Pronouns

1
vote

I am a bit confused by pronouns. For example in the sentence "Ella les escribe una carta a sus padres" is the les needed or is it simply there to clarify she's writing the letter to her parents?

Thanks

2228 views
updated AGO 7, 2012
posted by David-Whitling

8 Answers

1
vote

That "le" is not necessary in this case, although it is compulsory most of the time. In any case, it is rarely omitted, and even when it is, the sentence tends to sound unusually literary. If I said

Ella escribe al menos una carta a sus padres cada semana.

it would sound perfectly natural to me, but it would have been equally fine with the extra "le". A sentence like

Jorge regaló un vestido a su novia.

sounds a bit stranger without the extra "le", so I wouldn't have omitted it here.

In any case, statistically, the probability that the extra pronoun cannot be added is very rare, but the probability that omitting it will result in a natural sentence is equally rare, so it is better to use it all the time.

Why this unnecessary pronoun? I'll explain again. In the English sentence:

I hate it when you are so aggressive.

Why do you use that "it" at all? In Spanish we don't use it, and the sentence would sound absurd with a pronoun there. We'd just say "I hate when you are so aggressive". Each language has its own apparently redundant particles without which communication wouldn't be so effective. Both the English "it" and the Spanish pronoun "le(s)" prepare the listener for what follows, and this "le" also informs them that the action is finished.

updated OCT 21, 2011
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

hmm...I read it as use it even if you are good at Spanish..."so it is better to use it all the time"

tad said:

I would read Lazarus' post and then follow my first reply. If you are a beginner to intermediate level like me you are not going to recognise when to leave out 'le' and as Erin said you will be struggling to remember to include it most of the time anyway!Lazarus said:although it is compulsory most of the time. In any case, it is rarely omitted, and even when it is, the sentence tends to sound unusually literary. ...I read this as USE IT until you are really good at Spanish.

>

updated SEP 13, 2008
posted by 0074b507
0
votes

I would read Lazarus' post and then follow my first reply. If you are a beginner to intermediate level like me you are not going to recognise when to leave out 'le' and as Erin said you will be struggling to remember to include it most of the time anyway!

Lazarus said:although it is compulsory most of the time. In any case, it is rarely omitted, and even when it is, the sentence tends to sound unusually literary. ...I read this as USE IT until you are really good at Spanish.

updated SEP 13, 2008
posted by tad
0
votes

Yes, let´s hope we get the experts in, and of course if you don't know who is writing, if there is no known context, ella is perfectly fine.

Erin said:

Hi David, it's been my experience so far that it is necessary. And that it's referred to as the "redundant indirect object pronoun" used in 3rd person singular & plural. I know it's a hard one for English speakers to grasp. I have a tendency to forget it myself!

But since you're getting conflicting answers, you might want to wait till one of the experts chimes in but I'm fairly certain it should be there. And I think Ella should be there too since it's 3rd person, you wouldn't know who's writing the letter a man or woman.

>

updated SEP 13, 2008
posted by Thes
0
votes

Hi David, it's been my experience so far that it is necessary. And that it's referred to as the "redundant indirect object pronoun" used in 3rd person singular & plural. I know it's a hard one for English speakers to grasp. I have a tendency to forget it myself!

But since you're getting conflicting answers, you might want to wait till one of the experts chimes in but I'm fairly certain it should be there. And I think Ella should be there too since it's 3rd person, you wouldn't know who's writing the letter a man or woman.

updated SEP 13, 2008
posted by Erin
0
votes

tad said:

It is needed. The 'a sus padres' is the bit that is there to add clarification.

>

updated SEP 13, 2008
posted by David-Whitling
0
votes

Actually it's not necessary, not from what I've learnt anyway. And of course the ella can be left out as well if it's already understood who's writing.
best
Thes

updated SEP 13, 2008
posted by Thes
0
votes

It is needed. The 'a sus padres' is the bit that is there to add clarification.

updated SEP 13, 2008
posted by tad