"Le lee un diario."
thanks for the reply I can understand what you saying, however, the point I was trying to make is that you would never say "he reads it a newspaper" therefore when translating from spanish i get it wrong because it sounds wrong in english, even though its right.??? I'll get back to my glass of wine !!
To me, it seems like 'Le' is him/(to) him or you/(to) you. As per the tips, 'le' and 'les' are indirect object pronouns. 'un diario' is the object of the sentence. For example, ''She writes a letter to Peter'', She (subj) writes (verb) a letter (direct object) to Peter (indirect object). But we might also say ''She writes Peter a letter''. Indirect object tells 'to whom' or 'For whom'.
"He reads him a newspaper" is given as one of the correct results. In American English this is not just awkward, but grammatically incorrect, since it's a pronoun/reference agreement error. You would have to replace either "he" or "him" with a name (either one.) Also, the more common spoken version here would be, "She/he reads a newspaper to him," largely to avoid confusion with "She/he reads him" where "him" refers to a male author. For instance, "Does she read Stephen King?" "Yes, she reads him."
I tend to agree, though I can imagine myself using the phrase "he reads him a newspaper"... lots of expressions we use are grammatically incorrect but just seem to have become normalised through common use. Interesting you should mention American English, as I think this is one of the areas where there is quite a major difference with British English. I've noticed american TV and movies say things like "I wrote my friend", and "they were protesting the war", which sounds distinctly odd to British ears. In Britain we would expect these to be "I wrote TO my friend" and "they were protesting ABOUT the war"...
Yeah, preposition use definitely varies between regions. "I wrote to my friend" usually sounds better to me too, but there are cases where I might use "I wrote my friend," depending on context. For instance: "Did you tell anyone?" "Well, I wrote my friend." Because in that case, the emphasis is on who I told, not the process of writing the letter. But I can see where that might sound odd out of context!