Tell them to.... Diles a ellos VS Dile a ellos
Ok so I am seeing both Diles a ellos (which I would choose myself) and Dile a ellos to mean "tell them". I even found a book which says people tend to use either or (on googlebooks site) because Diles hits the plural marker of "ellos" and Dile hits the pronoun "you" making it "you tell them" so it seems like both work. Are they both OK for Tell them to be quiet? Diles que se callen - Dile que se callen - I think both are correct for the first calls on the pronoun of you, You tell the to be quiet, and the second hits them, Tell them to be quiet. But then it's very late for me right now and I'm really tired and maybe off my game right now. Gracias.
Good arguments Im still undecided since the person You = dile maybe singular rather than plural doesn't the gender and plurality have to agree with the person who is doing the telling, in Spanish? - FELIZ77
Hi Feliz, yes, it has, but here it is not the gender or number of the subject but the number of the object we have to find the agreement with.
Dile is considered a disagreement in number, used, but incorrect.
The object here is plural, so it has to be diles.
It seems like this is not a clear nor trivial issue, after all.
I say "Dile a ellos", because the way I see it is that "dile" refers to "you". However, many people (and an interpretation of the rule) are of the opinion that "diles" refers to and must agree with "ellos". Therefore it should be "diles a ellos".
There is a long and interesting thread on this subject in Word Reference, where they are unable to reach a definite conclusion, other than there are regional differences in the way this is addressed.
Ugh... Can't stop thinking about this one. Examples keep popping in my head where "diles" sounds better and more natural than dile, when the subject is plural. "Diles que no te molesten", "Diles que se vayan". Yeah, come to think of it, I guess I'm more comfortable with "diles", too....
Jeez, the "les" refers to "them". This is one of those verbs that even if it is not stated, it is understood that a direct object is there. The "les" refers to the indirect object, which in this case is plural. What you are asking the person to tell them (to be quiet) is the direct object. (The "you" is not involved in this question. It is singular as indicated by the "di" and since it is the subject, it will not be reflected in an object pronoun.)
I read the thread that Gekkonsan posted and found this-
a)A menudo, cuando el pronombre átono de dativo concurre en la oración con el complemento indirecto preposicional, se utiliza el singular le, aunque el referente sea plural; esta discordancia está extendida tanto en España como en América, incluso entre hablantes cultos, por lo que son frecuentes, aunque normativamente desaconsejables, oraciones como http://buscon.rae.es/dpdI/images/bolaspa.gif«Colombia le propuso a los Gobiernos de Estados Unidos y Venezuela una alianza»
A quote from the RAE