Forum Rocket Spanish Spanish - Grammar Lesson on Direct and Indirect Pronouns

Lesson on Direct and Indirect Pronouns

janway--

janway--

I don't understand why there seems to be an extra "le" or "les" in sentences such as Jorge le pide los libros a Carla. Which is translated as George asks Carla for the books. Les explicamos los chistes a Uds. We explain the jokes to you.
Patrice-B

Patrice-B

I'm trying to get an understanding of these prounouns also. I believe both of your examples are indirect object pronouns; the "le" refers to the indirect object noun "Carla" and the "les" refers to the plural indirect object nouns "uds." Perhaps jchamb is willing to explain this another way more clearly?
jchamb

jchamb

Right Patrice! They are indirect object pronouns, which indicate "to where/whom" the object is referring. Jorge le pide los libros translates as George asks "le = el, ella, usted" for the books, so "Carla" is added to clarify whom he is asking. In other words, "Jorge le pide los libros" is a complete sentance "George asks him/her/you formal for the books". The second sentance is the same, except the indirect object pronoun is "les", which could be "ellos, ellas, or ustedes". In that case the speaker added "a uds" to indicate which. Here is a pretty good explanation: http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/iopro1.htm
janway--

janway--

I just wonder why they are needed at all if you are going to clarify the person with "Carla" or "a Uds". Why not just leave it out? I have seen it used in books etc. and I am always puzzled. Maybe like English it is just how it is done and there is no reason. I don't mean to be picky but would really like to understand as I am in Uruguay and need to speak Spanish.
jchamb

jchamb

You're right, normally if you are going to use the persons name, they should not be needed. In normal conversation you would likely understand whom they were talking about, but I think in this case it is for some reason used to clarify. Normally it would go something like "Carla went to the library to check out some books for George. She returned later that afternoon. George asked her for the books (or for them). In most cases you would understand that the "her" (le) is Carla. The pronoun replaces the noun in conversations, so you don't have to always say "Carla went to the library, and when Carla returned I asked Carla for the books" I think there must have been some possibility of ambiguity in the sentences you referenced, because you shouldn't have to use BOTH the indirect object pronoun and the indirect object noun. I wish I understood more, but I'm just a student too!
ricardo-rich

ricardo-rich

Hola amigos, Good question and good explanations. I might add that the "le" and "les" are not extra as in optional, they are required even if the indirect object noun is stated. Le doy el libro a Jaime o Le doy el libro, if Jaime is understood. But "le" should not be omitted as in Doy el libro a Jaime. It's the redundant indirect object pronoun and is almost always, and some sources say, "always" needed. Saludos, Rich
ricardo-rich

ricardo-rich

ricardo-rich

ricardo-rich

Hola amigos, I edited my reply for clarification. Saludos, Rich
janway--

janway--

Thanks for this! It will take practice to learn to use it. I will think of it like the personal "a' - something I need to do. Perhaps there could be a bit more in the lesson Direct and Indirect Pronouns as I know I would have said "Doy el libro a Jaime" .
Dan-H24

Dan-H24

As I have worked my way through the first 5 sections of Rocket Spanish I feel that things have fallen into place as they should, and the grammar made sense to me. Until I got to direct and indirect objects. When used separately in sentences I could work my way through them pretty well. But when used together I just could not seem to work them out right. I have prided myself on not moving on from a lesson until I scored green on all test sections and felt that I understood the concepts, but after awhile I just needed to move on from the lesson on putting direct and indirect object pronouns together. I reached section 6, and the lesson on reflexive pronouns, and got the bright idea of circling back to direct and indirect objects to see if they made more sense. They didn't. In fact, when I tried to test myself on the lesson I got more confused and did more poorly than when I first tested. I hope that using direct and indirect object pronouns together is the most confusing part of Spanish grammar, and that it eventually falls into place for me. Judging from the threads and posts on this topic, I do not think I am alone. Thanks for listening to my rant, and Feliz Navidad!
ricardo-rich

ricardo-rich

Hola Dan, Here is a memory device that may help with the order of pronouns: R.I.D. reflexive , indirect, direct. Not sure what the most confusing part of Spanish grammar is but the subjunctive has got to be one of them. ¡Feliz Navidad y prospero Año Nuevo! Rich
diranu

diranu

The indirect object pronoun has been a problem for me also. Sometimes I think I have it, and then another sentence comes along and messes with my thinking. :( When there is a plural and a singular in the same sentence things are more apparent to me. I guess in time and with practice it will make more sense. I do see a lot of improvement in my understanding of the concepts here but I'm noticing that I'm not using the indirect object pronouns at all in my daily Spanish speaking practice. My understanding get much clearer when I actually use the sentences verbally in day to day life, not just in my studies. It sticks in my head and becomes much easier for me. My cats are going to be listening to a lot of indirect pronouns in the following week. I only wish they could correct me when I don't say it right! :P
Dan-H24

Dan-H24

It seems to me that a lot of the sentences in the lessons that use direct and indirect pronouns are not the sort of sentences I would use in conversation. I think in many cases I would just use the noun. In fact, my tutor made the same comment, even though she understands the sentence structures perfectly. I wonder if the use of direct and indirect pronouns in the lessons on them is exaggerated for teaching purposes. As you say, Diane, at least when I see them in a written sentence I recognize what they are and can sort out the sentence. And yes, as more time and experience with the language accrues, they will become more second nature.
diranu

diranu

Dan, What your tutor said is really good to know! I don't want to sound like a studious, stuck-up snoot when I do speak Spanish. I tend to look at sentences and wonder if there are other ways of saying them. I also don't want to sound like some goof-ball that took a weekend course and called it "good enough". Thanks for the info!

Ask a question or a post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here .
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket Spanish trial here .