I have a question about : Hay que dejarle propina a la mesera.


I have a question about this sentence:Hay que dejarle propina a la mesera. It is necessary to leave a tip for the waitress.

Question #1. What does dejarle mean in this sentence and why use a indirect object le.
Question #2 What is the grammar rule to this sentence using le after dejar Question #3 Does the le mean It if so how can that be? I thought le means (For him, her or it ) or ( To him, her or it)? How can you say that in this sentence. I can not say " to it is necessary" or maybe "for it is necessary" is good. ***

I thought Hay que means It is necessary Why use le to say it again?

What is the answer to this question because I am confused!!!!

updated ENE 8, 2010
edited by Walter-Campagna
posted by Walter-Campagna

4 Answers


The SpanishDict learning video explains this very well. It is lesson 2.3. smile

That "le" in that sentence is an indirect object pronoun, referring to the waitress (to her).

First, the indirect object pronoun is used because, in Spanish, when you have an indirect object in a sentence, you ALWAYS HAVE TO include the indirect object pronoun: me te le nos os les in the sentence too. (Yes, I was confused when I learned about that hehe wink.)

And, usually, indirect object pronouns are placed before the verb, but exceptions are verbs that are gerunds, infinitives, and commands, and for those you can put the object pronouns AFTER the verb. In the sentence above, the verb "dejar" is in the infinitive so the "le" was placed after the verb.

Hope that helps. But for a full explanation, the video really makes it clear! smile

updated ENE 8, 2010
edited by Grace90
posted by Grace90

In this context, the le is referring to the waitress in the indirect object pronoun form. In Spanish, the tendency is to add the le to the end of a verb in the infinitive, gerund, or imperative tenses to reinforce that the action is being done to someone/something. This is done in addition to repeating the actual indirect object at the end of the clause or sentence

  • It is necessary to give [her] the tip to the waitress = waitress and her are one and the same, the indirect object

(Oh wow! I guess several of us jumped on this one after empollón made his mark)

updated ENE 7, 2010
edited by bdclark0423
posted by bdclark0423

My question is why would you say "Hay que dejarle propina a la mesera." instead of "Hay que dejarle una propina a la mesera."? Do you just leave tip, not a tip? I don't get it.

updated ENE 8, 2010
posted by jeezzle

The 'le' in this sentence refers to the waitress. "Dejarle por", in the context of leaving something for someone, is a reflexive verb.

Dejarle - leave it (for) him

Dejarla - leave it (for) her

Dejarlo - leave it (for) it

Dejarme - leave it (for) me


"Me puedo llevar este libro? No! Déjamelo en la mesa."

"Can I take this book with me? No! Leave it on the table (for) me."

updated ENE 7, 2010
edited by inglesa_loquita
posted by inglesa_loquita
Is the Waitress giving a tip to herself in this sentence? No! For him, for her, for it - is indirect pronouns not reflexive- you mean myself, herself, ourselves, themselves.
This verb is not being used reflexiviely. Le, lo, la are not reflexive pronouns.