¿Qué más se le puede decir a un insecto?

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Is this sentence from my book correct? When there is both indirect and direct objects in one sentence, the direct object goes last. It seems the sentence should read, ¿Qué más se lo puede decir...'" since "le" is not a D.O.P. as far as I know. Am I missing something?
Thanks,
Joe

5710 views
updated ABR 26, 2009
posted by Joe-Gargiulo

17 Answers

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Yes, thank you Heidita. I do enjoy this site. I am taking the lessons and I use the reference section often. Also, I check most of my writing with the translator to see if my Spanish is close to being OK. I speak very little but read and write often for my local Spanish class.
Thank you for your response. I appreciate your corrections.

updated ABR 26, 2009
posted by Joe-Gargiulo
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Tengo mucho que aprender.

Gracias.

Hi Joe, welcome to this friendly forum smile

Have you seen our lessons yet? How about the flashcards ? Very entertaining and instructive.

updated ABR 25, 2009
posted by 00494d19
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Comprendo añadir el pronombre al infinitivo pero [del]había[/del] tuve que buscar el verbo añadir.
Tengo mucho aprender.
Gracias.

updated ABR 25, 2009
posted by Joe-Gargiulo
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Please do not compare lo with it, as it refers in Spanish to both persons and things, but only masculine. For example: mesa, being feminine , would be 'la? as a pronoun, not lo, being it in English.

Tengo culpa. I was careless. My very old Spanish grammar reference lists the third person direct object pronouns as la, lo and le. It makes the point that le refers only to persons that lo should be used for masculine objects. It lists "lo" as equivalent to "it" as a way to make this point.

Thank you for the reference to the practice of leismo. I looked it up and it makes sense. The authors of my grammar book obviously subscribed to that usage.

updated ABR 24, 2009
posted by Kurt-Jaeger
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Comprendo añadir el pronombre al infinitivo pero [del]había[/del] tuve que buscar el verbo añadir.

updated ABR 24, 2009
posted by 00bacfba
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Comprendo añadiendo el pronombre al infinitivo pero había buscar el verbo añadir.
Muchas gracias.

updated ABR 24, 2009
posted by Joe-Gargiulo
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As an example of an impersonal form is it proper to say: ¿Qué más se puede decir?

Perfecto.

Y también es correcto decir "¿Qué más se puede decirle a un insecto'," añadiendo el pronombre al infinitivo.

updated ABR 24, 2009
posted by 00bacfba
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Thank you all for your help. I do use the Reference section and I have bookmarked the Indiana site. Your discussion has been very valuable to me. I now have an elementary understanding of the practicality of using leísmo. I also found through Google that there is also "laísmo" and "loísmo" which, as I understand it, is used in many dialects to avoid the ambiguity of "le" without adding a prepositional phrase.
As an example of an impersonal form is it proper to say: ¿Qué más se puede decir?
Thank you again, I love this website.

updated ABR 24, 2009
posted by Joe-Gargiulo
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As Heidita and Quentin have explained, the se is not replacing an indirect object pronoun here (as in the case of "Se lo dije a ellos," where the se replaces les), but instead indicates an impersonal form. This form is often used in Spanish where we would use the passive voice in English.

Cars are sold here.
Se venden coches aquí.

The true passive voice (coches son vendidos) is not used as often in Spanish, and the impersonal se is used in its place.

Therefore, the literal translation of your sentence is "What more can be said to an insect'" Quentin's version of "What more can one say to an insect'" is also good, as is "What more can you say to an insect'," which uses "you" as an impersonal form, rather than actually referring to a specific second person.

updated ABR 24, 2009
posted by 00bacfba
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I just read this sentence this morning -- so here is a nice simple example:
"Velma sacó una galleta de su bolsillo y se la lanzó."

["Velma took a biscuit from her pocket and tossed it to him."] (se la lanzó = tossed it to him; la = it; se = him)

updated ABR 24, 2009
posted by Daniel
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Se is impersonal. This is a good example of an impersonal sentence.

Impersonal Thank you for using that term. I can never think of it. All that ever comes to my mind are indefinite or neutral which I know are wrong for the context.

updated ABR 24, 2009
posted by 0074b507
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Last point. As I said, the le here is not the leísmo, but actually the redundant i.o. pronoun.

Which is precisely the case here.

Le is correct, indirect object.

Se is impersonal. This is a good example of an impersonal sentence.

updated ABR 24, 2009
posted by 00494d19
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Le is the masculine direct object pronoun, lo is the neuter (it) pronoun. Just for completeness, la would be the feminine.

Hi Kurt, welcome to the forum smile

You are not right here.

Le is the indirect object pronoun. Its use as a direct object pronoun is called leísmo, accepted under certain circumstamces.
The correct direct object pronouns are lo and la, but lo is often not used for `persons, even though it should be used. (in Spain)

Please do not campare** lo** with it, as it refers in Spanish to both persons and things, but only masculine. For example: mesa, being feminine , would be "la" as a pronoun, not lo, being it in English.

Veo la mesa.
La veo.

Veo a la señora.
La veo.

Veo el coche.
Lo veo.

Veo al señor.
Lo veo (accepted and predominantly used in Madrid : le veo)

updated ABR 24, 2009
posted by 00494d19
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I'm going to go out on a limb here and discuss you particular question as it doesn't look like the normal sequence of a declarative sentence.

With questions it is sometimes more clear to invert the structure.

¿Qué más se le puede decir a un insecto?

Let me try to translate it because my Spanish is terrible.

What more can one say to an insect?
Inverted.
One can say what (more) to an insect?

Subject =One
auxilary verb and verb = can say
direct object= what more (more may be an adverb but ignore that for the moment)
indirect object=to an insect (clarifier for the le) le being a redundant, anticipatory i.o. pronoun

So what is the se? Remember ¿Cómo se dice? to express the indefinite, neutral (one says...). The se here is a similar pronominal verb usuage.
It is not the i.o. le before lo, la, las, los

So now let a native that knows what he is talking about confirm or laugh at my analysis. I like a good joke.

Last point. As I said, the le here is not the leísmo, but actually the redundant i.o. pronoun.

updated ABR 24, 2009
posted by 0074b507
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Le is the masculine direct object pronoun, lo is the neuter (it) pronoun. Just for completeness, la would be the feminine. In this case the direct object of the action is indeterminate since it is the object of the question "Que mas". It would seem that either le or lo would be correct.

In most "rules" on the object pronouns le, les are 3 person indirect object pronouns, not direct object pronouns. I won't say that you are incorrect because I have seen le (leísmo) listed as a direct object pronoun, but normally it is not (which you seem to understand from your regional comment).
The 3rd person direct object pronouns are lo, la, las, and los. The lo refers to masculine objects and people (him), and the nueter it.
(The i.o. pronoun le becomes se before lo,la,los,las for phonetic reasons)

I suggest that you visit our Reference section on object pronouns.
http://www.spanishdict.com/reference/grammar/object-pronouns-together
http://www.spanishdict.com/reference/grammar/direct-object-pronouns
http://www.spanishdict.com/reference/grammar/indirect-object-pronouns

By the way, there is an error in the table of d.o. pronouns. Paralee had it in one of her lessons and now I know where she got it. The direct object pronoun for vosotros (2nd pers., plural) is os (not vos as is in the table.)

Aside: leísmo...when le is used as a direct object pronoun it only refers to people, not masculine objects as lo does.
See note in this article for 3rd person d.o.pronoun
http://www.indiana.edu/~call/reglas/pron_comp_dir.html

to return to your original question: your textbook is correct. When there are both an i.o. pronoun and a d.o. pronoun the d.o. pronoun goes last (after the i.o. )
María se lo da a Juan.
Démelo.
Estoy dándoselo.
Se lo **estoy dando.
No me **lo
dé. (Usted)
No me lo des. (tú)

updated ABR 24, 2009
posted by 0074b507