"Le" in transitive example for verb "dar" - I think I understand but please confirm.
Your dictionary gives the following example for a transitive use of "dar" :
Se lo di a mi hermano -> I gave it to my brother
Let's analyze. "Se" here is actually "Le" but because of the "la la" rule we change it to "Se".
What threw me off immediately again is that there is a "le" in a transitive sentence. First I thought this must be the old leismo which would mean that "le" should really be "lo" but then the sentence would be
Lo lo di a mi hermano.
Which doesn't work either. On closer inspection I realized that the "le" here has nothing to do with the "transitivity" of "dar" in this example. Can someone please confirm the following :
Your example is transitive because "dar" takes a direct object here which is "it" - Lo di. "Gave it" This is what matters and what makes it transitive correct ? The fact that there is also an IOP later on doesn't make this sentence intransitive right ? I guess I keep thinking that if I spot any IOP in any sentence then it cannot be transitive but this is not true right ? This has in fact nothing to do with "leismo" after all correct and the "a" here is prepositional and NOT "personal" right ?
An intransitive example might be "I gave and I gave but I got nothing in return" ?
Please tell me I got this right....
In regards to your second question/post, here is my take on it...
First of all, in dieron las tres in el reloj, las tres is -- surprise! -- the subject!!! I had to really puzzle over it for a bit, but finally I figured it out, and here was my reasoning:
- las tres could not be the DO, because dar is intransitive when it means "strike"
- las tres could not be the IO because it was not preceded by a preposition and there was not an IO pronoun anywhere.
- las tres, if it were a subject, would require a 3rd person plural verb, which dieron is.
Second, I believe (but I could be wrong) that there is an implied DO when dar is used to mean "to strike." It could be blow, for instance.
- Dieron las tres en el reloj / The 3 hours gave (blows) in the clock.
- Le dieron en la cabeza / They gave him (a blow or blows) to the head.
- La piedra dio contra el cristal / The rock gave (a blow) against the glass.
We definitely imply DOs in English -- like, for example, in she writes me (a letter) every week. Of course, there is also the possibility that no DO is implied and Spanish just sees this action as directed against indirect objects somehow, but it is easier for my mind to conceive of it as having an implied DO for now.
Great info ! Thanks for taking the time. About the implied DO...I thought of it more like :
The clock gave 3. Like the clock is giving us the time and it happens to be 3. In other words the clock reads 3.
I think you are saying something else though since in my example the clock would be the subject and in yours its 3. So then your example about the blows help out quite a bit. It would also explain why "giving him to the head" is a painful thing...haha
Then again I could be giving my son to the head meaning I'm combing his hair or something. So you're saying it definitely implies a hurtful action of some sort ? The tricky part is not to translate it as : "They struck him on the head" since it makes it look like "dar" is now a transitive verb for "strike" and, according to, you that is not true. It still means "give" in which case the implied DO sounds like a good explanation.
I had been wondering myself whether the English "I write her" isn't actually wrong and should be "I write (a letter) to her". Any foreigner could also argue that it looks like I literally write HER rather than writing the letter so I see that other languages have that too.
In regards to your first question:
Unlike in English, in Spanish, indirect objects, except when they are pronouns, are always preceded by a preposition -- usually a or para. Whenever a Spanish sentence contains an indirect object, it should (to be grammatically correct) contain also the indirect object pronoun. This feels so odd to an English speaker (and German, too, I imagine) because to us the very purpose of a pronoun is to replace the noun for which it stands. So, in Spanish, a sentence can be in three states:
- no IO, no IO pronoun (lo di)
- only the IO pronoun (le di / se lo di)
- the IO and the IO pronoun (se lo di a mi hermano)
But, a sentence can never have only the IO itself (
lo di a mi hermano). And, if you had simply di a mi hermano, then hermano would usually be interpreted as the DO, due to personal a rule and due to there being no IO pronoun -- one would wonder to whom or to what you gave your brother.
I'm looking at the intransitive examples and i'm not sure I understand one of them
I get this one eventhough it's weird :
le dieron en la cabeza -> they hit him on the head (They gave to him on the head) No DO.
But this one I don't get
dieron las tres en el reloj -> three o'clock struck (They gave 3 o'clock on the clock.)
Isn't 3 a DO ? What is the difference between
Lo di - I gave it.
Dieron las tres - They gave 3.
Why is "lo" a DOP but "3" is not a DO ?
It is a transitive sentence, right.
(Transitive/intransitive is all about whether or not the verb takes a direct object, so having or not having an indirect object does not change the transitivity of the verb.)