HomeQ&ARedundant use of Indirect Object Pronouns

Redundant use of Indirect Object Pronouns

6
votes

I have a Spanish Workbook and I saw this sentence in it:

Paula alquiló un apartamento a su hermana Ana.

From what I have learned here, shouldn't it absolutely, positively, be:

Paula le alquiló un apartamento a su hermana Ana.

That when there is an Indirect Object Noun, there has to be an Indirect Object Pronoun as well?

14922 views
updated Dec 30, 2014
posted by Tosh

8 Answers

4
votes

In the Reference section, you'll find this:

If there is an indirect object in a sentence, there MUST be an indirect object pronoun!

I don't want to step on anyone's toes here, but this assertion is flat out wrong.

While it is true that in many cases the indirect object pronoun (atonic) is obligatory, it is also true that in certain circumstances it is considered optional. Below is an outline of such circumstances:

Obligatory:

1). The Indirect object is a personal pronoun (prepositional pronoun)

Examples:

a). A mí me dieron el dinero. ? They gave me the money
b). Me dio el libro a mí. ? He gave me the book.

2). The indirect object is not a personal pronoun but precedes the verb

Examples:

a). A mi madre le dieron el dinero. ? They gave my mother the money
b). A Paco le dio el libro. ? He gave Paco the book.

Optional:

The indirect object is not a personal pronoun and appears after the verb:

Examples

a). (Le) dieron el dinero a mi madre. ? They gave my mother the money
b). (Le) dio el libro a Paco. ? He gave Paco the book.

Note: Even though it is optional in these cases, it is still much more common that the atonic pronoun be included.

If you are interested, you can confirm this with the DPD (which is certainly a more authoritative source than either myself or our own reference section) by looking up pronombres personales átonos. Scroll down to list item number 5.2 and 5.2.a, and you should find the pertinent information.

Edit:

I just came across the following comic strip in another thread which illustrates perfectly the optional nature of the indirect object pronoun as described above:

alt text

Notice that the text reads: No molestes a tu papá ("Don't bother your father" or better conserving the grammatical function of the indirect object: "Don't be a bother to your father.). The bolded portion ("a tu papá) represents the indirect object of this sentence and could be represented by the indirect object pronoun as well, i.e. "No le molestes a tu papá." Again, this just highlights the fact that in some cases, the indirect object pronoun is indeed considered optional.

updated Dec 30, 2014
edited by Izanoni1
posted by Izanoni1
Well said. - 0074b507, May 15, 2011
So, according to your obligatory examples, "le" would be needed in my example sentence, correct? - Tosh, May 15, 2011
No, it wouldn't because the phrase which identifies the indirect object, "a su hermana Ana/to her sister Ana," appears after the verb. - Izanoni1, May 15, 2011
For this reason it would be considered optional according to the RAE publication cited above - Izanoni1, May 15, 2011
Well, now I'm more confused than ever, because so does "a mí" in the sentence where you said it was obligatory. "A mí" is after the verb. - Tosh, May 15, 2011
Oh... "a su hermana" isn't a pronoun. I get it. - Tosh, May 15, 2011
I'm understanding this now whereas I did not before. - webdunce, May 16, 2011
Very interesting. Thank you, Izanoni - danrivera, Jun 9, 2011
I don't think the comic is a good example, because "tu papá" here is actually the direct object. The preposition "a" is used because the direct object is a known person, but it doesn't make it an indirect object. - Maigo, Oct 7, 2013
@Maigo: that was my thought as well, isn't it just a direct object with a personal "a"? - malkeynz, Dec 30, 2014
2
votes

Its utter requirement as an unbreakable rule is an oversimplification of reality (according to this thread)...but I don't know if it can be left out of the given sentence or not.

(Apparently leaving out the IOP is extremely infrequent, but I just wanted you to be aware that native speakers can leave it out at times...and it's okay if they do that.)

updated May 16, 2011
edited by webdunce
posted by webdunce
Great catch, Webdunce! - Izanoni1, May 15, 2011
"Its utter..." - 002067fe, May 16, 2011
1
vote

In the Reference section, you'll find this:

When to Use the Indirect Object Pronoun

If there is an indirect object in a sentence, there MUST be an indirect object pronoun! You can also have the prepositional phrase "para nosotros" or "a Miguel" to add emphasis, but you can NOT only have the prepositional phrase.

updated May 16, 2011
posted by pesta
The reference section is wrong, then. - lazarus1907, May 16, 2011
1
vote

Paula alquiló un apartamento a su hermana Ana.

From what I have learned here, shouldn't it absolutely, positively, be:

Paula le alquiló un apartamento a su hermana Ana.

The answer to this question is an unequivocal "No."

Even so, it probably wouldn't be a stretch to say that it would be much more common to see it as you have suggested.

Interestingly, this sentence as it stands is actually somewhat ambiguous as it can mean either:

1). Paula rented an apartment from her sister Ana.

2). Paula rented an apartment to her sister Ana.

updated May 16, 2011
posted by Izanoni1
1
vote

I agree the workbook has an error.

By leaving out "le", the sentence has no indirect object. With "le", Paula rented an apartment to his sister, not for his sister. That is a change of meaning.

updated May 15, 2011
posted by pesta
0
votes

Wouldn't "for her sister" be "para su hermana"?

And, either way, since an Indirect Object always answers "to whom" or "for whom", wouldn't the "le" be mandatory in this sentence, regardless?

updated May 16, 2011
posted by Tosh
In English, we sometimes say "for" to substitute for indirect object grammar. I got him the book. I got the book for him. - pesta, May 15, 2011
No, Iza is right. - lazarus1907, May 16, 2011
0
votes

Thanks for that link. I think based on the info in that link, that it has to be:

Paula le alquiló un apartamento a su hermana.

-or-

Paula le alquiló un apartamento.

At least to be grammatically correct. wink

updated May 15, 2011
posted by Tosh
0
votes

pesta,

That's where I learned it, plus from watching the video.

So, that's why I was asking if the sentence in that book was missing the "le", since you can't have "a su hermana" without it.

updated May 15, 2011
posted by Tosh
SpanishDict is the world's most popular Spanish-English dictionary, translation, and learning website.
© Curiosity Media Inc.
SOCIAL NETWORKS
APPS