lo vs le in this sentence

lo vs le in this sentence


Se le olvidaron los libros.

I'm confused why it's le and not lo.

Who lost the books? He lost the books (Direct Object Pronoun - lo).

or is it:

The books were lost from who? Him. (Indirect Object Pronoun - le).

updated JUN 1, 2010
posted by Erin
olvidar = "to forget", not "to lose". - waltico, JUN 1, 2010

2 Answers


Hi Erin. The construction goes like this:

Se me olvidó (a mi)

Se te olvidó (a ti)

Se le olvidó (a el, a ella, a usted)

Se nos olvidó (a nosotros)

Se os olvidó (a vosotros)

Se les olvidó (a ellos, a ellas, a ustedes)

Se le olvidaron los libros

He forgot the books.

"Olvidaron," the plural form, is used because "libros" is plural.

updated JUN 1, 2010
edited by --Mariana--
posted by --Mariana--

The se is a reflexive pronoun in this construction (not the se for 3rd person i.op./d.o.p; le lo/le la, etc.)

Think of it as passive se. The books are forgotten.

By whom? The i.o.p. tell you by whom the books are forgotten.

Se le olvidaron los libros. The books were forgotten by him.

updated JUN 1, 2010
posted by 0074b507
Thanks, I understood the se, just not why it was le instead of lo. But I wrote 2 examples to explain it in my question and looks like the 2nd one was correct. Thanks. - Erin, JUN 1, 2010
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