Thread: Les??
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Old June 15, 2017, 09:26 AM
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wrholt wrholt is offline
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Originally Posted by repmomkey View Post
Hola amigos y amigas!!! I'm new here so forgive me if this question has been asked already.
What is the purpose of the pronouns "les" and "le"?
The sentence "Ella les escribe una carta a sus padres." translate to "She writes a letter to her parents". (I took this from Rosetta Stone) It seems to work fine without the 'les'.
Why is the 'les' there?
In your sentence it reinforces the fact that "a sus padres" is an indirect object rather than a direct object.

Spanish word order is a lot more flexible than English word order, and sometimes word order alone is not enough to clearly distinguish the subject, direct object and indirect object from one another. As a result, the following are true:

a. When a prepositional phrase that functions as a third-person indirect object of a verb follows its verb, it is common to also say/write the corresponding indirect object pronoun 'le' or 'les'. Depending on the particular verb, the particular indirect object, and the context of the sentence, using 'le' or 'les' may or may not be optional.

b. When a verb follows one or more of its objects, it is mandatory to also use an object pronoun for each of those objects.

So, it's possible that your original sentence "Ella les escribe una carta a sus padres" could also be written as "Ella escribe una carta a sus padres" or as "A sus padres ella les escribe una carta", but it in general it cannot be written as *"A sus padres ella escribe una carta".
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