mistake with "le", if the direct object is masculine instead of using "lo", some people use "le", lets say "me gusta ver a Juan" (I like to see Juan) the correct form is "me gusta verlo", but as i said, many people will say "me gusta verle" which is wrong but common.

The rule is to contract o strenth the indirect object.

Hope this is useful.

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