Quiero ir a la fiesta.

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Why isn't fiesta considered a direct object in this sentence?
From what I understand, you can't say Quiero irla but rather Quiero ir a ella.

5626 views
updated MAR 30, 2009
posted by motley

9 Answers

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The verb "ir" is intransitive (intransitive = it doesn't have a direct object), and "a la fiesta" IS NOT A DIRECT OBJECT, but a "locative complement" (or any other equivalent translation). You can't have direct objects with ir, the same way you can't use the direct object pronoun:

Voy a la fiesta (RIGHT)

La voy (WRONG)

Quiero ir a la fiesta (RIGHT)

Quiero irla (WRONG)

Most locative complements are introduced by "a" when they indicate direction (sometimes "hacia" or others). The same used to happen with "dónde" (where') and adónde (to where')

The substitution "Quiero ir a ella" (which sounds strange anyway) does not prove that it was a direct object. All you've done is to replace one complement (a la fiesta) for another (a ella). You are not using a clitic (a kind of pronoun), which can substitute a whole complement (preposition included).

Notice how even in English most direct and indirect objects can be turned into passive:

direct: I invited my friend --> my friend was invited by me

indirect: They told me something --> I was told something by them

other: I went to the party -> The party was gone by me ''''''''?

Spanish is no different here (except for we cannot do the passive with indirect objects; only direct ones)

Muchas gracias, mi maestro, lazarus por tu respuesta.
Your answer really made me clear with this question. I wasn't very clear with it when the website was being updated and we couldn't use it.

Marco

updated MAR 30, 2009
posted by Marco-T
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"Curious colloquialism" in mexico I am told that a tall skinny fellow can be dubbed "un Cuaresma" because he is long with no meat.

updated MAR 5, 2009
posted by Tumblebug
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I have read that Turkish is in the same group with Finnish, Japanese, and Korean. Strange, isn't it'

updated MAR 2, 2009
posted by 00bacfba
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motley said:

Kari, give lazarus a week or so & he will have Finnish down pat & James will too, can't be too hard after Japanese.

You won't believe it, but there is a linguistic theory that proposes that both Finnish and Japanese may have a common distant ancestor: they both share several very distinct features not found in any other Asian language (except Korean and Mongolian, which are meant to be relatives too) or any European language (except Hungarian, Estonian and other minor ones, also included in the group). All these language have (or had) vowel harmony, the verb at the end of the sentence, no articles, no gender, lots of endings attached to verbs and adjectives...

updated FEB 28, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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The First Friday of Lent is what I come up with.ans

Thanks James & lazarus, this answer goes in my lazarus folder, which is getting quite full.

Kari, give lazarus a week or so & he will have Finnish down pat & James will too, can't be too hard after Japanese.

Martin Rizzi said:

speaking of fiestas - yesterday, in traditional Mexico was "Primer Viernes de Cuaresma" do you know what is the meaning of this important popular celebration?

>

updated FEB 28, 2009
posted by motley
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speaking of fiestas - yesterday, in traditional Mexico was "Primer Viernes de Cuaresma"

do you know what is the meaning of this important popular celebration'

updated FEB 28, 2009
posted by Martin-Rizzi
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The verb "ir" is intransitive (intransitive = it doesn't have a direct object), and "a la fiesta" IS NOT A DIRECT OBJECT, but a "locative complement" (or any other equivalent translation). You can't have direct objects with ir, the same way you can't use the direct object pronoun:

Voy a la fiesta (RIGHT)
La voy (WRONG)

Quiero ir a la fiesta (RIGHT)
Quiero irla (WRONG)

Most locative complements are introduced by "a" when they indicate direction (sometimes "hacia" or others). The same used to happen with "dónde" (where') and adónde (to where')

The substitution "Quiero ir a ella" (which sounds strange anyway) does not prove that it was a direct object. All you've done is to replace one complement (a la fiesta) for another (a ella). You are not using a clitic (a kind of pronoun), which can substitute a whole complement (preposition included).

Notice how even in English most direct and indirect objects can be turned into passive:

direct: I invited my friend --> my friend was invited by me
indirect: They told me something --> I was told something by them
other: I went to the party -> The party was gone by me ''''''''?

Spanish is no different here (except for we cannot do the passive with indirect objects; only direct ones)

updated FEB 28, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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lazarus gives so great answers. I just love to read them. Only one thing, it would be more useful for me if his answers were in Finnish. Sorry if I am selfish. grin

updated FEB 28, 2009
posted by Kari
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The grammatical answer is that it is because the preposition "a" is used. If you think about it, it makes sense, in both English and Spanish. A direct object is directly affected by the verb, without any preposition being interposed. You can't say "I went the party," so party can't be the direct object of the verb to go. It's the same in Spanish.

updated FEB 28, 2009
posted by 00bacfba