HomeQ&A"A la primera ya la conocemos" - Is the second "la" neccesary?

"A la primera ya la conocemos" - Is the second "la" neccesary?

0
votes

Hi, I'm back with another question. (I've been on a roll lately tongue laugh ) Anyway, I was recently reading/listening to a story at a spanishnewsbites.com, a site which adapts real life news stories for Spanish learners. In one of the articles, I came across this sentence: "A la primera ya la conocemos." I understand that it means "We already know the first one [in this case, "one" being an actress.] I'm a little bit confused as to why the second "la" is there with "...ya la conocemos." It seems to me that "la primera" is the direct object, so my question is this: is the second "la" neccesary'

2759 views
updated JUL 26, 2009
posted by Nick-Cortina

10 Answers

0
votes

I agree with Nick, the explanation was excellent and I will keep it for future reference.

updated JUL 26, 2009
posted by Mark-Baker
0
votes

Wow! That was a great explanation, like always. Thank you very much. grin

updated JUL 26, 2009
posted by Nick-Cortina
0
votes

Okay, thank you. Is there any useful reason why the "co-apparition" is mandatory, or is that "just the way it is"? I'm just curious, tongue laugh

I hope I don't get too boring with the same question, but look at these sentences:

It appears that they are not coming.
Parece que no van a venir.

The main difference is that in English you say "it" first, but this "it" refers to what is said afterwards (a cataphoric reference), ie. "they are not coming", so why saying "it" at all? If you used an "it" in Spanish, every single native, regardless of their education level, would say "What? Why 'lo' here'". Can you explain why?

The answer, far from being perfectly scientific, has to do with the way both languages have evolved differently, and they developed mechanisms for making the sentences unambiguous, and keeping the right feedback. Both English and Spanish normally follow the usual subject-verb-object structure, but Spanish has a lot more freedom here. In a (deliberately wrong) sentence like:

La persona A persigue la persona B

you don't know who chases whom for sure, because the subject could easily be at the end of the sentence. To solve this, a preposition is added:

La persona A persigue a la persona B

so Mr. A chases Mr. B without a doubt. A sentence like

A la persona A persigue la persona B

is forcing the opposite interpretation, beginning with the object instead. But since in Spanish there are many ways to begin a sentence naturally with an indirect object, the "audience" will probably have to read the sentence at least twice (if only in his head) to understand it correctly. After "A la persona A", one normally expects something that it is the target of this phrase, even though it is grammatically the subject, like in "gustar". To avoid this confusion, we duplicate the pronoun, and we prepare the "audience" for a rather unusual misinterpretation.

As I said, without this pronoun, lots of misunderstandings and silly temporary confusions would take place, and even though this is not going to happen all the time, the "Spanish community", lacking any knowledge of grammar, decided -long ago- that this reduplication was necessary.

updated JUL 26, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Okay, thank you. Is there any useful reason why the "co-apparition" is mandatory, or is that "just the way it is"? I'm just curious, tongue laugh

updated JUL 26, 2009
posted by Nick-Cortina
0
votes

Heidi already explained it, but here I go anyway:

If the direct or indirect object (not their pronouns) appears before the verb, the co-apparition of the corresponding pronoun is mandatory (the only possible apparent exception is for very advanced students):

Veo a la niña
A la niña veo
A la niña la veo

updated JUL 26, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Quentin, no idiom here.

Shoot, I should have gone with my first impression. grin Thank you.
When you see various possibilities and you tend to over-think things.

updated JUL 26, 2009
posted by 0074b507
0
votes

"El cine español tiene esta semana dos mujeres pioneras. A la primera ya la conocemos. Penélope Cruz, la Cenicienta de Alcobendas, el pueblo de Madrid donde creció, es la primera actriz española que gana un Oscar."

There I included the sentence that comes before and the sentence that comes after "A la primera..." I'll be sure to search for those previous discussions. Thank you grin

Here, I think that the a la primera **is more idiomatic **meaning "[Refering or as] to the first one, we already know her."
It could possibly be viewed as a redundant anticipatory pronoun if you re-wrote the sentence (but I'm not sure that is why how it is used in this context.)

Ya [la] conocemos a la primera.

If we looked at it in this context we'd have to get into the argument about the le or la d.o. .vs. i.o. which involves leísmso and regionality, but I don't think any of that is involved here.

updated JUL 25, 2009
posted by 0074b507
0
votes

Yes, Nick, la is mandatory here. That is due to the inversion.

Conocemos a la primera.
A la primera la conocemos.

Lazarus needs to give you the rule for this. But it happens whenever you make an inversion.

¿ Tienes la raqueta y la pelota?
Sí,la raqueta la tengo.

this is used to give emphasis to the object.

Quentin, no idiom here.

updated JUL 25, 2009
posted by 00494d19
0
votes

"El cine español tiene esta semana dos mujeres pioneras. A la primera ya la conocemos. Penélope Cruz, la Cenicienta de Alcobendas, el pueblo de Madrid donde creció, es la primera actriz española que gana un Oscar."

There I included the sentence that comes before and the sentence that comes after "A la primera..." I'll be sure to search for those previous discussions. Thank you grin

updated JUL 25, 2009
posted by Nick-Cortina
0
votes

Hi, I'm back with another question. (I've been on a roll lately tongue laugh ) Anyway, I was recently reading/listening to a story at a spanishnewsbites.com, a site which adapts real life news stories for Spanish learners. In one of the articles, I came across this sentence: "A la primera ya la conocemos." I understand that it means "We already know the first one [in this case, "one" being an actress.] I'm a little bit confused as to why the second "la" is there with "...ya la conocemos." It seems to me that "la primera" is the direct object, so my question is this: is the second "la" neccesary?

I think we need the previous sentence and the entire sentence beginning with A la primera... to understand whether the phrase is being used as an idiom or as a clarifier for the second la.

You might also wish to refer to the several previous topics that we have had on the use of redundant, anticipatory object pronouns (if this is, indeed, the case here).

updated JUL 25, 2009
posted by 0074b507
SpanishDict is the world's most popular Spanish-English dictionary, translation, and learning website.
© Curiosity Media Inc.