No. The sentence is grammatically incorrect. Look at the English translation of your sentence to have a better understanding:
"She reads a book to he"
The sentence is grammatically incorrect because "él" is a subject pronoun (subject pronoun references a thing that is performing an action) when in fact, an object pronoun is needed (object pronoun references a thing that is having an action performed upon it). The "he" being referenced in this sentence is having an action performed upon him, so the word that references him must be an object pronoun. "le" is an object pronoun, and it is necessary for this sentence to be grammatically correct. "a él" is unnecessary, though it can be used to clarify the gender of the indirect object pronoun "le".
"Ella le lee un libro" - This is sufficient, though the gender of the indirect object pronoun "le" is ambiguous. Adding "a él" would simply clarify that it is a male being referenced by "le".
Thank you for bringing that up, as the tips and notes by Duolingo do not mention objects of a preposition. I'm native English speaker, German as a second language - in both those languages, we could not use the subject pronoun as the object of a preposition. One cannot say "to he" or "zu er". I was surprised (and confused) to see the subject pronoun (él) used with a preposition. Duolingo should have included something about that in the tips and notes.
Brilliant explanation, it's now finally starting to make sense.
However "Ella lee un libro a él" still seems to give me the information that I need to work out what is being said, and this is why i've always found it so confusing.
Is it only grammatically incorrect or does that phrase, without the object pronoun, actually mean something different?
a él does not stand on its own, it must tell you what the ´le´is standing for (That is, you are not saying the same thin twice. The ´le´ is necessary and sufficient for the sentence without any clarification. Though the sentence is complete the ´a él´ can be used to tell you who the indirect object is that the sentence is referring).
In Spanish we use to repeat the indirect object in a sentence. So these are the options:
Ella le lee un libro a Juan
Ella le lee un libro a él
Ella le lee un libro (if we know by context the person affected by the action)
"le" and "Juan/ a él", both refers to him.
Ella lee un libro a él (without using "le") would not be correct, although I can understand the sentence perfectly.
The use of the indirect object pronoun ("le," in the sentence--Ella le lee un libro a él.--but also te, se, les, nos ) along with an object of a preposition (él) is one of the tougher Spanish grammar rules to master, if your first language is English. Other examples: A mi me dieron el dinero. They gave me the money. A Paco le diro el libro. He gave Paco the book. HERE IS THE TRICKY PART: If the object of the preposition is NOT a personal pronoun, and it appears after the verb, the indirect object pronoun is optional. Por ejemplo: Dieron el dinero a mi madre. They gave the money to my mother. Dio el libro a Paco. He gave the book to Paco. [Obviously, the indirect pronouns not used in these two sentences.] OR 1) Le di el collar a la chica. 2) Di el collar a la chica. (Both are correct, but the first is more common). Otro ejemplo: 3)Le doy las flores a Maria. 4) Doy las flores a Maria. (First example more common).
- The IO tells us where the DO is going. The IO answers the question "to whom" or "for whom. The IO pronouns are: me, te, le, nos, os, les. Place the pronoun before the conjugated verb. Think in phrases, do not translate word-for-word.
*Prepositional phrases are often used for clarity and for emphasis.
check the "tips and notes"...it seems that since you can use le for you/him/it/you, 'a él' resolves the ambiguity about to whom the book is read.
Imagine if there were four people, the speaker, the reader, and two possible listeners (male and female). Saying "Ella le lee un libro" doesn't indicate which person she is reading the book to. "Ella le lee un libro a él" does.
I have had similar experiences. It could be my accent - or it could be an inadequacy in the voice recognition or the quality of the microphone. Surprisingly, my iPhone understands my Spanish much better than my MacBook does. I finally gave up using the microphone at all because I wasted too much time trying to make my phone or my computer understand me.
Even if that's accurate (I have no idea, sadly), I still see no difference between the two :( If you need to specify that it's a male person she's reading to, why would you still include the "le"? It looks like "She reads to him/her/you a book to him." I hope I'm missing something
Either "Ella le lee un libro" or "Ella le lee un libro a (insert a man's name or a masculine pronoun here)" is grammatically correct, but the "le" before the verb must always be included, regardless whether the person being read to is specifically identified after the verb.
"le" is used for him and her. The rest of the pronouns are:
Ella ME lee un libro (a mí) :she reads me a book / Ella TE lee un libro (a ti) :she reads you a book (informal you) / Ella LE lee un libro (a él) : she reads him a book / Ella LE lee un libro (a ella) :she reads her a book / Ella LE lee un libro (a usted) : she read you a book (formal you) / Ella NOS lee un libro (a nosotros/nosotras) : she reads us a book / Ella LES lee un libro (a ellos) : she reads them a book (male they) / Ella LES lee un libro (a ellas) : she reads them a book (female they) / Ella LES lee un libro (a ustedes) : she reads you a book (plural you, you all) /
The LE and LES pronouns are used for 3 different subjects that is why we tend to specify by adding "a él", "a ella", "a usted". If by the context, we are certain that we are talking about "him" or "her", we don't need to use the "a él/ella" part. For the rest of the subjects, we do not need to add "a mí" "a ti" etc. as it is clear, unless we want to put more emphasis in the message. For example: La abuela me dio un dulce (Grandma gave me a candy) vs La abuela me dio los dulces a mí, no a ti (Grandma gave the candies to me, not to you). I'm not sure about the accurate translation into English as I'm a native speaker of Spanish.
She him she reads a book to him. I have read the explanations on why this works, I understand that the sentence structure is different than the English translation, but my brain still is having trouble wrapping it's thick self around this object pronoun rubbish. It is so strange and even though I try to just accept it even though it is so odd to me ,my brain keeps wanting to reorganize the sentence into the way it would be in English. I'm so discouraged, I've never been more stuck than I am with this concept! I've been working at it for months and it still throws me for a loop.
As a someone who also studies French, I thought that putting 'a él' is bit redundant. We would've just said 'Elle lui lis un livre' and lui could mean him or her. But I'm really starting to like Spanish because it actually makes an effort to be more specific, the pronunciation is more straightforward (less silent letters), and I feel like it's more efficient (you can say 'soy' instead of 'yo soy').
"She reads to him a book" is an unnatural word order in English. It would be understood, and I see no grammatical error in it; however, present-day native English speakers would say "She reads a book to him" or "she reads him a book." The important thing is that you did understand what the Spanish sentence meant.
So could I have written 'Ella lo lee un libro a el' ? As this is also a male object pronoun. Does it depend on the verb, as in this case we're using 'leer' which is a verb you can do to someone (i.e. read to) so by saying 'le lee' we're saying 'reads TO him' instead of 'lo lee' which would mean 'read him'.
Sorry if that sounds really confusing, just trying to explain my confused thoughts!
Christ on a cracker this language is infuriatingly complex in all the stupidest places. As a native English speaker I'm glad i never actually have to learn Spanish. Or any other language really... I'm gonna go drink my mayonnaise champagne and enjoy my avocado toast. Later plebians.