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There's this wonderful song named Eres para mi by Julieta Venegas.

One of the song lyrics is:

Me lo ha dicho el viento.

I've found that this translates to "The wind has told me".

I'd like to add this to my Spanish phrase book, but need some help on proper usage.

For one thing, would it also be proper to say:

El viento me lo ha dicho.

A mi hermana me lo ha dicho.

Me lo ha dicho a mi hermana.

Thanks

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The last two examples are a bit wrong, you say instead:

Mi hermana me lo ha dicho

Me lo ha dicho mi hermana

The subject is the sister, so she is saying to you, not you to her.

The usage in these cases is more common in Spain than in Latin America, where you would say:

Mi hermana me lo dijo

Me lo dijo mi hermana

You would use that tense most commonly in cases like:

Tengo que escribir un artículo pero todavía no lo he hecho

He estado esperando la oportunidad para contarte esto

For the examples you provide is possible to change the order, so it's the same to say:

Me lo ha dicho el viento

El viento me lo ha dicho

Me lo ha dicho mi hermana

Mi hermana me lo ha dicho

The order just mark what you want to put emphasis.

In the examples I provide those changes are not possible.

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  • Thank you for an answer so thorough that I have no follow-up questions. – Rock Anthony Johnson Jul 18 '16 at 18:26
  • Glad to hear that ;) – Vladimir Nul Jul 18 '16 at 18:31
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Since I can't comment, I'll add another answer:

"Me lo ha dicho a mi hermana", which is wrong, is closest to "Se lo ha dicho a mi hermana" where the subject is implicit, and it would be the Wind.

Writing it explicitly would be "El viento se lo ha dicho a mi hermana", but a more common phrase would be: "El viento le dijo a mi hermana"

Both of them translate roughly to "The wind told my sister", but in the first case emphasis is placed on what the wind said, while on the latter, emphasis is placed on the action. Edit: Explicitly, "El viento se lo ha dicho a mi hermana" translates to "The wind has told my sister".

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    @KTakeuchi. Welcome to the SE. I'm sorry to disagree when you say that "El viento se lo ha dicho a mi hermana", but more correctly, "El viento le dijo a mi hermana". It's not that one is -more- correct than the other. They are just two forms of the past tense. I also disagree with the translation since the first translates "The wind has told my sister" and the second as you said translates "the wind told my sister". – DGaleano Jul 18 '16 at 19:33
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    Yeah, thanks for pointing out "but more correctly" and my other translation are wrong, I will edit accordingly. I think it would be more appropriate to say "El viento le dijo a mi hermana" is a more common phrase. As for the difference in the tenses, I do believe I pointed out the correct distinction between them? – take008 Jul 18 '16 at 19:51
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    Be careful when you edit. The sentence should sound more common to you but remember that not everyone is from the same region and what is common in some places may not be in others. It's possible that people from Spain think that the past perfect form is more used while in latin america we think the other way around. – DGaleano Jul 18 '16 at 19:54
  • All of these answers and comments are furthering my understanding of Spanish. Thank all of you so much! Specifically, I'm learning how to express emphasis. – Rock Anthony Johnson Jul 18 '16 at 20:24
  • @DGaleano It's worth to mention that the ha dicho part is a present tense. Most translations often translate have/has told as a simple past tense. – Alejandro Jul 18 '16 at 20:26

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