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Thread: Use of le in place of lo/la

  1. #1
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    Use of le in place of lo/la

    Greetings all,
    I know that leísmo is accepted by the Academy, but could someone explain to me why it is used? Is it merely custom, or is it used to express some subtle difference in meaning? In the following examples, why did the writer choose to use le when, it seems to me, lo is the correct word?

    “Martín, sentado en su lecho con el niño en brazos, le besaba para tranquilizarle.”
    “Martín discurrió amenazarle con el dedo ..., pero sin tocarle.”
    “¡Déjale, ancianita, perdónale por Dios!”
    “El muchacho iba a escapar pero Martín le retuvo.”
    “Si hubiera que azotarle por una manzana...”

    Thanks in advance.
    JD
    "No glasse renders a mans forme, or likenesse, so true as his speech."
    -Ben Jonson

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    Re: Use of le in place of lo/la

    I think that we must to use "le" when We don't specify the genre. In the sentence “Martín, sentado en su lecho con el niño en brazos, le besaba para tranquilizarle", we don't know if is he or is she, do you understand me?, if Martín says "lo besaba", he reffers that he's kissing him and if Martín says "la besaba", he reffers that he's kissing her. It's I understand, I hope it's right and You understand me, bye

  3. #3
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    Re: Use of le in place of lo/la

    “Martín, sentado en su lecho con el niño en brazos, le besaba para tranquilizarle.” Aqui si no se sabe el sexo del nino es ta bien usado

    “Martín discurrió amenazarle con el dedo ..., pero sin tocarle.” bien
    “¡Déjale, ancianita, perdónale por Dios!” de nuevo no se sabe a quien se le perdona
    “El muchacho iba a escapar pero Martín le retuvo.” Martin lo retuvo se sabe el sexo del martin
    “Si hubiera que azotarle por una manzana...” de nuevo sin sexo

  4. #4
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    Re: Use of le in place of lo/la

    It is accepted because it has been used by too many prestigious writers, but its use is not recommended anyway. The rule is simple: “le” is accepted instead of “lo” as an accusative pronoun; i.e. in singular referred to males.

    In other words: If the person is every sentence is a male one, the sentences are "reasonably correct".

  5. #5
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    Re: Use of le in place of lo/la

    Where I live, LO is almost always used with OBJECTS only. And LE with people. This is so pronounced that I actually screw up when I try to use lo with people. LA is used with both. I'm not sure why this is, its just something I've noticed. I don't ever think I've heard anyone use LO in any of those examples.

    I'm not saying its a rule, just that it could be a dialectal/colloquial choice which to use.

  6. #6
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    Re: Use of le in place of lo/la

    Quote Originally Posted by jdenson
    Greetings all,
    I know that leísmo is accepted by the Academy, but could someone explain to me why it is used? Is it merely custom, or is it used to express some subtle difference in meaning? In the following examples, why did the writer choose to use le when, it seems to me, lo is the correct word?

    “Martín, sentado en su lecho con el niño en brazos, le besaba para tranquilizarle.”
    “Martín discurrió amenazarle con el dedo ..., pero sin tocarle.”
    “¡Déjale, ancianita, perdónale por Dios!”
    “El muchacho iba a escapar pero Martín le retuvo.”
    “Si hubiera que azotarle por una manzana...”

    Thanks in advance.
    JD
    Keep on thinking what you have learnt
    not all kind of leismo is accepted by the academy. Only the one referred to the singular male. This mean: Le vi corriendo hacia el colegio.
    it is not accepted when refers to female or plural:
    Nacho, ¿quieres a MAría?
    sí le quiero.
    or
    Llamales para decirles la hora.
    you asked for the reason so here you are:
    at the beginning Spanish people used LO LA LOS LAS rightly but in some parts of Spain people with a low culture level used to use the particule LE wrongly. Fortunately America was discovered by people who did not commited leismo. but nowadays leismo is very extended.

  7. #7
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    Re: Use of le in place of lo/la

    [quote=jdenson]Greetings all,
    I know that leísmo is accepted by the Academy, but could someone explain to me why it is used? Is it merely custom, or is it used to express some subtle difference in meaning? In the following examples, why did the writer choose to use le when, it seems to me, lo is the correct word?

    “Martín, sentado en su lecho con el niño en brazos, le besaba para
    tranquilizarle.” ( niño singular, masculine: correct)
    “Martín discurrió amenazarle con el dedo ..., pero sin tocarle.”
    “¡Déjale, ancianita, perdónale por Dios!”
    “El muchacho iba a escapar pero Martín le retuvo.” ( muchacho, masculine, singular, correct)
    “Si hubiera que azotarle por una manzana...”
    In a more full context maybe the antecedents could let ANIMATED and specificied person use (LE).
    Another use of of (LE) is to show respect towards the person.

    Ivy29

  8. #8
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    Re: Use of le in place of lo/la

    Quote Originally Posted by Chalon
    I think that we must to use "le" when We don't specify the genre. In the sentence “Martín, sentado en su lecho con el niño en brazos, le besaba para tranquilizarle", we don't know if is he or is she, do you understand me?, if Martín says "lo besaba", he reffers that he's kissing him and if Martín says "la besaba", he reffers that he's kissing her. It's I understand, I hope it's right and You understand me, bye
    That doesn't make any sense. If you say "le besé" no one I know would understand that "I kiss her", never. Besides, you said "el niño", who is obviously a boy. If you don't know which genre it is then you say "la criatura", "el bebé", "lo que venga", etc:

    Besó a la criatura ( la besó, never "le besó")
    Besó al bebé ( lo besó, quite a few people say "le besó" )

    In both cases you don't know whether he kissed her or him
    Last edited by San; 1st July 2006 at 9:21 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Use of le in place of lo/la

    Quote Originally Posted by San
    Besó a la criatura ( la besó, never "le besó")
    Are you sure? If it's like this, I'm sorry, that just was I though. Bye.

  10. #10
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    Re: Use of le in place of lo/la

    Quote Originally Posted by Chalon
    Are you sure? If it's like this, I'm sorry, that just was I though. Bye.
    Indeed I'm sure. I was taught at school that you can't never put "le" in the place of a feminine direct object. And it was no difficult to learn cause every one around me speaks in this way. It's the same with a masculine one, but in this case I do hear people saying "le besé (a mi novio)". It sounds ugly to me, like "le contraté", "le acaricié", but some people say and I understand.

    It's that notion of using "le" when you don't know the sex of a person which is completely new for me. Notice that grammar is not about sex but about genre. The pronoun you must use depends on the genre of the noun it replaces. And all the nouns are genre, if it is neuter.

    Anyway, as usually, in other places they can say it differently.

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