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"La ayuda"?


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Old September 29, 2022, 10:38 PM
createdamadman createdamadman is offline
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"La ayuda"?

Up until now, I always thought you had to use the indirect object pronouns "le/les" with "ayudar", and the thing you were actually doing to help was the direct object. But then I saw these two examples below, which use the direct object "la". Is each usage interchangeable or is there a rule for when you must use one versus the other?

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Old September 30, 2022, 09:57 AM
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There is great division around the world on this topic. Here's the official word on the matter.

Elsewhere, the DPD teaches that some verbs (and there's a long list) have changed from intransitive to transitive. Ayudar falls in this list, as a verb that used to take the dative but now takes the accusative pronouns.
In Latin, the verb aiudare was dative. In Spanish, it also used to be dative, but has since been changed to accusative. If you can ask, «¿Quién es ayudado?», and get «ella» or «él» as a reply, you're dealing with a transitive verb (and use the accusative pronoun la or lo).
This change, the DPD says, hasn't caught on in all regions. In Spain, el leísmo can overrule the normal usage ("new" normal usage ).

I'd like to think native speakers on this side of the pond use ayudarla and ayudarlo, but I know I've heard ayudarle used in some of the Latin American countries I've visited.
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Old September 30, 2022, 01:55 PM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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I agree with Rusty.
I will just add a side note.
"Officially", the verb "ayudar" is a transitive verb, which means that it needs a direct object, so the grammatically correct thing to do is pair it with "lo(s)"/"la(s)".
That said, even among native speakers, the usage of direct object and indirect object pronouns is often mixed and you'll find people using "la"/"lo" instead of "le" and "le" instead of "la"/"lo". This, definitely doesn't mean that you shouldn't care about which pronoun goes with what verb; I'd rather say that you should learn them properly, so you can identify in what regions is valid to change usage and what speakers make mistakes.

You may find:

-"¿Le ayudo a abrir la puerta?", when the right sentence should be "¿La/Lo ayudo a abrir la puerta?"
May I help you open the door?


-"Hablé con mi hermana. La dije que viniera a verme", when the grammatically correct sentence should be "Hablé con mi hermana. Le dije que viniera a verme".
I talked to my sister. I asked her to come and see me.

Don't panic, it's confusing, but learn with the examples and you'll stay on the right track.
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