Le dio el boleto a él Le di un plátano al mono

2
votes

Hi,

In these sentences below I've seen on the lessons so far I couldn't understand something.

Le dio el boleto a él
Le di un plátano al mono

If in the first sentence the pronoun Le means him or to him why do we use a él at the end of the sentence? What is the logic here?

And if in the second sentence the object of the sentence is used directly as al mono why do we use Le at the beginning and what does it mean there? If we are to use the pronoun at the beginning of the sentence to indicate the meaning to him or to something why don t we say:

Me diste el boleto a mi

I think I was clear enough, thanks in advance

7680 views
updated NOV 17, 2009
edited by 00494d19
posted by asduskun

17 Answers

0
votes

Okay, sorry I keep rambaling I just want to clarify that a lot of this also has to do with social context. If, for instance, you and a friend are already in the middle of discussing said monkey, then "al mono" is not even necessary and you can get by with simply saying "Le dio el plátano". Sorry if I just made the situation even murkier...

updated NOV 16, 2009
posted by TCUspan
3
votes

I'd suggest that you look at it from a non-English viewpoint.

In English we expect to see the indirect object later on in the sentence following the verb or the direct object. So to us the a él seems to be the indirect object and the le is a redundant pronoun. As a matter of fact, it is often referred to as a redundant, indirect object pronoun. However, from the Spanish viewpoint the le is the indirect object and the a él is what is redundant. (I refer to it as the clarifying prepositional phrase as it tells you more about who the le refers to). You can have a correct sentence using only the pronoun, but your sentence is incorrect using only the prepositional phrase.

To understand why this ambiguous pronoun is the direct object and why the more informative prepositional phrase (clarifier) is less necessary might be explained in a previous thread by Lazarus that described this pronoun as an anticipatory, redundant i.o.p. It is analogous to the use of the ¿ to warn the Spanish read that what follows will be a question. The le serves to tell the Spanish reader to look for the antecendent of the pronoun (either in previous sentences from context or in a subsequent clarifying prepositional phrase.)

To further explain the use of this anticipatory function let me expand upon what Paralee covers in the lessons. She introduces this redundant pronoun for indirect objects as she tells you that it must always be used if an i.o. exists in the sentence. What she does not tell you is that this idea of a redundant, anticipatory, pronoun also exists for some direct objects. Here, the redundant pronoun is not always required. Just because the sentence has an d.o. does not mean that there will be a redundant, d.o. pronoun. As the issue is more complicated for direct object pronouns, it probably was not introduced to avoid confusion at a beginning level.

It takes a bit of looking to find the rules for the use of the redundant pronoun used with direct objects, but examples are common if you are on the lookout for them. The most obvious clue is if the sentence contains an clarifying preposition phrase. If you see an "a él" in the sentence, look for either a lo or a le to also be included in the sentence. There are commonly mistaken by English readers as leísmos, but if you pay more attention to the sentence you will see that in some the clarifying prepositional phrase is referring to the sentence's direct object and in some it is referring to the sentence indirect object.

The part of this that I haven't figured out yet is that this construction appears to always be used when the clarifying prepositional phrase contains a tonic pronoun (a subject pronoun..a él, a nosotros, etc.), but less often when the d.o. is expressed (is a name or a noun). I found a rule for this, but it doesn't come to mind at the moment.

Bottom line. Don't ask why the ¿ is used in Spanish. If you need more explanation that the antiicpatory reason just accept it as a rule. Similarly, if you need more explanation of the redundant, object pronoun in Spanish than its anticipatory function just accept it as a rule.

La muchacha lo vio a él. (the a él is optional, the lo is not)

The lo is the anticipatory, redundant d.o. pronoun and the a él is the clarifying prepositional phrase.

However,

La muchacha vio a Juan (the d.o is expressed and the lo does not seem to be compulsory).

La muchacha le dio el libro a Juan.

La muchach le dio el libro a él.

(the le is compulsory even when the i.o. is expressed) in Paralee's rule on indirect objects.

Other interesting comments on object pronouns:

In Spanish, unlike English, a noun can't be an indirect object; it must be used as prepositional pronoun. For example, we could say "I gave Sally the ring" in English, but in Spanish the preposition a is needed, le di el anillo a Sally.)

Similarly, note also that in Spanish that the indirect object pronoun must refer to a person or animal.

interesting article on object pronouns

updated NOV 17, 2009
edited by 0074b507
posted by 0074b507
1
vote

It's all about clarity. This may seem redundant to a native english speaker but this is simply how spanish is spoken, not that it's necessarily wrong to simply say "Le dio el boleto" but in this case if the context is not known then "Le" can represent any number of people or objects so you will typically see/hear "a alguien/algo" added at the ended simply for clarity's sake. And again you can get away with simply saying "Di un plátano al mono", but usually a native speaker would say it with adding the "Le" in front. And by the way, "diste" is the correct second person conjugation of dar, NOT "distes" (some natives will pronounce it "distes" but that is not how it's actually spelt)

Hope that helps

updated NOV 16, 2009
posted by TCUspan
0
votes

object pronouns

One of the confusing aspects discussing object pronouns is that Spanish considers some objects as indirect objects where in English we would call them direct objects.

Consider some of the sentences in the above article:

  1. With direct object:

    Indefinite Clear

Notice that the clarifier is a tonic pronoun and not an expressed noun or name. Notice that either le or lo is used. This is not a leísmo, but the fact that Spanish treats these objects as either an indirect and direct objects depending on God knows what criteria..

In all of these examples when the prepositional phrase is present with a tonic pronoun the redundant object pronoun is used.

Notice that in all of the examples that the redundant pronoun can be there without the prepositional clarifier, but the prepositional clarifier cannot be there without the redundant pronoun.

This is why I stated that if you see the prepositional clarifiing phrase with a tonic pronoun expect to see a redundant pronoun (either i.o. or do.).

I also tried to make it clear that not all sentences with a d.o. prepositional phrase like those that Janice provided will evoke a redundant pronoun. It's only when the prepositional phrase has a tonic pronoun in it. That is the difference between the redundant, i.o.p (always used when sentence has i.o.) and the d.o.p. usage (always used when clarifier is a tonic pronoun).

A diferencia de los pronombres de CI, no usamos los pronombres de CD si el CD no ha sido identificado antes.

It could be argued that for the a + tonic pronoun (a él) must have been identified before or we would not know to whom they refer and that nouns and names (a María) have not been identified before (or we would be using a pronoun for them.) Spurious argument, but I'm just trying to make sense out of rules that often sound contradictory.

updated NOV 17, 2009
edited by 0074b507
posted by 0074b507
I think that I, too, can remember having seen "le" where I expected "lo", and have formed some ideas about it...holding off on expressing them until I finish my chapter on pronouns. Plus I have a thousand miles to drive....Your post is very interesting.
0
votes

Quentin, You wrote:

To understand why this ambiguous pronoun is the direct object and why the more informative prepositional phrase (clarifier) is less necessary might be explained in a previous thread by Lazarus that described this pronoun as an anticipatory, redundant i.o.p. It is analogous to the use of the ¿ to warn the Spanish read that what follows will be a question. The le...

But I think you meant "indirect object" ..as you indicate in fact yourself with that last word "le". (I have placed both that I refer to in boldface.)

You further wrote, however that:

What [Paralee] does not tell you is that this idea of a redundant, anticipatory, pronoun also exists for some direct objects

The italics are mine....because I do not think that Spanish employs an anticipatory direct object pronoun...lo, la, los, las. Reflexive pronouns aside, my Grámatica básica del estudiante de español warns against any such use as an error.

A diferencia de los pronombres de CI, no usamos los pronombres de CD si el CD no ha sido identificado antes.

Then the authors give these examples:

  • He cogido las fotocopias.
  • ¿Has llamado al camarero?
  • Lleva a tus padres al cine?

....right after which the authors go on to show these same examples with a crossed out direct object pronoun in front of the verb indicating that "Las he cogido las fotocopias", and "¿Lo has llamado al camarero?", and "Llévalos a tus padres al cine" all would be incorrect!!

..........but of course I have not completed this section three yet. Who knows. I may have to rescind this post.

.

updated NOV 17, 2009
posted by Janice
Notice that in all your examples the d.o. is expressed. That why I stated that you see it when the d.o. is a tonic prononoun and not usually when it is a noun or name as in your examples.
Let me take a moment to read about what a tonic pronoun is...again, I am learning grammar as I learn Spanish...In fact, the very word "redundant" may have a special use in the language of grammar with which I need to become familiar.
0
votes

Le dio el boleto a él Le di un plátano al mono

MInd that in Lazarus examples we have like in the second sentence a noun, not a pronoun (a él)

Le dio un boleto(a él) As the indirect object has already been mentioned the a él is the reduntant part and should not be mentioned here.

updated NOV 17, 2009
posted by 00494d19
0
votes

However, from the Spanish viewpoint the le is the indirect object and the a él is what is redundant

Yes, from a Spanish point of view, the a él is redundant. Sounds weird from an English native point of view, as the to him would not be redundant of course. But the "le/lo " IS already mentioned, so the second mention of the pronoun, that is "a él" is redundant, not the first one.

Let me copy this by Lazarus for you:

Ella escribe al menos una carta a sus padres cada semana.

it would sound perfectly natural to me, but it would have been equally fine with the extra "les". A sentence like

Jorge regaló un vestido a su novia.

sounds a bit stranger without the extra "le", so I wouldn't have omitted it here.

In any case, statistically, the probability that the extra pronoun cannot be added is very rare, but the probability that omitting it will result in a natural sentence is equally rare, so it is better to use it all the time.

Why this unnecessary pronoun? I'll explain again. In the English sentence:

I hate it when you are so aggressive.

Why do you use that "it" at all? In Spanish we don't use it, and the sentence would sound absurd with a pronoun there. We'd just say "I hate when you are so aggressive". Each language has its own apparently redundant particles without which communication wouldn't be so effective. Both the English "it" and the Spanish pronoun "le(s)" prepare the listener for what follows, and this "le" also informs them that the action is finished.

updated NOV 17, 2009
posted by 00494d19
0
votes

Certainly, certainly TCUspan! In fact, my response is "straight from the textbook", ---indeed quoted from the textbook! I have only ever uttered something like "¿Qué tal?" to the charming young lady who cleans the area in which I work evenings and who, by the way, always answers me in English...so sad...after all, there is not even a "b" ..make that a "v" ...in ¿Qué tal? for me to have gotten wrong....

But I think that the textbook is valuable if it is correct and I am glad to hear you confirm that the authors are providing the reader (me) with the correct pronoun syntax.

I am a big fan of Norm Chomsky and do not even think that when people speak "in the margins of the textbook" that they are necessarily speaking incorrectly. But if I -- not Spanish-speaking me -- were to say "Dio el plátano al mono", it would be wrong, wrong, wrong, and you would hear and judge it to be incorrect. Whereas if your Dad were to say that same sentence, there would be something in the way he would say it or the intonation or some word left out or something understood because, well, it is said "silently"....something would make it ok.

For me, it could not be ok. Or? Maybe in that particular example, even your Dad would not leave out the "le", as you say, but in another example where - for some reason that does not break this rule - the grammar would still be correct. What do you think?

By the way, I should include the caveat that I am learning about grammar as I learn Spanish. I have never learned a language from a book (well, a book and tapes and CD's) before.

updated NOV 16, 2009
posted by Janice
0
votes

I see you're progressing well with your "pronombres" section, Janice smile You make very valid points in your arguments, however I'm going to have to stand firm in what I've already said. The information that you bring to the table is correct, but a little too "textbook-y". Now I don't know of your Spanish background, but myself coming from a spanish-speaking family, I'm being completely honest when I say that, culturally-speaking, I have heard many variations of this same situation: MOST OFTEN it will be heard utilizing all the correct pronoun syntax, however, some conversations and simple responses aren't so bound up in formality and it's possible to here the phrase with just "a alguien/algo".

updated NOV 16, 2009
posted by TCUspan
0
votes

Quentin, you wrote:

However, from the Spanish viewpoint the le is the indirect object and the a él is what is redundant

However, I do not think that "a él" can be stated to be redundant if these words, in fact, clarify what needs to be clarified.

If they were, in fact, going to be redundant, --- that is to say, if the le, les or se+lo/la/los/las were perfectly clear to the persons (well, ok, the Spanish-speaking persons:--) holding the conversation, I would bet that those persons would not employ the "a él".

updated NOV 16, 2009
posted by Janice
0
votes

And again you can get away with simply saying "Di un plátano al mono", but usually a native speaker would say it with adding the "Le" in front.

I am not sure that your statement is quite correct, TCUspan.

Asduskan asked "so why are we using Le at the beginning if it's just for the sake of clarity?"

And the answer to that, if I understand my Gramatica basica del estudiante de español correctly is that this first "le" is not there for for clarity, but rather it is included by a special rule governing the use of the "complemento indirecto" le or les or se+lo/la/los/las.

Here is what the book's authors write in Section 3, part 17A, Uso de lo, la, los, las, las or le, les: Lo ha comprado. Le ha dado un regalo a Maria.

Si nos referimos al CI, usamos los pronombres complemento (le, les o se+lo/la/los/las) con CI identificados antes

and then ....drum roll..... the sentence continues to say....drum roll gets louder....


pero también con CI que identificamos después del pronombre.


So I do not think you can leave the indirect object pronoun out and just say "Dio el plátano al mono". I cannot believe that is a cultural matter or simply a matter of "how the native would [but need not] say it. I think it is the rule spelled out in this chapter called "Presencia y reduplicación de pronombres".

Importantly, the section has already made it clear that in the majority of cases, one uses the pronoun --- be it the CD (complemento directo) or the CI (complemento indirecto) -- ( and again we are best off if l simply quote the text):

...para referirnos a una persona o una cosa de la que ya hemos hablado antes o tenemos perfectamente identificada.

The case Asdunkan asks about here is one in which the "persona" or "cosa" has not been identified previously and/or is not already perfectly identified! But the CI is required anyway.....I repeat the quote:

....pero también con CI que identificamos después del pronombre.

updated NOV 16, 2009
posted by Janice
0
votes

thank you very much for this huge explanation BUT can't ' say La muchacha vio a él if i know who the a el is without using lo?

updated NOV 16, 2009
posted by asduskun
I believe "yes" and in fact that this would be better and will "answer" formally when I get home to my "Gramática básica del estudiante del español" for guidance.
0
votes

no no, it was a nice answer so the result is " Sometimes languages are not judged" each of them has its own rules and people mustn t always try to find a logic in the way that language is spokensmile and to make yourself seem like a native, try to talk like them.

updated NOV 16, 2009
posted by asduskun
haha basically! the more experience that you have with the language and culture, the more you'll begin to realize this for yourself
0
votes

firstly thank you very much for all the answer but the last answer was very helpful but in this case i have one more question to TCUspan

if it s for the sake of clarity to say Le dio el boleto a él i mean to say a él is for the sake of clarity , that s to make the Le at the beginning more clear.

IF SO

Why do we use Le at the beginning of the second sentence as it s alread clear that Dio el plátano al mono, as you see we know that he gave the banana to the monkey, it s clear that he gave the banana to the monkey so why are we using Le at the beginning if it s just for the sake of clarity?

updated NOV 16, 2009
posted by asduskun
Good question and I really can't give you a specific grammar rule for why that it except to say that it's more a cultural reason: it's just how a native would say it ;)
You'll be understood by people if you don't use "le" at the beginning, but you'll probably give away the fact that you're not a native speaker. As a side note, both "dar" and "decir" will often be constructed in this manner.
0
votes

anybody has the answer?

updated NOV 16, 2009
posted by asduskun