la, le, lo, les, las, los....

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by Irell, Nov 10, 2004.

  1. Irell Senior Member

    The Netherlands-Dutch
    Hi,

    I need some help with this:

    Compré un regalo a mis padres = les compré un regalo.
    Explicó el problema a las alumnas = les explicó el problema.
    Esperamos a esas señoras hasta las siete = LAS esperamos... why not LES esperamos?

    Este mes no he pagado a la patrona = no LE he pagado... why not: no LA he pegado?
    Voy a llevar a tu hermana al teatro = voy a llevarLA... why not llevarLE?
    ¿Cómo es su primo? - No LO conozco... why not: No LE conozco?

    And so on...
    It's really confusing to me, I am a 'grammardisaster' !! Could anyone explane this to me? Is there a site where I can find these kind of 'problems'?

    Thanks a lot!
    Irelle
     
  2. cristóbal Senior Member

    EEUU
    EEUU/Inglés
    The SUPER simple explanation is this, it helps me sort it out:
    Le, and les are indirect object pronouns... "to him, to her, for him, for her, for them, etc..."
    Lo, la, las, and los are direct object pronouns... simply "him, her, them, etc."
    So, for instance, you would say "Expliqué el problema a las alumnas" as "se lo expliqué" because you explained the problem (which is the direct object 'lo'") to the students (which is the indirect object "les" but changes to "se" when there are two object pronouns together so you don't say "les lo" which sounds weird.)

    Thus: Este mes no le he pagado a la patrona. You use "le" because you are paying her money, not actually using her as payment. However, if you were paying a group of cannibals and you gave them your "patrona" then you would use "la". A los caníbales la pagó. ( Y la comieron y les gustó mucho. Ella estaba muy rica.)


    Hope that helps, but at any rate, you will find all this info in your typical spanish grammar book, not to mention under a few other threads here.
     
  3. Artrella Banned

    BA
    ARGENTINA Sp/Eng

    Irell I hope this will shed some light as the use of LA, las, los, lo, le, les. Yo have to take into account if it is in dative or accusative case.
    Bye Art :)
     
  4. sastrem92 Senior Member

    Athens - Greece
    Spain - Spanish
    Hi,
    I don't know if there is a site to solve this questions. I'll try to help you (or confuse you more, you never know):

    lo,la,los,las = Pronouns for the Direct Object (D.O.)
    le, les = Pronouns for the Indirect Object (I.O.)

    les compré un regalo = correct I.O.
    les explicó el problema = correct I.O.
    Esperamos a esas señoras hasta las siete = LAS esperamos = correct. A esas senoras is D.O. The preposition "a" refers to the person but it is D.O. Look:
    Espero el autobus = lo espero
    Espero a esas sen~oras = las espero
    Este mes no he pagado a la patrona = no LE he pagado = correct I.O.
    HOWEVER "ESTE MES NO LA HE PAGADO" IS REGARDED AS CORRECT. This is called LAISMO, the use of "la" whre it should be "le".
    voy a llevarLA = correct D.O. The same as in "voy a llevar la lavadora a arreglar". In your case it takes the "a" preposition because it is a person.
    No LO conozco = correct D.O. HOWEVER "NO LE CONOZCO, NO LE VEO, NO LE MIRO ( al primo)" is also accepted. It is called LEISMO, the use of "le" where it should be "lo".

    I hope it helps. :cool:
     
  5. lercarafridi Senior Member

    Spain, Spanish
    do not get discouraged, even Spanish natives cannot tell one from the other. Let us see if this helps:

    Esperamos a esas señoras hasta las siete = LAS esperamos... why not LES esperamos?

    Because esas señoras is a direct object, so las

    Este mes no he pagado a la patrona = no LE he pagado... why not: no LA he pegado?
    Because la patrona is an indirect object wheras the direct one is the money (the rent, or whatever), so le,
    Voy a llevar a tu hermana al teatro = voy a llevarLA... why not llevarLE?
    The same, direct objects can never be le, les; only indirect can; here tu hermana is a direct one, so la (feminine; lo if masculine)

    ¿Cómo es su primo? - No LO conozco... why not: No LE conozco?

    In this case both forms are acceptable, even though no lo conozco is a better choice. However this is a recent change by the RAE as in former times to say no le conozco was considered a wrong use of these types of pronouns called leismo.
    :)
     
  6. dave

    dave Senior Member

    London
    UK - English
    Hi Irell,

    Cristobal has already given you a good explanation, but I will add one more thing.

    I guess that one reason why you are finding these examples difficult is because all have the preposition a, which suggests that the object is indirect.

    HOWEVER, in some of your examples the a is not a true presposition, but instead is what is called the personal a. The personal a is needed before all objects where the object is a person or people (or representation of a person or people). It is therefore possible (and common) for the personal a to be found before a direct object. E.g:

    Esperamos a esas senoras
    We [subject] waited for [verb] those ladies [direct object]

    Therefore the pronoun would be a direct object pronoun:

    Las esperamos.

    The personal a can therefore be misleading. The important questions to ask yourself is: is the object direct or indirect?

    If it is direct, the following third person pronouns are used:
    lo
    la
    los
    las


    If it is indirect, the following third person pronouns are used:
    le
    les


    If you are unsure whether the object is direct or indirect, then ask yourself: can the sentence be rendered in the passive voice? If it can, then the object is direct. If it cannot, then the object is indirect.

    Don't worry yet about the leismo/loismo/laismo issues raised by sastrem92 - once you are happy with the 'normal' rules you can learn about the exceptions and complexities!

    Hope this is helpful.
     
  7. Irell Senior Member

    The Netherlands-Dutch
    Thanks to all of you!! I really think it's very kind to help me to sort things out. Thank you very much! :)

    and Dave..,

    You wrote: If you are unsure whether the object is direct or indirect, then ask yourself: can the sentence be rendered in the passive voice? If it can, then the object is direct. If it cannot, then the object is indirect.

    Could you give me an example of how this works?

    (And yes! the ' a ' is killing me, I understood this one when I read your reply!)

    And, by the way: mamá da un beso a Lucia = mamá se lo da. This one seems more like Chinese to me! Where is the SE coming from? Why not: LE lo da (I said it loud... also Chinese...)

    Te doy un 'cyber'-beso ;)
    Irelle
     
  8. stroggyy Junior Member

    Valladolid (Spain)
    Spain, Spanish
    Hi Artrella!

    You wrote:
    In Spain we use "las/los" but in same places (e.g. Valladolid, where I live) we use "les". That's not wrong if the direct object are people, but is better to use "las/los".

    Dame los libros - Dameles (Wrong) - Damelos (Right)
    Espera a los niños - Esperales (Right) - Esperalos (Better)

    Bye!
     
  9. dave

    dave Senior Member

    London
    UK - English
    1) Firstly, your query about mamá da un beso a Lucia = mamá se lo da.

    Ok, here we have 2 objects - 1 direct and 1 indirect:

    Mum gives a kiss [direct object] to Lucia [indirect object]

    Lucia is an indirect object, because Mum does not give Lucia, she gives something (in this case a kiss) to Lucia.

    If we replace both a kiss and Lucia with pronouns, we get:

    Mum gives it [direct object pronoun, replacing a kiss] to her [indirect object pronoun, replacing Lucia]

    OK, now back to the Spanish. Following the 'normal' rules, the equivalent in Spanish would be:

    *Mamá le lo da*

    However, there is another rule in Spanish which says that you can never put two pronouns beginning with 'l' together - this is simply because it sounds funny! (This is commonly known in English as the 'lala rule'). When, as in our example, two pronouns beginning with 'l' would normally appear together, the first pronoun (which is always the indirect pronoun) changes from le or les to se. Therefore the correct sentence is:

    Mamá se lo da

    2. The Passive. This is a rule that I learnt in this forum, and it seems to work. If we take the phrase:

    Explicó a los alumnos
    (He explained to the students)


    and try to render it in the passive voice we would get

    *Los alumnos fueron explicados*
    (*The students were explained*)


    This is a grammatically incorrect or non-sensical construction in Spanish (and in English). Therefore the object (los alumnos) must be indirect. Thus replaing it with a pronoun we get:

    Les explicó
    (He explained to them)


    However if we take the phrase:

    Explicó los problemas
    He explained the problems


    and render it in the passive we get:

    Los problemas fueron explicados
    (The problems were explained)


    this is perfectly correct and makes sense. Therefore the object (los problemas) is direct.

    Therefore if we put both phrases together to make a complete sentence:

    Explicó los problemas a los alumnos
    (He explained the problems to the students)


    and then replace both objects with pronouns, we get (following the 'lala rule' explained above):

    Se los explicó
    He explained them to them


    Other examples:

    i) Active voice: Él dijo a mi padre
    Passive voice: *Mi padre fue dicho por él* - this construction is not possible in Spanish, therefore mi padre is an indirect object (and the preposition a is a 'proper' preposition rather than the personal a).
    Pronominal form: Le dijo

    ii) Active voice: Él quiere a mi padre
    Passive voice: Mi padre es querido por él (this construction is possible in Spanish (I think!), therefore mi padre is a direct object, and the preposition a is the personal a, rather than a 'proper' preposition)
    Pronominal form: Lo quiere
    (some people will tell you that le quiere is also correct, but don't worry about that for now - that is the leísmo/loísmo/laísmo thing I mentioned earlier!)

    Does this help, or have I just confused things even further?!
     
  10. stroggyy Junior Member

    Valladolid (Spain)
    Spain, Spanish
    Hi Irell

    [
    When you use the passive voice the direct object becomes the subject.

    E.g.: Peter waits for Mary - María is waited for Pedro. Now Mary is the subject, so it was the direct object.

    Sam buys Julia some books - Some books are bought by Sam. Some books is the subject, so it was the direct object and Julia the indirect object.


    When we want to replace the indirect object by "le", we have to use "se" if the direct object is replaced by a pronoun.


    Mamá da un beso a Lucía.
    Mamá lo da.
    Mamá le da un beso.
    Mama se lo da.

    I hope you understand me. Bye!
     
  11. dave

    dave Senior Member

    London
    UK - English
    I would just add:

     

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