Le vs La to refer to females

0
votes

I am not sure which one to use

for example:
I have seen her before.

le he visto
vs
la he visto

is there an rule of thumb for using these'

15521 views
updated DIC 3, 2013
posted by casper

9 Answers

1
vote

In this case, easy answer:

la he visto= female
le he visto= male, used for male in Spain, should be "lo" "leísmo"
le he visto = used for female especially in Madrid, wrong Spanish "leísmo"

updated DIC 3, 2013
posted by 00494d19
Thank you - An easy answer for a change
0
votes

Inasmuch as we're trying to give people rules of thumb to "speaking and writing decently", I don't think we're at cross purposes. Possibly where we differ is that I wouldn't assume that the target that learners are aiming towards is the version of Spanish dictated by the RAE (or other affiliated Academias). For many people, their target is the Spanish of educated native speakers in the region(s) where they want to speak Spanish (or where their target audience is)-- or possibly the Spanish of a given syllabus which may not refer to the RAE/Academy in any way. Then, as they gain fluency, an extra "icing on the cake" might be learning about the opinions of The Academy of a given country and indeed other commentators. I certainly think it's dangerous to reproduce the RAE's or any prescriptive version of the language without qualifying that this is what you're doing.

I agree that it's not practical or even possible to go into all of the detail all of the time. But I think it is worth highlighting to the reader notable cases when you're glossing over such detail, rather than just pretending that things fit into neat pigeonholes that in practice don't exist. As well as the simplified "rules of thumb" version, I think it's useful to know "these are the particular areas where you need to look for complications".

lazarus1907 said:

Neil Coffey said:

As I say, though, things aren't really so clear-cut. It's not clear that 'ayudar' is such a special case, or that the notion of it and other verbs "changing from intransitive to transitive" on its own really explains very much. (In as much as it's true, we're talking about percentage tendencies over time, not about something that's part of native speaker knowledge.)

The verb "ayudar" is one of those tricky verbs that admit "le" academically, but the lack of linguistic-level details that you keep accusing me of ignoring are for people interested in linguistics, for people who are already perfectly fluent, and want to go beyond just speaking. I'm trying to provide rules that at least will produce grammatically correct sentences in most of the cases. Once people have some solid background, they can learn how to cope with regional variations and irregularities, but at least they will be able to speak and write decently.

:

You can not tell people about transitive diachronic changes from Late Latin to modern Spanish in all countries! (I, on the other hand, would be interested in such a discussion)

Agreed, and actually my point is that such historical details, though interesting, aren't really relevant to the issue of why or how speakers speak the way they do at a given moment in time.

updated FEB 5, 2009
posted by Neil-Coffey
0
votes

Neil Coffey said:

As I say, though, things aren't really so clear-cut. It's not clear that 'ayudar' is such a special case, or that the notion of it and other verbs "changing from intransitive to transitive" on its own really explains very much. (In as much as it's true, we're talking about percentage tendencies over time, not about something that's part of native speaker knowledge.)

The verb "ayudar" is one of those tricky verbs that admit "le" academically, but the lack of linguistic-level details that you keep accusing me of ignoring are for people interested in linguistics, for people who are already perfectly fluent, and want to go beyond just speaking. I'm trying to provide rules that at least will produce grammatically correct sentences in most of the cases. Once people have some solid background, they can learn how to cope with regional variations and irregularities, but at least they will be able to speak and write decently.

You can not tell people about transitive diachronic changes from Late Latin to modern Spanish in all countries! (I, on the other hand, would be interested in such a discussion)

updated FEB 5, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

the word ''' le ''' is indistinct ( no male or female ) if you whant to use this prefix for a woman you have to put the proper name before. example: a '' Cinthya'' '' le'' he visto muy poco..... you have to specific the person whom you are talking about. and can be used for man and woman,,,in singular form.
and if you are using this prefix ''la'' you don't need to add the name.

updated FEB 5, 2009
posted by benito
0
votes

As I say, though, things aren't really so clear-cut. It's not clear that 'ayudar' is such a special case, or that the notion of it and other verbs "changing from intransitive to transitive" on its own really explains very much. (In as much as it's true, we're talking about percentage tendencies over time, not about something that's part of native speaker knowledge.)

Natasha said:

For your last example, look at Lazarus' post (who else') here:

[url=http://my.spanishdict.com/forum/topic/show'id=1710195%3ATopic%3A843443&page=1&commentId=1710195%3AComment%3A853932&x=1#1710195Comment853932]http://my.spanishdict.com/forum/topic/show'id=1710195%3ATopic%3A843...[/url]

>

updated FEB 4, 2009
posted by Neil-Coffey
0
votes

For your last example, look at Lazarus' post (who else') here:

[url=http://my.spanishdict.com/forum/topic/show'id=1710195%3ATopic%3A843443&page=1&commentId=1710195%3AComment%3A853932&x=1#1710195Comment853932]http://my.spanishdict.com/forum/topic/show'id=1710195%3ATopic%3A843443&page=1&commentId=1710195%3AComment%3A853932&x=1#1710195Comment853932[/url]

Neil Coffey said:

The situation is quite complex, and certainly much more complex than most grammar books and guides can account for. But, as a rule of thumb the following patterns appear to be common or acceptable across many Spanish-speaking regions: - if it is definitely an INDIRECT object, use LE (so always "LE gusta", "LE di un libro", "LE recordé que..." etc); a few dialects may actually use LA in these cases, but this is non-standard

  • if it is a INANIMATE direct object (i.e. meaning "it", not "her"), generally use LA

  • also generally use LA if the subject is animate: "mi hermano LA espera en el aeropuerto"

  • if the subject is inanimate, it's quite common to use LE instead of LA, especially if there's a sense that the action is "beyond the person's control": e.g. "LE espera una catástrofe" (Butt & Benjamin, p. 158), "el ruido LE molesta mucho"

  • there are some verbs where, with varying degrees, speakers just tend to use LE instead of LE/LA: "ya LE pegó la crísis", "para servirLE", "eso no LE ayuda mucho" (arguably this last example falls into the previous category: things aren't always clear cut...).

A complication is that it's not always clear whether speakers are using LE as a direct object, or if they're simply using an indirect object.

>

updated FEB 4, 2009
posted by Natasha
0
votes

The situation is quite complex, and certainly much more complex than most grammar books and guides can account for. But, as a rule of thumb the following patterns appear to be common or acceptable across many Spanish-speaking regions:
- if it is definitely an INDIRECT object, use LE (so always "LE gusta", "LE di un libro", "LE recordé que..." etc); a few dialects may actually use LA in these cases, but this is non-standard
- if it is a INANIMATE direct object (i.e. meaning "it", not "her"), generally use LA
- also generally use LA if the subject is animate: "mi hermano LA espera en el aeropuerto"
- if the subject is inanimate, it's quite common to use LE instead of LA, especially if there's a sense that the action is "beyond the person's control": e.g. "LE espera una catástrofe" (Butt & Benjamin, p. 158), "el ruido LE molesta mucho"
- there are some verbs where, with varying degrees, speakers just tend to use LE instead of LE/LA: "ya LE pegó la crísis", "para servirLE", "eso no LE ayuda mucho" (arguably this last example falls into the previous category: things aren't always clear cut...).

A complication is that it's not always clear whether speakers are using LE as a direct object, or if they're simply using an indirect object.

updated FEB 4, 2009
posted by Neil-Coffey
0
votes

thank you Heidita, had no idea Lazarus put up a nice thread about these.

updated FEB 4, 2009
posted by casper
0
votes

Please [url=http://my.spanishdict.com/forum/topic/show'id=1710195%3ATopic%3A1126028]read this[/url] caspar, written by Lazarus .

updated FEB 4, 2009
posted by 00494d19