The sentence in question is the following:

El gobernador le extendió el perdón al prisionero.

The word 'le' seems redundant to me. I know it means (to) him. Is not the object specified directly (al prisionero)? Will the sentence be still correct if we remove 'le'?

  • You are right, le here is wrong since the indirect object is also stated in the sentence. Some good readings on how this could be valid: Duplicación de los complementos directo e indirecto, Reduplicación del complemento en posición preverbal and from RAE: Pronombres personales átonos.
    – fedorqui
    Oct 29, 2016 at 22:35
  • 3
    @fedorqui it's not 'wrong', it's optional. And it's usual to include it in oral speech. See 5.2.a in the RAE article you linked.
    – rsanchez
    Oct 30, 2016 at 13:41
  • I know it's not directly related to the question, but I've never heard the verb "extender" in that context. It's true that a possible meaning of that verb is to write down something official, but one do not write the "perdón"(don't know how to say it in english in this context, forgiveness?), one do write the document where the "forgiveness" is officially reflected. So if I want to use the verb "extender" I'd use "certificado de perdón" or whatever the legal name of that document, in other case I wouldn't use that verb, for example: "El gobernador dió el perdón" or "El gobernador perdonó".
    – Nox
    Oct 30, 2016 at 16:10
  • @Nox perdon = pardon in English
    – mdewey
    Oct 30, 2016 at 17:46
  • @rsanchez very good catch! Thanks. To me it did sound a bit bad and I did not read all the article throughly enough to find this case.
    – fedorqui
    Oct 30, 2016 at 18:38

1 Answer 1


Greatings from Spain, Fire758.

If 'le' is redundant or not depends on the context. In formal registry, we told

El gobernador extendió el perdón al prisionero.

Because we don't want to emphasize the figure who performs the verbal action. If you want to emphasize the person, you can use 'le'.

Have a good day!

  • 1
    In other words, the redundance is not necessarily wrong.
    – Rafael
    Oct 30, 2016 at 16:45
  • 3
    Note that the le is optional if and only if the explicit object (prisioneto) is not a personal pronoun. If it is, the duplication is mandatory (le extendió ... a él or me extendió ... a mí). In such a case, the optional element is the explicit reference (you can say me extendió or me extendió a mí but not extendió a mí) Oct 31, 2016 at 1:53
  • Muchas gracias por tu ayuda :))) I am still a novice so I am not very good at catching such subtleties
    – Fire758
    Oct 31, 2016 at 22:09
  • @guifa - Would you write an answer when you have a chance, or propose a duplicate? Jun 11, 2018 at 15:30

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