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Object pronouns


In lesson 2.1, I ran across "¿En qué le puedo ayudar?" As I understand it, "le" is an indirect object pronoun. Why is an indirect, rather than a direct, object used here? "How can I help to you?" sounds odd, to say the least.



I believe that you are correct. Although RS is good, it is not perfect. That being said, you will find that object pronouns are one of the interesting challenges that English speakers face when learning Spanish. 


I have a whole collection of things that sound odd in Spanish. I'd just throw it on the pile...


Its a bit confusing, but here is my understanding of it. En que le puedo ayudar is a polite way of asking how can I help you? 'Le' is the indirect pronoun and is used to denote who you are trying to help. If it was you informal, it would be En que te puedo ayudar. If it was a direct pronoun, it woud be 'En que lo/la puedo ayudar', which does not make sense. It would remain the same if it was you informal though (te is informal and is the same for direct and indirect pronouns) 


Hola todos,

Excellent explanation from Barbarondev.   LightSpeed Spanish says regarding things like this that for example:" I'm telling  you" it might seem that" you" should be the direct object but you are telling "something" which is the direct object to someone, the indirect object.


The explanations help (thanks!), but it still trips me up frequently.  
Something I came across today:  "I will help you" as "Yo te ayudaré¨ (which is how I thought it should be),  but then "I help him" as "Yo lo ayudo".  


Yademas, "yo lo ayudo" is correct.  Many times "le" is used, but the grammar teachers cringe.  I remember in my grammar class here in Peru asking specifically about the verb "ayudar" and was told that the person you are helping is the DO, but in the day to day living and talking, many Peruvians use the "le" (incorrectly) as neutral or as an IO when it should be "la" or "lo" as a DO.  

All that being said, it is very understandable either way with some verbs such as "ayudar" and "llamar."


As Ricardo pointed out, there are verbs such as "decir" that require a more precise use of IO and DO.


Busca leísmo en Google.  Leísmo es el fenómeno lingüístico que consiste en emplear las formas le o les del pronombre personal como objeto directo, en lugar de lolalos o las ; se considera incorrecto, excepto cuando el pronombre es de género masculino y se refiere a persona y no a cosa.


"Le" and "les" can also be feminine.  They are used as the IO in the 3rd person.

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