Indirect Object Pronouns

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I am a beginning speaker. I am currently using Rosetta Stone Latin American Spanish Level 1 to learn the language. I am perplexed by their use of indirect object pronouns.

For instance, they translate
The girl is talking with the man.
as
La niña le está hablando al hombre.

Wouldn't this translate as "The girl is talking to him the man."?

Are they correct and am I missing something fundamental here?

Thanks is advance for any suggestions or information.

4214 views
updated SEP 12, 2008
posted by dan2

8 Answers

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In Spanish you can use 2 ways to express the same idea when using indirect object pronouns:

"La niña "le" está hablando al hombre" = the girl is talking to/with the man
"La niña está hablándole al hombre" = the girl is talking to/with the man

The Spanish indirect object pronouns are as follows:
1st person me me nos us
2nd person te you os you
3rd person le him, her, you, it les them, you

Like direct object pronouns, Spanish indirect object pronouns are placed in front of the verb.

I'm talking to him. - Le hablo.
He writes to them - Les escribe.
I'm giving the bread to you. - Te doy el pan.
She answered me - Ella me contestó.

Keep in mind:

1.- Literal translations don't always work." Asi es la vida! That's life! (expression)
2.- Most of the times, there's no "why" questions. They're "formulas", "rules" so you'll have to memorize and live with them!
OK, if you're planning to study Spanish linguistics, that's another story!
3.- One comment regarding redundancy, Check them out:
-she doesn't like anything/ She likes nothing.
-We are sad and blue! To avoid cuts and nicks, etc

updated SEP 12, 2008
posted by talentutor
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la nina means the girl
le esta hablando means is talking (right now)
al hombre means to the man..
in spanish a la turns to al..

updated MAY 30, 2008
posted by Samantha
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i need a copy of that book or dictionary cause im just a bigginer and realy do wnt to learn

updated MAY 26, 2008
posted by Remirik
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im a bigginner to so i can sort of use the help to learn so if possible can you email me brownskinmaori@windowslive.com

gracias

updated MAY 26, 2008
posted by Remirik
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The latter. The literal translation is "The girl is talking to him to the man." Naturally, that would be poor English, but it is perfectly correct in Spanish. Le means "to him" here.

After learning Spanish for a while, this will sound natural to you.

updated MAY 26, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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Thank you for the reply.

Is the le referring to the girl or the man? In other words, is it trying to say
The girl she is talking to the man
or
The girl is talking to him the man'

updated MAY 26, 2008
posted by dan2
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I belive it is right, just remember not all things translate directly into english from spanish

updated MAY 26, 2008
posted by Janelle
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To English speakers, this use of the indirect pronoun seems redundant, but it is very common in Spanish.

updated MAY 26, 2008
posted by 00bacfba