1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "A mi padre no le importa el …

"A mi padre no le importa el dinero."

Translation:My father does not care about money.

December 29, 2012



It is hard for people to get used to the idea that Spanish is structured differently than their own native language. However, language is not a sentient being that would care if you think it sounds odd. And millions of Spanish speakers do not think their language is oddly structured. I have reasonable success just repeating these "odd" structures and remembering it is not the language that is the problem. It is me that is the problem. So just relax and be glad we don't all speak the same way. It would make the world a dull place.


Great comment from Roger_Burke.


True. Language is created by humans so let it be that way if that's how they want it to be.


yes let's join hands now while facing the mother tree


Absolutamente correcto


I just have a short conclusion based on the others, since too many comments here. Maybe some of mine are incorrect. 1. "A" is not a "personal a". A = to. 2. "(el) dinero" is the virtual subjuct. "Mi padre" is the indirect object. There is no direct object visualized in the sentence. "Le" = "Mi padre", and the latter is just a repeat of the former. Without "Mi padre" the sentence is OK, but the readers cannot know whom "Le" is. 3. This sentence is a backward one. You may just reverse it for easier understanding - "El dinero no le importa a mi padre."


Agree with you on some counts, smallquanni. "mi padre" is part of a prepositional phrase that clarifys the indirect object pronoun le. If you compare this sentence to the most well-known verb that behaves this way, it may make it easier to understand: A mi padre le gusta el chocolate.


By using gustar as an example, you really cleared the fog for me. Thanks! I gave you a lingot; use it in good health.


There are many verbs that behave in the "gustar-fashion" but Duolingo doesn't include them. I have even advocated for a branch on the tree to be devoted to this. For English speakers, these structures are a challenge. Look up online or in a textbook verbs that behave like gustar. If you want to know Spanish, they need to be mastered. I have a list, but cannot access it now. IMPORTAR is one of the group. The "le" is necessary in the sentence because IMPORTAR takes the IO + V +S format (indirect object + Verb + Subject). El dinero is the subject of the sentence. A mi padre is a clarifier. "Le" in this sentence = to him, an indirect object pronoun. Other ones in the group are disgustar, encantar, faltar, molestar, quedar...


thumbs up to U. By reversing the sentence i understood it better


I noticed a problem with the audio, like distortion.


Yeah "le" sounds odd hear.


I also noticed the distortion


I first noticed it in the combo "le lee" which I got wrong, but now it helps me distinguish them. It probably won't help me in Spain though :(


It's because of an awkward transition between "le" and "importa".


Would I be right to say 'a mi padre' is like an add-on to clarify who 'le' refers to- so its le importa el dinero (ignoring the negative) meaning 'to him money matters'


Yes, "a mi padre" is to clarify who the money doesn't matter to. If you already established that you were talking about your father (in a previous sentence in a conversation) you could just say "no le importa el dinero".


That helps I am breaking the sentences down into pieces so I get a better understanding. So from what you said I take it 'le' is to us english speakers redundant inthis sentence but not to the spanish. And we are learning to use it this way to understand what the indirect object pronoun is taking place of when we don't have to use due to previous conversation. Thanks.


A mi padre no importa el dinero. Es mucho clara!


Maybe, but it's grammatically wrong. Whenever the object is placed before the verb, you must include its associated object pronoun.


Can somebody explain why this sentence needs the "a" in "a mi padre..."?


It is the preposition ''to'' in this case. The money is not important to my father'


I think money doesn't matter to my father is a better translation. At least for better understanding the sentence, because the DUO translation puts the father as the subject but I think money is the subject of the sentence.


Your translation is the more common English translation. The Spanish sentence, however, is natural.


No matter how slowly or loudly I enunciated, it still couldn't understand me.


i am stuck thinking about this sentence, and it is getting in the way of my understanding of how these clitics work. to my mind, they seem to indicate the object of the sentence, as in, "lo veo," (i see him), "te quiero" (i love you)," etc. but in this particular sentence, i am told, the "le" refers to the father, not to the money. is the father the (indirect) object of the sentence, or is it the money? i could see how either would be the case, but am having trouble. can anyone help explain?


''Importar'' is another backwards verb like ''gustar''. We just have to memorize these. Money is the subject and the father is the indirect object.


Gosh, I am glad Bluemarimba finally added this comment about IMPORTAR being in that group of verbs which behave like gustar. The "le" is necessary in the sentence because IMPORTAR takes the IO + V +S set up (indirect object + Verb + Subject). El dinero is the subject of the sentence. A mi padre is a clarifier. "Le" in this sentence = to him, an indirect object pronoun. Duolingo lacks seriously in drilling these verbs. Other ones in the group are disgustar, encantar, faltar, molestar, quedar etc.


Thanks, bludmarimba. Had you not mentioned "gustar," I would not have know how to search Google for an explanation of "backwards" verbs. Here is a lesson on gustar and other words that have similar usage:



Thanks for sharing that link, it explained it perfectly to me. Lesson of the day!


The money is the subject: IT doesn't matter. The father is the indirect object: to whom doesn't it matter? To him, le. What I find weird about this feature in Spanish compared to other languages I know is that you still need this clitic pronoun when you're spelling out what the object is (in English saying "To my father, money doesn't matter to him" is colloquial at best.)


When i wrote Money doesn't matter To Him they considered it wrong


Probably because you left out "to my father"?


The clitics section was first and probably the only section I reached that I found hopelessly confusing. I do not know the proper explanation I just think of cliitics as pronouns now. In this case "a mi padre" = "le" and thus "No le importa el dinero" = "He does not care about money"


This sentence has nothing to do with clitics. Clitics--as I understand them--are the redundant use of an indirect object pronoun when a sentence has a direct object in it. For example, José le da un beso a su bebé. Joe gives a kiss to his baby. You MUST include the LE (indiirect object) even though the indirect object (the baby) is in the sentence. (The LE is not tranlated into English because that language doesn't use such grammatical form.) The DL sentence here demands a LE (indirect object pronoun) because of the particular verb, IMPORTAR. IMPORTAR behaves like GUSTAR. Remember GUSTAR? Me gustan los deportes. I like sports. It is set up in the IO + V + S (indirect object + verb + subject) format. There is a bunch of verbs that work in the same way (faltar, molestar, parecer, disgustar...) IMPORTAR is one of them. The "a" mi padre is a simple preposition meaning "to".


I think it is a typo, but in your example "José le da un beso a su bebé.", the direct object is "beso" and "bebé is the indirect object that requires the indirect object pronoun "le".


Thanks for catching that. I made the correction. Hope I did not confuse anyone.


I wrote that maybe a year ago. I'm not 100% sure what you are trying to say. I was saying I had little understanding of the subject. "le" is mandatory here and "a mi padre" is optional clarification of it. Duolingo teaches Gustar in the clitics section(now called the object pronoun section). Oh maybe your explaining the logic of why it is indirect here instead of direct.


Rocko, I cannot make it any clearer. I am trying to make a point about the verb, importar, which is sort of unique because: it often acts like gustar. Gustar is often in the IO + V + S (indirect object + verb + subject) sentence order. It is a grammar point which textbooks and DL gloss over, but verbs like faltar are used all the time in Spanish conversation. If someone says to you, "Me preocupa el futuro" do you know they are saying "I am worried about the future." ? How about if you had to say, "I need $10 to go to the movie." Me falta diez dólares para ir al cine.


I understand now (4th cup of tea). I posted a long time ago a suggestion that duolingo teach gustar in a separate section to emphasize how it behaves differently. Adding all the similar behaving verbs to that section and making object pronouns two distinct sections would be wise since it is such a difficult section for English natives. I suspect it is a big weed out point in the tree. But then again just getting to that point in the tree may have already weeded out most non-serious students. And people just tough it out and finish it.


The problem is in English we don't have a verb that has the same meaning of importar or gustar. I can understand it because we do have it in Arabic!!!


In English we can say "That book appeals to me." It is similar in concept to the Spanish "Me gusta el libro." although in Spanish the word order is different. In both languages, the subject of the sentence is the book (libro) and the indirect object is me. Thinking of gustar as "appeals" or "pleases" helps me understand the use of the Spanish pronouns.


Joshuac220, You wrote this two years ago. Surely, you know now that the le here is not a clitic pronoun. It is an indirect object pronoun because importar is a funky verb like gustar that dances backward, if you will.


Is "le importa" an idiom or is "le" reflexive somehow or something else?


No, the "le" just means "him." I think the confusion is because "importar" is conjugated like "gustar." Duo's translation is "My father doesn't care about money," but I think a better translation would be "money doesn't matter(is not important) to my father." "Dinero" is the subject of the sentence. So if we break it down into pieces it would be "A mi padre"=to my father "no le importa"=it does not matter to him "el dinero"=the money.


k3nd0, I totally agree with your improved translation.


Yes k3nd0, I believe I understand the sentence when it's structured the way you say above. Money (Subject) does not matter (DO) to him (IO). I think I have it now. Please tell me if this isn't right. Here is a lingot! Thank you!


The sentence uses the verb IMPORTAR. It is one of the verbs (faltar, molestar, parecer, disgustar etc.) that work the way GUSTAR does (IO + V + S) indirect object + verb + subject. In the way we could say A Susanna no le gusta el chocolate. Also, know that the sentence can be: No le importa el dinero. (Money does matter to her/him/you.) The a mi padre clarifys about whom you are speaking.


¡Gracias! ¡Pero, me gusta el chocolate mucho! ( :


This is confusing for Italian speakers, since "le" in Italian is feminine or formal in 3rd person singular. Well, gotta get habit of that :-)


Is there a reason why a mi padre is first here


Common Spanish syntex.


What is the subject in this sentence? Can we use importo, importas, or importan?


I've just had a look around and it seems importar is similar to gustar - although it translates to "my father does not care about money", it is saying "money is not important to my father". So I guess the subject is money, so we should use importa (or I guess you could argue importan is correct too as money is more than one).

So if the sentence was "my father does not care about us", you would use "importamos" as "we" are what the father is not caring about. Have a look at this website anyway, it probably explains it better than I do!



that site is sooooooooooo helpful! thanks!


A mi padre no le importamos nosotros. Also, A mi padre no le gustamos nosotros. (We are not important to my father / My father does not like us.) I'm just learning Spanish, too, but anything else would be inconsistent with all the other examples that I have come across so far.


The subject is the money. It doesn't import to the speaker's dad.

The verb "import" is almost never used this way in English anymore but it is still technically correct and was much more common once.


hola amigo pvagabond: The subject is "el dinero". You have to use third person singular: importa


Subject is "el dinero." You would use importan, if the subject was plural. For example. A mi padre no le importan los deportes. (Sports are not important to my father.)


Oh, so me importa, is like matters to me?


Yes. "El dinero me importa." Money matters to me. I care about money.


Also could be written: Me importa el dinero. Spanish sometimes likes to put the subject at the end.


Why is 'el' not translated here to read 'the money'?


In English "the" is used if we are talking about something specific. Money, in general, would not have "the" in front of it. Specific: "El dinero esta sobre la mesa." This is a specific money that can be counted. "The money is on the table" '

Generalization: "A mi padre no le importa el dinero." translates to "Money does not matter to my father." or "My father does not care about money." Do you think he would care if it were here or there? Any money would apply to this sentence.


If you were talking about money in general (i.e. the accumulation of wealth) you would not translate the article in the English sentence. If you were talking about the one dollar and two pennies that was on the dresser in front of you, and you and your buddy were about to take it to the store to buy candy, you would translate the article. "The money isn't important to my father." (In other words, he lets his kids take what he leaves on his dresser.) The difference is an abstract verb vs. a specific object.


for a lot of these I find myself writing somewhat backwards compared to the duo translation while still having the same meaning and being marked correctly. I translated this as "money is not important to my father" (I should of put "money does not matter to my father"). I'm just wondering if I shouldn't be translating that way even though the meaning is really the same.


Kooky13: Both translations are acceptable in English.


Many of us find the word order a challenge. I believe that if we watch for patterns in the spanish language it will become second nature to us. I wouldn't be too concerned at this stage. What I do is read the sentence, identify the subject verb and object and just make a mental note. Already you know more than you realize.


I feel like I probably won't be so great at literal translations when I get through all of this + the studying I'm doing on the side but I guess it almost doesn't matter as long as I understand the language.


money isn't important to my father - is what i put, it's correct, but i just don't know why. there has to be another way! para mi padre, dinero no es importa>? heeeelp


Mark West - This link I think will be helpful. Take the time to read up because it will save you a lot of time later.



thanks rmcgwm for taking the time. The examples in the link are more of what i'm used - it's these duolingo sentences that are off the scale!


Where is the verb in this sentence?


Hola Amigo kigdarwin11: The verb is "importar" which means to "to be important" or "to matter". Duo translated it as "does not care", but actually I think a better translation would be "does not matter". "No le importa" means "it (the money) is not important to him" or "it (the money) does not matter to him". CHAU


Two main problems: 1. Users (mainly monolinguals) cannot understand that no language is meant to be translated literally. Take for example, well, the English phrase "take for example"! Examine it and it sounds awkward. Where are you "taking" the "example"? Won't "use for example" or "take as an example" make more sense? Yes, but "take for example" conveys the same meaning. So, unless you already studied the language, don't complain and just take the translator's word for it. (There's another one! "Take my word for it" = Trust me)

  1. Duolingo will need to do a better job of giving people complete translations before the exercises. Since this IS a game format, many more people will understandably become frustrated when they start losing hearts and lingots to difficult translations.


While it is true that many sentences cannot be translated word for word in another language, it is also true that by understanding the literal meaning of every word in the sentence one can more easily understand the language being learned. If you learn mostly by memorization, then perhaps you don't care why the sentence means what it means, or why a particular pronoun is used. But if you learn by reason more than by memory, then you will find it helpful to learn that the sentence literally means "To my father, the money is not important to him." You can then (maybe) apply the same logic to other sentences that you have never heard before by substituting different subjects and different pronouns. But that won't be possible if you haven't learned the logic in the sentence.


I just want to know why this sentence begins with "A mi padre" and not just "Mi padre" - hope someone can enlighten me - thanks


The preposition "A" is used to introduce the clarifier; it is most common Spanish usage.


It' s a bit irritating that the duolingo algorithms aren't better at recognizing typos. I wrote, "My father "DIES" (instead of "DOES") not care about the money. (Frikkin auto correct. Curse you)


when the lesson teaches you that importa means "import or matter" and the answer is care, that is bullshito


Think of it like "Money does not matter to my father."


My answer was marked 'correct'-- "Money is not important to my father."


It works like gustar. We translate "me gusta" as "I like it" even though that's not literally what it means.


Yes, Lago! It drives me nuts when people translate gustar as to please. "Chocolate is pleasing to me." for example. Me gusta el chocolate. = I like chocolate.


it is an expression using the verb importer. A very common expression.


I think that should be "importar". (comment above from droma)


Lasagnipura-- thanks for correction. it was a typo :)


I think "care" here can actually translate to "matter" also, since when we say, "To my father, money doesn't matter.", is like saying, "My father doesn't care about money." given the right context, isn't it? For example, Boyfriend to girlfriend: "Your father wanted to buy me an airplane. But those toys cost a lot of money so I really want to decline." Girlfriend: "Oh, it's okay! Dad doesn't care about money./Money doesn't matter to Dad." :-p


The most literal translation of the sentence is "To my father, money is not important." Exactly the same meaning can be conveyed with "Money is not important to my father." or "My father does not care about money" or "Money doesn't matter to my father". I don't understand why people argue over the correct English translation, when all the suggested translations mean the same thing. If your English translations means the same thing, no matter how you said it, then you understood the Spanish, and that is after all the point of the course.


If the sentence was with "lo" how would it change the meaning?


Hola ashi97: Where would you want to put the "lo"? I can't quite see any place for the "lo".


Instead "le".. I'm not sure I completely understood the point of using these words...


Hola ashi97: OK. No, you cannot use "lo". "Lo" is a direct object pronoun. In this sentence, we need an indirect object pronoun. "Le" is the indirect object pronoun "to him". This completes the sentence: The money is not important TO HIM (to my father). This is called the redundant indirect object pronoun: It is redundant because the sentence already has an indirect object (father), but in Spanish, we always need the indirect object pronoun. We do not always need the indirect object itself (father). You could say:"Money is not important to him" and that would be a good sentence grammatically, but we would not know who "him" is, so we add "a mi padre" to clarify who we are talking about.


OK. Thank you very - very helpful.. Another question please: why there is an "a" before "mi" it seems to me not necessary..


ashi97: "a" means "to". That is, "TO my father". "Money is not important TO my father". It would not make sense without the "a". CHAU


Lo is a direct object pronoun. Not needed in this sentence.


I also wondered why there is no 'lo' in this sentence. Is 'lo/la' only required when the direct object is no explicitly stated in the sentence? As in 'A mi padre no le lo importa' = 'To my father, it's not important' ?


He must be very rich then, or just plain stupid.


Or some people that post stupid comments may be the plain stupid ones.


I believe that native spainsh speaking people would agree to this .. Look at what is being said in spainish translate it to english = your answer .. look at the actions in the sentence it says mi padre no le importa de dinero ( ok look at what it is saying ) my father does not care about money as in money does not matter to him. Open your minds to the structure and how it is being said. When translating you must think with a open mind .


if money is the subject and my father is the indirect object. what is the direct object? if there arent any, how can you know that?


No direct object in DL sentence. LE (to him) is the indirect object. the "a mi padre" is a prepositional phrase that clarifys who the indirect object is. I know there is no direct object because I am able to identify all the words in the sentence and their roles--not one is a direct object, and the verb IMPORTAR does not take indirect objects.


Why do we use "A" before "Mi Padre"?


El padre and el dinero, why use le? Isn’t that female?


Y es por eso que vivimos en una caja de cartón


I translated this as "he/she does not import the money for my father." It was marked wrong but I'm wondering if this could be one of the possible translations without being explicit like "él/ella no le importa el dinero (a mi padre)."


You're such a nice owl Duo!


I was doing just fine until they through in 'le, me, and te'. Now it seems so random i have no idea what is supposed to be translated.


I was soooo close- I put 'my father doesn't see the importance of money'. I was marked wrong, though. I'm just glad that I still got the gist. :)


Is it right to say "Mi padre does not care with money"? And About the "A" it's not an obligation to put it, well, my duolingo accepted without it.


wow that was a confusing sentence


I just came here to clarify that. "le"was matching dinero. But 131 comments means I'll just check other sentences


Why isn't the phrase 'my father doesn't think money is important'?


Is there a way to say "The money does not matter to my father" differently? Without 'le'? Or is it a general rule to say "to someone-specific" with using object pronouns? What I mean is, if I wanted to say:

"To my siblings bicycles are not important" could I say "A mis hermanos no importan bicicletas" or am I forced to say in this and every similiar case: "No les importan bicicletas a mi hermanos"? Thank you.


Can we also translate as: "My father doesn't give importance to money." ?


This literally makes no sense. Importar = to import, le = you


[deactivated user]

    Could this be translated as "Money does not matter to my father"?


    for anyone confused about why 'a' exists heres the reason. 'le' does not really mean anything its either he/she/it so by saying its MY FATHER you have to add 'a' in the before who you want 'le' to mean. this works just like a ello vas a me comprar un libro HE will buy me a book a ella vas a me comprar un libro SHE will buy me a book vas a me comprar un libro he/she/it will buy me a book

    in most cases, if the subject who is doing the action has already been said in the past conversations, you can just leave out 'a ello/ella/ud.'


    This one tricked me. I need to understand how to think this out in literal translation. So "a" personal A? "Mi padre" my father "no le importa" not him important or No him care? el dinero "the money" ? Is this correct?

    Could you instead say A mi padre no le importa de dinero.


    After all this time... I got dinner as an option and automatically went for "my father does not care for care about dinner". I wonder when my brain will get that one properly.


    "Money's not important to my father" is absolutely correct

    • 1112

    It's really annoying that sometimes duo goes for the most literal translation and sometime goes for the naturally sounding one. This sentence resembles so much better the translation of: To my father, money is not important.


    I'm also studying Korean and I just had the weird thought that in this sentence, the A is like the Korean topic case, so A = 는

    Does this make sense?

    Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.