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  5. "A ellos no les gustan los ca…

"A ellos no les gustan los caballos."

Translation:They do not like the horses.

January 1, 2013



I don't understand why both "A ellos" and "les" are needed here. Some sentences seem to require the double reference to the indirect object while other sentences do not require this. Very frustrating and confusing. I think I'll have to go outside DuoLingo to really be able to understand this element of Spanish.


It is redundant but a part of Spanish grammar. It is added as to not confuse, as the pronoun les could mean " to you formal" or to them. So to put the "a ellos", clarifies it to mean "to them", If you were in a conversation with someone, and you knew already to whom they were referring, you might not add the "a ellos"


Thanks great explanation. It's interesting that a grammatical rule to prevent confusion actually increases confusion for learners.


can I say "Los caballos no les gustan a ellos"? Which one is more natural?


In Spanish, whenever a verb has an indirect object the clitic pronoun is required. I agree that this section of Duo needs a complete overhaul and probably ought to be split into several lessons throughout the tree.


The only reason I can think of to include "A ellos" is to distinguish from "A ustedes no les gustan los caballos" which would mean "You don't like the horses".


redundancy is ok, think of yo duermo, duermo already means I sleep. the you emphasizes, and in this case the a ellos clarifies


i am not sure what you mean. Would you clarify it more. thanks


I had a typo there, I meant to say "the yo emphasizes." let me know if this makes sense


Why not edit your original entry so it doesn't have the typo, or add a comment about this right in the original entry?


yes it makes sense, thank you!


why is the 'A' there at the start of the sentence?


We might say, in English, "The horses are not likable to them." Equivalently, "To them the horses are not likable." We don't usually hear "To them, not likable are the horses," but it would still be correct English grammar, and pretty close to the common Spanish arrangement.


Because "a ellos" is the indirect object in the sentence. The horses are not liked. By whom? By them ("a ellos"). It's confusing how they put "a ellos" at the beginning of the sentence. Why not say "No les gustan los caballos a ellos"?


Should "The horses do not please them" be a valid translation?


So I'm confused about the "LOS caballos" here.. Duo suggests that the answer is "They don't like horses" (like they don't like them in general), but I definitely think there's a difference between "...like horses" and "...like THE horses". How do you tell the difference in Spanish?


It's seems strange; Isn't "No gustan los caballos" mean the same?? ahh.. arrrgg... Help PLEASE!!


Your sentence is lacking a pronoun and doesn't make sense grammatically in Spanish. You could say "No les gustan los caballos" if you already knew that "ellos" was the object of the sentence.


I don't think it's lacking, you can say "beben la leche" - it's true that you won't know who I'm talking about, but that only because you don't know the all conversation. Grammatically it's correct.

(or at least supposed to be...)


No, really, it is not Spanish grammar. The rule is when one uses the verb gustar then gusta or gustan requires and is Mandatory that an indirect object pronoun is required.

Sometimes it is redundant if you name the indirect object anyway such as 'a ellos'; 'a ellos' clarifies the indirect object pronoun, but it is a prepositional phase used as a indirect object.

'beben la leche is a totally different situation. La leche is the direct object noun.

I have found the following tutorial very helpful: http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/gustar.htm


Thank you.. :) What you say is that GUSTAR should be translated as "Be liked to / on"? I mean not literally but practical..


"They do not like the horses" is considered right, while "I do not like the vacations" is not considered a valid option for "No me gustan las vacationes"..


It's important to not try and translate too directly here. In English, "vacation" or "vacations" is "generic," while "a vacation" and "the vacation" are more specific. However in Spanish, nouns don't really walk around "naked," so "las vacaciones" is used to refer to the generic concept of vacationing."

It's important to try and think of the nonverbal meaning of a sentence, then how to express that meaning in the target language as you translate. The more advanced you get, the more word-for-word translation will start to abandon you.


Aha! You should have used the singular...you are as silly as I am. lol. (I still don't understand BTW)


this one is particularly confusing. sigh


why can't it just say "ellos no gustan los caballos."? why the A to describe the subject we know the subject is they(them) when we start by saying ellos. and why reiterate the subject again by saying les. they do not they like the horses or they they do not like the horses is weird.


The subject of the sentence is NOT "ellos". The subject of the sentence is a plural "it", but "it" is never used in Spanish. "Los caballos" identifies who "it" is. What this sentence is really saying is, To them, it doesn't please them, the horses. Try to understand that this is how the Spanish mind works with the language. That why we translate thoughts, not just word for word. Gustarse doesn't translate as "to like", it translates more literally as " (it) pleases someone". Now you still have to identify WHO it pleases, and WHAT is pleasing. "A ellos" identifies who it is pleasing to, and since it is a reflexive verb, it has to have a direct object, in this case, "los" referring back to "ellos". And you have to identify what is pleasing - "los caballos". Not sure if I explained this adequately. Suffice it to say, some things are better said in English- ha!


Thanks, that description helped me


Thank you very much for your explanation! It was elegant and sufficient.


'a ellos' is the indirect object and the verb is gustar which always requires an indirect object pronoun and it is not reflexive. The third person reflective pronoun is 'se'."Les' is the third person plural and without context, many people use 'a ellos' so as not to confuse the meaning of the pronoun 'les' which could mean 'to them' or 'to you (plural).

The use of the indirect object pronoun is redundant and is something that English speakers to not expect. The subject of the sentence is "los cabollos'. So the literal translation would be:

'a ellos' =to them

les =to them

los cabollos=the horses

no gustan= is not pleasing to

So, the horses are not pleasing to them

In English we just translate : They do not like horses. and 'They' is the subject


it is "gustan" because of "los caballos" and "les" because" of "ellos" here because gustar is all weird right?


This is my first time to comment on the learning sessions. This session is very confusing to me, and I am not sure if I will get through it without a lot of peeking. Of perfect sense to me is "no les gustan los caballos". I checked on a Spanish dictionary, and it came up with this solution. Learning is a challenge without this added complexity! Otherwise ... so far ,so good.


Ok the translation is " they don't like horses". How would you say "they don't like the horses"? Is it the same? Just wondering

Also this topic is so hard. This is my fourth attempt at this lesson but I'm about to complete it! Wooooo! Needed a lot of peeks though. Would be good if Duolingo recorded your peeks. Maybe it does.


How do you write" The horse do not like them"?


A el caballo no les los gustan would be my guess. Sorry, just being a bit picky, but it should be in English the horse does not like them. If you meant the horses, then it would be do not like them, I am not sure which you meant.

A los caballos no les los gustan


Yah my grammar was incorrect. I mean "the horses do not like them". Thanks!


Well then, would it be odd to say, "Los caballos no les gustan a ellos?"


"The horses are of no interest to them." Why is this incorrect?


Why is "Ellos" a indirect object here?


Another confusing thing about the structure of gustar is the word order. With gustar, the subject of the verb comes after the verb. For instance, it is "me gustan las manzanas" and not "las manzanas me gustan."


"The horses do not please them" is wrong???


Can it also mean "the horses don't like them"?

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