I am having trouble with the following sentences. Obviously I'm missing something.

No me lo puedo creer - I cannot believe it

So in the sentence above I believe "lo" is an the indirect object & believe is the direct object. Why is the "me" used? Is it purely for emphasis?

pensar que me gustas - to think that I like you

Why is the "me" not a "yo"?

me ayudó bastante en el trabajo - He/she helped me a lot at work

How would I know that the "me" goes at the start of the sentence in this instance? Why is the "el" needed before the trabajo?

Dio un consejo al niño - He gave advice to the child

Should the transalation above actually be, "he gave some advice to the child"?

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    These are four different topics you're bringing up. When possible you should ask separate questions in cases like this. – pablodf76 Nov 28 '17 at 12:31
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    You should've asked 4 different questions, and btw it will help if you complete your profile so at least we know your Spanish level and your native language. – DGaleano Nov 28 '17 at 13:01
  • @pablodf76 - I wish you wouldn't dive in and answer a badly posed question. I know you like to help -- how about compromising and answering one of the four questions? – aparente001 Nov 29 '17 at 5:33
  • @aparente001 how about rather than moaning at someone trying to help that you actually make a useful contribution. If my question is badly posed (more than possible and no problems with you saying that) then maybe explain why for future reference. By suggesting he answers one section as a compromise doesn't really make much sense. – mHelpMe Nov 29 '17 at 8:25
  • He is right, you know (@aparente0001 is right I mean). Questions like these should be split. I did mention that in a comment but went and answered them anyway instead of taking the time to explain, for which I'm sorry. The idea behind this is making it easier for future readers to find an answer to a specific question that has already been answered here. – pablodf76 Nov 29 '17 at 10:27

Let's begin with the me questions. Me is the object pronoun corresponding to the first person singular (the subject pronoun is yo, of course). It works both as direct and indirect object (just like English me).

No me lo puedo creer.

This is not a typical use of me as object pronoun. Instead the verb creer is used in its so-called pronominal form. There are a lot of optional pronominal verbs in Spanish where you won't find much difference between the two forms, like for example caer and caerse. In this case, No lo puedo creer is also correct.

pensar que me gustas

How to use the verb gustar is a topic in itself. It just works like that. Gustar doesn't mean "to like", it means "to please". Basically what in English you would use as the subject you must place here in the object position and vice versa. There are not many verbs like these in Spanish. Faltar is another (me falta algo = "I am missing something", lit. "to me is lacking something").

me ayudó bastante en el trabajo

There are rules as to where the clitic pronouns go in the sentence. In general they go before the main conjugated verbs, as in this case, and after the infinitives and gerunds. This is another full topic in itself.

You need el before trabajo because that's how things work in Spanish; definite articles are used much more often than in English. Note that in English you say "at work", "at home", "at school", etc., but these are all fixed phrases or idioms. Even in English you'll say "at the office", "at the door", etc. In Spanish these fixed phrases where you can omit the article are just fewer. Also, en el trabajo can both mean "at work" or "with the work [I was doing]".

Dio un consejo al niño.

The most correct traslation of this would be "S/he gave the child a piece of advice." Unlike "advice", in Spanish consejo is a countable noun, so you say un consejo, dos consejos, tres consejos; el consejo, los consejos. For practical purposes, however, you can simply translate consejo as uncountable, unless the example somehow emphasizes that it was only one specific piece of advice.

  • Additionally I would add that "Give Advice" can be translated to the verb in Spanish "Aconsejar", or the translation can also be " he gave an advice to the child " – Mike Nov 28 '17 at 17:21

No me lo puedo creer - I cannot believe it

EDIT: I'm not sure about the indirect object, but you're probably right.

"creerse algo" means indeed the same as "creer algo" with emphasis. But it's extremely common and I've never heard or read "No lo puedo creer". (I'm Spanish)

pensar que me gustas - to think that I like you

This verb is just used the other way around in Spanish; you don't like things, things "like" you. The subject is omitted, think about "Ellos me gustan".

me ayudó bastante en el trabajo - He/she helped me a lot at work

The subject is omitted again, this is very common and I understand that can be a problem. Think about "Ella me ayudó". About the article: I'm sorry, that's idiomatic; and it can refer to a certain job as well as "at work".

Dio un consejo al niño - He gave advice to the child

Here I can agree with you, I don't think it can be exact because "consejo" can be countable in Spanish :). Think "he gave a piece of advice". It can also be used as in English, though ("Dio consejo").

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