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In a Spanish 4 class, we had been told that the verb textear (to text, i.e. on a cell phone) takes a direct object:

Yo la texteé (I texted her)

However, I had asked the teacher regarding a situation that does take a direct object:

Yo le texteé mi dirección (I texted my address to her, or I texted her my address)

and he told me that it would indeed take an indirect object, leading him to rethink his first statement that it takes a direct object originally.

Which form should be used when no piece of information is being texted? "Yo la texteé" or "Yo le texteé"?

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  • 2
    I edited your question to add the "laismo-leismo" tag. Although not in the scope of your original question, I thing this phenomenon could be relevant to understand a little bit further why and when one form is chosen over the other and the difficulties with it.
    – Diego
    Nov 12 '14 at 14:30
  • As a matter of fact, here the "texteé" sounds like "textié", most "eé" words end up as "ié". In this moment I can't think on words actually ending on "eé" but I know that there are haha. I don't know if this aplies to all Mexico.
    – Jaume
    Nov 15 '14 at 5:19
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The word textear does not exist in Spanish, you will not find any entrance in RAE and in any dictionary.

Use escribir un texto instead of textear, both means the same but the first one includes the direct object.

Le escribí (un texto , CD).

(Le, CI) escribí (un texto, CD)

Escribí (un texto, CD) (a mi abuelo, CI)

I have never heard this word here in Spain, if it were a word like chatear (finally accepted by RAE due to the huge influence of the English word chat in all the Spanish speaking countries), maybe we could assume the same here in textear but I do not think this would be the case. For me textear seems to be an Spanglish verb.

References:

RAE

SpanishDict

TheFreeDictionary

Wordreference

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  • to text (on a cell phone) would be escribir/enviar mensajes de texto (SMS, whatsapp).
    – Lucas
    Nov 13 '14 at 10:01
  • So, when somebody speaking Spanish says "textear" that word doesn't exist? Downvoted for blatant linguistic cluelessness. Nov 14 '14 at 21:51
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    @MichaelWolf although English is very prone to use makes the rule, in Spanish neologisms take a time to make it into formal/acceptable speech, since central authorities (e.g. the RAE) play a bigger role. You can actually say textear, however you wouldn't say it's good Spanish if it is not in a dictionary or at least used in citable, quality sources. I think that is what AlexBcn tried to say. In written language, one would prefer to prepend an auxiliary verb like escribir, enviar or even mandar, which is what I would use in Chile.
    – Rafael
    Jun 22 '16 at 21:35
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    I believe the OP's point is that "textear" is not recognized as part of the official Spanish language, which is true. @MichaelWolf's point is that the word is used, thus it "is part of the language." It's a matter of definition. Both senses are meaningful in the context of this site--people come here to learn common usage (in which case textear is valid), and to learn to speak "properly" (in which perhaps it's not). The OP might do well to specify the intended sense to avoid this confusion.
    – Flimzy
    Jun 23 '16 at 5:49
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    The claim that "textear" doesn't appear in "any dictionary" is also easily disproven. The RAE defines the "sanctioned language", which is distinct from English (which has no governing body). Other dictionaries (such as Wiktionary, and any good translation dictionary) will by necessity include such "unaccepted" words, as readers still need to know what these words convey.
    – Flimzy
    Jun 23 '16 at 5:52
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In English, any noun can be employed as if it were a verb. Don't let the grammarians tell you otherwise. Using the noun "text" as a verb is a case in point. This usage was introduced into the language by young people. Young people were the first to assimilate the smartphone into their culture.

In Spanish, the form of a word indicates the part of speech. Hence texto and textear are two different words. (Of course, yo texto is a verb form that coincides with the noun form). Any new word encounters some resistance by the folks who uphold the current standards. That resistance is more formal in Spanish culture than in English culture.

Hence, you're going to get plenty of answers that tell you not to employ such a verb until after it has been accepted by the RAE. That's not how it happens in the real world. The future always arrives too soon, and in the wrong order.

To get back to your question, the use of an indirect object for the recipient of a text message will depend on the speech patterns of the early adopters. The chances are they will mimic the pattern established for some other verb that means comunicar is some special context. I chose the verb telegrafiar for lack of a better alternative. See definition

If this is any guide, the target of the communication will take an indirect object. However, you should read up on the link to laismo/leismo that Diego provided.

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  • Perhaps it hasn't been accepted by the RAE because escribir already has the same meaning and isn't so ugly than textear. As a native speaker I could understand any invented verb like textear, esemesear, or webear but, in my honest opinion, some aesthetic criteria is good even in non-formal language.
    – Ra_
    Jun 24 '16 at 9:23
  • Good point. However, an analogous situation existed in English. The verb "write" could have been used instead of making "text" into a verb. The new usage probably gained popularity because it conveys the context of writing via mobile phone, which "write" does not. Jun 24 '16 at 10:44
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If you simply say,

Yo la texteé

It has no other object at all, it must be direct.

Yo le textée mi dirección a ella

When you dismantle this sentence you get

  • Yo texteé mi dirección. -- This sentence contains the direct object
  • A ella (le texteé) -- An this one the indrect, becase Ella is not what the subject texted.

More information: http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/iodopro.htm

Direct Objects for the third person singular and plural are:

  • La(s)
  • Lo(s)

The Indirect Object for the above pronouns is:

  • Le(s)
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  • Can you show an example for another verb in which a specific object can move between being direct and indirect (as "ella" does here)?
    – nanofarad
    Nov 12 '14 at 20:10
  • In both la texteé (a ella) and le texteé mi dirección (a ella), ella (la/le) is indirect object.
    – Lucas
    Nov 13 '14 at 10:06
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El estimado AlexBCN tells us that textear isn't in any dictionary. If it ever makes it into a dictionary lexicographers may come up with a different analysis, but for now I'll propose the following as a working definition: enviar un mensaje de texto [que incluye ...].

The part in brackets should be read in when textear takes a direct object. For example, texteé la info could be read as envié un mensaje que incluía la información.

A recipient of textear should be denoted using an indirect object: le texteé can be taken to mean le envié un mensaje de texto.

With both direct and indirect objects: le texteé la info can be taken to mean le envié un mensaje de texto que incluía los datos. You could also say se la texteé if the antecedents are reasonably clear.

This was an interesting question.

(Usual disclaimer: I'm not a native speaker but have lived in México DF for over ten years. This is what I've observed people speaking and writing. Maybe people do it differently elsewhere.)

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