IO DO usage

the-hefay

the-hefay

I'm sure this has been asked before, but in lesson 4.10 on DO and IO usage they have the following example.

Ellos nos los piden.    They ask us for them.
Why isn't it translated, "They ask them for us."

In the lesson we are told the order is IO DO verb.
 
the-hefay

the-hefay

Here's another from the same lesson.

Jorge se los pide.  George asks her for them.

Shouldn't the Spanish read, "Jorge se la pide."

I really thought I was getting the IO DO stuff but this lesson is confusing me if these examples are actually correct in the lesson.
 
Steven-W15

Steven-W15

I never did these lessons. Here is how I would translate those phrases though:
- Ellos nos los piden. They asked us for those things (whatever "los" refers to).
- Jorge se los pide. George asks him/her for those things (whatever "los" refers to).

If you say, "Jorge se la pide.", the object being referred to would have to be feminine.

I can see the source of the confusion: using "...for them" implies asking on behalf of someone. This is not a good translation. I would suggest flagging this to RS.
 
Dan-H24

Dan-H24

For me, direct and indirect object pronouns has been the most difficult part of learning Spanish so far. I know what they are, how to tell them apart, and where to place them relative to the verb. But I think that they are used so differently than in English that they just don't make logical sense to me in a sentence. So I finally just moved on from the lessons in the hope that with experience I will someday have a Eureka moment.
the-hefay

the-hefay

Steven, I guess where my confusion lies is in what exactly is the direct object.  Every other example made perfect sense to me in the lesson.  These two examples, both of which use the same verb, don't make sense.  Your translation seems to be more in line with the lesson and so I'm sure that I am wrong.

Let's look at just one for the moment.
Ellos nos los piden.    They ask us for them.

I assume that "us" is the DO because it is receiving the action.  "For them" would then be the IO because according lesson 4.9 An indirect object is the person or thing for whom an action is being or has been performed, usually indicated in English by the words "to" or "for."  This is basically where I'm confused in both examples. 

I send it to RS as you suggest.
 
Robert-C7

Robert-C7

Well, pedir = to ask for, to order

The direct object of 'pedir' in the sentence "Ellos nos los piden" is what we are asking for. The indirect object is to whom or to what we are doing this action.  So, it looks like they are asking for 'them' and the question is being directed 'to us'.  That's the best I can do.  Some sentences do not map very well to English.
ricardo-rich

ricardo-rich

Hola a todos,

I was just going to reply and offer my take on this, but I see that Robert has explained this very well. It has to do with the difference in word order and with time this will come to make sense. Spanish and English as Robert said, map differently.

Saludos,
Ricardo



 
the-hefay

the-hefay

Thanks for the responses.  I understand the mapping differently idea and the IO/DO/verb order.

Ellos nos los piden.    They ask us for them.

los is the DO
nos is the IO

I still think the translation should be "to us" or "for us" based on "nos" being the IO based on position in the sentence.  If this is an exception I'd like to know.

Based on everyone's replies, I still can't twist it around and come up the translation they gave.  Like I said, every other example of IO and DO usage in lessons 4.8-4.10 made sense to me.  The order fit, the translation was clear, etc.  I'm not so sure this is a just accept it situation, but I most certainly could be wrong.  I emailed RS and hopefully they will comment.
 
the-hefay

the-hefay

Maybe what I really need is English grammar lessons, since I'm probably just not understanding how to determine the proper DO and IO in the first place.  But if I were to diagram the English translation that they gave, "They ask us for them," I would have to say that "us" is the DO and "them" is the IO which is the opposite of the Spanish original in which "nos" is the IO and "los" is the DO.


 
Steven-W15

Steven-W15

I don't know. I never was one to learn all the grammatical terms but since this works the same way in French, I probably just don't think about it. Given the structure ABCD and setting aside all the grammatical terms:
A - the initiator of the action (Ellos)
B - the recipient of the action (nos). always a person or people here (I'm pretty sure)
C - the object of the action (los). always a thing (?)
D - what the action is (piden)

Ellos nos los piden = Ellos piden esos a nosotros. They ask us for them.

To correct my previous post (I think I'm losing my English), "for them" would be the correct translation but it does create an ambiguity which could be confusing.
the-hefay

the-hefay

According to the lesson the DO is acted upon,.  The IO on the other hand is the person or thing for whom an action is being or has been performed, usually indicated in English by the words "to" or "for."    The underlined is a quote from lesson 4.9.  In that way your ABCD makes sense. 

On a side note; IO's and DO's can be either persons or things.  They are nouns.

for example.
I kick the ball.  I kick the ball to the goal.  I kick the ball to Mike.
I kick my brother.  I kick my brother to the curb.  I kick my brother for Mike.

Back on topic.
They ask us.  "us" is a DO I believe.
They ask for them. "them" is an IO I believe since it is used with "for". (see quote above)
However in the Spanish statement given "nos" or "us" is the IO. 

That is really the crux of my whole confusion.  In Spanish IO/DO usage is very exact in it's placement.  Any beginner who can follow the rule regarding order and postion will be able to understand which is the IO and which is the DO when used together.  No context or translation is needed for that aspect.  Now, where English has the advantage is in the preciseness of the IO and DO pronouns.  The antecedent is easier to find in English.  The part of speech is easier to find in Spanish.  So, it is very much probable that I am misunderstanding the part of speech in English and confusing what really is the IO and the DO in the English translation.  As it stands, I feel the English translation they gave has the IO and DO swapped.

How would you translate, "Ellos nos los cocinan."  Is "They cook us for them." a possible translation? 

Ellos nos los cocinan.  They cook us for them.
Ellos nos los piden.    They ask us for them.

Wouldn't this be better?
Ellos nos los cocinan.   They cook them for us.
Ellos nos los piden.    They ask them for us.

from lesson 4.10
Nos los arreglan.   They arrange them for us.


 
the-hefay

the-hefay

And Steven, thanks for your input and working through this with me.
Steven-W15

Steven-W15

My pleasure, the-hefay. I always look forward to getting on the forum and seeing what I can contribute.

Se la pateo a Miguel is an example of the ABCD structure I was referring to. The other examples are different:
I kick the ball.
I kick my brother.

Here is how I would translate the following phrases (keeping in mind I'm taking this off the top of my head):
- Ellos nos los cocinan.  They are cooking it for us. It sounds weird to me to say, "We cook them..." independent of a context. I suppose you have to imagine that we were just talking about vegetables, for example.
- Ellos nos los piden.    They ask it of us.

Wouldn't this be better?
Ellos nos los cocinan.   They cook them for us. Perfect.
Ellos nos los piden.    They ask them for us. This is where I don't like the RS use of "them". Say the object were books: They are asking us for the books.

from lesson 4.10
Nos los arreglan.   They arrange them for us. Perfect.
 
ricardo-rich

ricardo-rich

Hola The Hefy,

Regarding English grammar, when I first started studying Spanish I came across a  book titled English Grammar for Students of Spanish by Emily Spinelli. I found it very helpful as I had forgotten much of the grammar from my school days of long ago.It compares the Spanish usage with English etc.

Saludos,

Ricardo
the-hefay

the-hefay

Thanks Ricardo.  I'll check it out.
marieg-rocket languages

marieg-rocket languages

Hi guys!

I have to start saying that Steven's and Dan's answers are great and easy to understand.

As The-hefay mentioned in the first post, the IO always precedes the DO. In the example "Ellos nos los piden", "nos" is the IO and "los" is the DO.  I wish there were a better / more literal translation into English for this; the best I could come up with was: "They us for them ask." "Us" is the IO and "them" the DO, though I know that might sound confusing and weird in English...

Ellos (They)
nos (us)
los (for them)
piden (ask).

They ask us for them is a correct translation.
We cannot translate it as "They ask them for us." because then, the translation in Spanish would be "Ellos piden por nosotros." As if "they" were asking on behalf of "us", which is not what the sentence implies.

The DO typically would answer the question: Who? What?
The IO would answer the question: For Who? For What?

I know it's not the greatest answer, but I hope it helps you... Regards!
ricardo-rich

ricardo-rich

Hola Marie,

I think your answer is really good. Thankfully for the most part, after much time, I have internalized the IO Do  usage and don't struggle as I did in the beginning. RID: reflexive, indirect direct, direct, helped me, as well as not trying to translate literally.
 Muchisimas gracias por ayudarnos.

Ricardo
the-hefay

the-hefay

Thanks Marie for the response.  I'm sure you are correct, but I still can not reconcile it in my mind with all the IO DO examples given in the lesson.  I guess I'll just move on and maybe understand it in the future.  Perhaps as I said earlier it's in my understanding of using io/do with "pider" or in English, "to ask" because it appears to be translated backwards compared everything else in the lesson, which is fine if it's correct.  And that seems to be what everyone is telling me.  :)

Nos los arreglan.   They arrange them for us.
Ellos nos los piden.    They ask us for them.
 
Michelle-W42

Michelle-W42

Hola the-hefay

I can see what you are saying with this. I have the same confusion and it feels frustrating when it just doesn't make sense.

The way I've eventually thought is through is:

Pedir = to ask for (so the "for" bit is kind of part of the verb)

so therefore:

They (subject)

ask for (verb) 

them (the direct object on which the verb is acting)

from us (the indirect object)



This then also helps me to make sense of the other example:

Jorge se los pide

Jorge (subject)

asks for (verb)

them (direct object)

from her (indirect object)



I'm not sure if it's a grammatically correct way of thinking about it but it helped me to feel less confused.

Michelle
Dan-H24

Dan-H24

Michelle: Your first assumption is correct. The infinitive form of most verbs is simply to do, to talk, to cook, to ask...hacer, hablar, cocer, preguntar. But pedir is unusual in that it means "to ask FOR" something. I am wondering if there are other verbs that use this construction, or is pedir not only unusual but unique?

Oh learned ones, what say you?

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