Spanish language learning forums

Spanish language learning forums (
-   Grammar (
-   -   Direct vs Indirect? (

AlwaysLost August 11, 2016 02:38 PM

Direct vs Indirect?
I missed something here. The direct object receives and the indirect object gives.

Here is an example from each section of my book.

Direct object: María lo ama. lo is the direct object.
Indirect object: Me gusta nadar. Me gusta is the indirect object.

The direct object makes since as lo is definitely receiving love. But what is Me gusta giving?

poli August 11, 2016 02:50 PM

Translate me gusta nadar this way:
Swimming is pleasing to me, or swimming gives me pleasure

Swimming is giving something to you.

AngelicaDeAlquezar August 11, 2016 03:29 PM

In verbs like "gustar", the "thing" someone likes is the subject of the sentence, and the person who likes it is the indirect object. If you think about it the way Poli explains, the idea is clearer. :)

- Me molesta el calor.
:approx: The heat bothers me.

- ¿Te importa tu salud?
:approx: Does your health interest you? (Although we'd rather translate: "Do you care about your health?")

- A María le fascinan las fresas.
:approx: Strawberries fascinate María. (But we'd translate: "María loves strawberries.")

- ¿Les parece bien que ponga música?
:approx: Is my playing music fine for you? (But I'd rather say: "Would you like me to play some music?")

AlwaysLost August 30, 2016 05:45 PM

I'm still lost. Can you help me sentence by sentence, I think it would be helpful to go over a variety of examples.

Yo los miro: un hombre besa a un mujer; tres ninos corren hacia una mujer y emocionados la besan, y ella, con lagrimas en los ojos, los besa y los abraza.

So this sentence is very awkward for me and I have some questions about it. Yo los miro: I them I'm watching. This sentence is easy for me, but I put it in for context.

tres ninos corren hacia una mujer y emocionados la besan: I think I have this one right too, but the la is from la mujer. and it's her they kiss.

y ella, con lagrimas en los ojos, los besa y los abraza.: this is where I get a little lost. The first part showed the kids doing something to the women, but now is this the switch and the women is doing something to the boys? My translation is with tears en the eyes, them she kiss and them she hugs.

con lagrimas en los ojos: the los ojos bit has got me confused because the word los is used so many times I want to make sure that it isn't referring to the two little boys.

Rusty August 30, 2016 07:12 PM

You have everything figured out, albeit by using literal translations.

The 'los' in the 'los ojos' phrase is simply an article. In Spanish, when someone's eyes are obviously belonging to the subject, the article is used instead of the possessive adjective.
In other words, to say "She, with tears in her eyes," the correct grammar calls for 'los' (the article) instead of 'sus' (the possessive adjective).

AlwaysLost September 01, 2016 05:19 PM

Thank you. I'm to keep my posts within this thread so we can see a complete thought.

This is the next bit that I'm stuck on.
una mujer le dice a su novio que lo extraña cuando está lejos de ella; él le dice que la ama.

A woman to him say to her boyfriend that lo is wierd when he is far form her; he to her say that to her he loves

Somewhere I read that "lo" is another word for it, but I only see it listed as a direct object word for "he". This is confusing to me.

The "la ama" threw me for a second. I feel like this sentence twists and turns sharply when trying to understand it. Why say "le dice que la ama"? Is both le and la in this context mean "to her"? Why the switch?

Rusty September 01, 2016 07:07 PM

You just need to keep in mind whether the pronoun stands for a direct object or an indirect object.
When 'lo' or 'la' is used, it's a direct object pronoun.
When 'le' is used, it's an indirect object pronoun.

It may prove helpful to memorize verbs with the possible pronouns.
For instance, decirle a alguien algo is the model for the verb decir, which can take both a direct object (algo) and an indirect object (a alguien). The 'algo' (direct object) can be an object, an object pronoun or a noun clause.
In your sentence, the direct object (what she is telling her boyfriend) is a noun clause (starting the conjunction 'que' and ending with the semi-colon). The indirect object ('a su novio') and the redundant indirect object pronoun 'le' let you know whom she's telling.
That takes care of decir.
The next verb is in the noun clause. The model is extrañar a alguien. The 'a alguien' is the direct object (providing 'who/what' is missed). As mentioned before, the direct object can be an object, an object pronoun or a noun clause. In your sentence, it is the object pronoun 'lo'.
That takes care of extrañar.
We'll skip the linking verb estar, since there is no pronoun at play.
The last clause has the same verb as the first clause, with the same model - decirle a alguien algo. Again, the direct object is a noun clause (que la ama). The woman is the indirect object (the author could have added 'a ella' or 'a la mujer' to make it absolutely clear whom 'le' refers to).
The noun clause, which is 'what' (direct object) he is saying, contains our final verb.
The model is 'amar a alguien'. The 'a alguien' is 'whom is loved'. This direct object can be an object, an object pronoun or a noun clause. In this case, an object pronoun is used. It is 'la' because the object the pronoun represents is the woman.

I hope this clears things up for you. Just pay attention to the difference between direct objects and indirect objects, and extend that to the pronouns that represent them.

AndyP October 31, 2017 07:05 AM

I have beenn studying Spanish for a couple of years now but these Direct and Indirect pronouns still cause me confusion.
This is an interesting thread but I am still confused about a simple translation I have.

Quiero invitarlo a la fiesta. I want to invite him to the party.

'lo' being direct pronoun as it is not answering "to whom" or "for whom"

Quiero decirle la respuesta. I want to tell him the answer.

I would still expect the pronoun to be 'lo' as in my view it meets the same criteria as 'invitar'.

You have probably answered this in your previous response.

At first I thought that 'Leísmo' was being translated as the norm.

Many thanks.

Rusty October 31, 2017 07:33 AM

The second statement is correctly used. 'La respuesta' is the direct object of 'decir' and 'le' is the indirect object pronoun for 'a él', which apparently didn't need to be said because the persons involved in the conversation were clear about it being 'him' who would receive the answer.

In the first statement, either 'lo' or 'le' could be used. The statement clearly calls for a direct object pronoun, so 'lo' is correct usage. Substituting 'le' for 'lo' (a practice called 'leísmo') is perfectly accepted in parts of Spain (and in a smaller portion of Spain, they substitute 'le' for 'la').

AndyP November 01, 2017 09:12 AM

Rusty, thank you for your answer.

So would there ever be a scenario where decir would have the direct pronoun of 'lo' or 'la'.
Quiero decirlo ...... I want to ask him ........
Quiero decirla ...... I want to ask her ........

Sorry to labour this as I am probably missing something but would decir always use the indirect object pronoun? (decirle)

When one is learning Spanish knowing that 'leísmo' is accepted is confusing.

Thanks again.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:40 AM.

Forum powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.