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The phrase pasarlo bien means something like "to have a good time" in sentences like, "Lo pasamos muy bien anoche." What does the "lo" in this phrase refer to? Does it replace an actual noun, or is it just an indefinite "it" like in the English sentence, "It's raining outside"?

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Continuation question: what does the "la" in "pasarla bien" (a common variant of the phrase, especially in Latin America) refer to? :) – Jonik Dec 20 '11 at 13:59
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I would say it replaces el tiempo (time) or equivalent, as

pasarlo bien == pasar bien el tiempo

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La, lo, and el are artículos determinantes - articles that indicate gender or neuter - (see RAE). It's perfectly valid to say Pasarlo bien or Pasarla bien in this context.

For example, if I ask you to give me a hand moving my TV from one side of my room to another; I would tell you: "Vamos a pasarlo (TV is masculine) a este lado" (let's move it to this side). If I want to do the same thing with my bed; I would say: "Vamos a pasarla (bed is feminine) a otro lado."

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