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se les/los (Direct object in impersonal sentence)

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by zappo, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. zappo Senior Member

    U.S. English
    In the sentence, los perros se les lleva al veterinario, why is les used instead of the direct object pronoun los?
     
  2. KirkandRafer

    KirkandRafer Senior Member

    Español (Murcia, España)
    Apparently, it's a usage that dates back as far as the origin of the Spanish language.

     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  3. zappo Senior Member

    U.S. English
     
  4. zappo Senior Member

    U.S. English
    Thank you very much for the explanation!
     
  5. Peterdg

    Peterdg Senior Member

    Belgium
    Dutch - Belgium
    Tengo una teoría personal sobre ese asunto (fíjate, nada científico:)).

    Cuando un hispanohablante oye (o ve) la combinación "se lo" o "se los", debido a los múltiples usos que puede tener la palabrita "se", casi automáticamente va a asociar el "se" con el equivalente de "le" o "les". Entonces, si eso no cuadra en el contexto, tendrá que pensarlo otra vez.

    Con la combinación "se le" o "se les", esa interpretación del "se" como equivalente de "le/les" no es posible.
     
  6. Milton Sand

    Milton Sand Modómano, 'mano

    Bucaramanga, Colombia
    Español (Colombia)
    Hi,
    I noticed you didn't used the "a" for the explicit direct object in the impersonal sentence. ;)

    Anyway, it's an ancient custom; we always use it in Colombia. It seems to me that when we hear "se los/las", we think that the speaker is using a "se (=les)" in its function of indicating interest/relation/possession, or that the verb is "llevarse (to carry away)", or they might be talking about somebody taking somebody else's specific dogs:

    [Juan cuida a los gaticos de María; también a sus adorables perros que están enfermos. A los gaticos se los deja en casa;] a los perros se los lleva al veterinario.
    —> He leaves her cats at home. He takes her dogs to the vet / He takes the dogs with him to the vet.

    [Ahora, se cuida a los gaticos de María; también a sus adorables perros que están enfermos. A los gaticos se les deja en casa;] a los perros se les lleva al veterinario.
    —> Her cats are left at home. Her dogs are taken to the vet.

    [Ahora, se cuida a los gaticos de María; también a sus adorables perros que están enfermos. A los gaticos se los deja en casa;] a los perros se los lleva al veterinario.
    —> She takes her dogs to the vet. The bit "A los gaticos se los deja en casa" is not clear (at least for a Colombian).
    Juan may modestly say the second example (impersonal) in order to avoid his being the center of attention.
    I hadn't think of such a good argumento extragramatical. Yes, we can say that's the feeling. That can be the reason why this custom has survived so many centuries.

    Regards,
    ;)
     
  7. Aviador

    Aviador Senior Member

    Santiago de Chile (a veces)
    Castellano de Chile
    I am one of those speakers the Real Academia refers to:
    For coherence, I recommend lo if the reference is a direct object.
    In fact, the use of le in this case sounds really weird to me.
     
  8. KirkandRafer

    KirkandRafer Senior Member

    Español (Murcia, España)
    Well, as noted above, the use of 'lo' in that construction sounds really weird to the majority of speakers.

    Why can't we say that both can be used depending on the speakers the text is addressed to?

    P.D. Milton, I don't get why you corrected Peter's message. It looks absolutely correct to me the way he had worded it.
     
  9. Milton Sand

    Milton Sand Modómano, 'mano

    Bucaramanga, Colombia
    Español (Colombia)
    ¡Por supuesto que te debe sonar raro! ;)
     

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