But I learned that the direct object pronoun is 'lo' or 'la' / 'los' or 'las' and the indirect one is 'le' or 'les'.
And there is a special 'se' that is used instead of 'le' / 'les'. The reason is not grammatical but phonetic one. It is just that Spanish does not like two L syllables in close proximity. So 'le lo', 'les lo', 'le la', 'les la' -these pairs are not likened by Spanish, so they use 'se' instead of 'le' / 'les'.
So a valid sentence may be: Se lo presentan a su familia. which may be translated as: 'They present him (or formal you masc.) to their family / to his or her family / your (of formal you) family.'
PS: One more thing I've just recalled and which I consider is important to the Duo's sentence discussion: An indirect object pronoun always precedes (and direct object pronoun, if any) the verb and then the indirect object is repeated with a like 'a él' , 'a ella' , 'a ellos' , 'a ellas' , 'a mi' , 'a ti' , 'a usted' etc. for clarity or for emphasis. In this pattern, clearly the repetition is optional but 'le' , 'les' or 'se' to which the repetition points to is essential.
Quite a characteristic Spanish pattern, is not it !
Looking again at Duo's sentence, it is now quite clear 'a su familia' is not the repetition I've just discussed - but the direct object with personal 'a' !
it depends on the relationship between 'ellas' if the family is the same for everyone in the subject, them family is singular, if the women in the subject have diferent families then the correct form is 'sus'. In your example You are sayint that they are introducing the family of another person.
I think, lacking another context, that the possessive pronoun ("su" in this case) is assumed to refer to the subject ("ellas" in this case). If clarification is necessary, then "de ____" can be added after the noun ("familia" in this case). We sometimes run into the same problem in English.
I just meant that sometimes it can be difficult to understand/express the intended meaning of the pronoun or possessive adjective. For example, you're telling a story about two (or more people) and at some point you use "his", but then you have to clarify.
But, of course, context is everything and those situations don't come up all that often. And, for all the confusion it causes us (learners), native Spanish speakers (that I've talked to) say it's really not a big deal for them, even though su can mean so many things.
i think in that situation, the context makes it clear. But yes, I suppose it can be confusing in English sometimes. I think it's worse in Spanish because sometimes a word can mean more than one thing, like "su".. his, her, or even your! ps - I think "we" is just called a pronoun, as I recall. Or personal pronoun? I forget. Possessive adjective, i think, is like "his".
This is one of the most interesting 'translations actually. It allows for discussions of the reflexive, presentarse as well as the need for 'a' as stated below with 'veo' when object is a person or people. And ambiguity in reality is present (oops) in language in real use. I think the feelings of 'hard done by' are not that serious, it is free and it is so easy to run through again, indeed it is good practice to practise the practice, it just gets a tad frustrating when on the last question and your favourite programme is about to start on TV!
In Spanish, a direct object is marked with the preposition ‘a’ if it's definite and animate. In this sentence, ‘familia’ is the direct object of ‘presentan’; and the determiner ‘su’ makes it definite; and, being composed of animate beings, it's animate.
Since the preposition ‘a’ is also used to mark the indirect object in Spanish, this this prepositional accusative (=‘acusativo preposicional’) can cause confusion between the direct object and an indirect object; however, because of the relatively free word order in Spanish, it preserves the more-important distinction between the direct object and the subject, and analogous direct-object marking has developed in many free-word-order languages.
The prepositional accusative is also called by other names, including differential object marking and, for Spanish, by the misleading term personal ‘a’ — misleading because it's used for all animate definite direct objects, not just for ‘persons’.
The preposition is always ‘a’ in Spanish. It is used with all transitive verbs, such as ‘perseguir’=“to chase”.
Examples with a definite animate direct object, where the accusative preposition ‘a’ is used: singular human: ‘Persigo al ladrón.’ = “I'm chasing the thief.”, ‘Persigo a mi hermano.’ = “I'm chasing my brother.”, ‘Persigo a Juan.’ = “I'm chasing Juan.”; plural human: ‘Persigo a los ladrones.’ = “I'm chasing the thieves.”; non-human animal: ‘Persigo a la mariposa.’ = “I'm chasing the butterfly.”; human group: ‘Persigo al equipo.’ = “I'm chasing the team.”; non-human group of animals: ‘Persigo al rebaño.’ = “I'm chasing the flock.”.
Indefinite animate direct object, where the accusative preposition ‘a’ is not used: ‘Persigo un ladrón.’ = “I'm chasing a thief.”.
Definite inanimate direct object, where the accusative preposition ‘a’ is not used: ‘Persigo una idea.’ = “I'm chasing an idea.”.
Definite animate non direct object, where the accusative preposition ‘a’ is not used: ‘Lo persigo con mi hermano.’ = “I'm chasing it with my brother.”.
Hi Sabrina - AndreasWitnstein gives good examples but Duolingo also uses similar sentences to explain the verbs used. El ayuda a la familia = he helps the family. Since the family is a specific it has the a before it. Also when speaking about a specific man or woman you say El ayuda al hombre (a + el) or el ayuda a la mujer. Indicating that the the He who is helping is familiar with the person he is helping.
Or in talking el habla a la mujer. he is talking to the woman (the woman is someone he knows.)
The translation I used (and it was marked correct) was "They introduce their family" so I think it's understood that they are introducing their family to other people without implying the introduction was reciprocated. (Imagine the family being presented/introduced on stage without anyone else necessarily being introduced to the family in return.)
It is information lost, and that is okay. In English, we don't specify gender when we use the word 'they'. By translating it to 'ladies', you are adding information that may not be true. All we know is that it is a group of females. It could be girls (niñas) or women/ladies (mujeres). It is always better to exclude information than to add information that maybe incorrect.
The subject is "they" not "the girls." We know from the Spanish that the "they" is a group of females of indeterminate age, but that's not something that English can convey. It is entirely possible that the "they" are women who would be greatly offended by being called "girls."
The verb presentar is a transitive verb and requires a direct object. That direct object is "(someone's) family." Because it's a specific group of people, the direct object must be indicated by the preposition a. This is often referred to as the "personal a."
I think the best, but by no means only, translation of this one is, "They are introducing their family."