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Given a sentence containing a direct object like:

Le enviaré las fotografías

if I want to clarify the pronoun as "usted", where do I put the explicit pronoun? Does it go before or after the direct object? Or can it go in either place?

In other words, which would I write?

Le enviaré a usted las fotografías.

or

Le enviaré las fotografías a usted.

Or are both of those sentences grammatically correct?

  • They both work. I'm having trouble seeing a need for the explicit pronoun. But I can certainly imagine that there could be situations where it would be helpful to leave it unambiguous. – aparente001 Jun 13 '18 at 4:49
  • I guess "enviaré a Ud." is one notch less pompous (i.e. more down to earth) to my ear. – aparente001 Jun 19 '18 at 4:34
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You can put it in either of the positions, as well as others. All of the following are considered correct:

  • A usted le enviaré las fotografías.
  • Le enviaré a usted las fotografías.
  • Le enviaré las fotografías a usted.

As we add new elements, new possibilities open up:

  • A usted le enviaré las fotografías mañana por correo electrónico.
  • Le enviaré a usted las fotografías mañana por correo electrónico.
  • Le enviaré las fotografías a usted mañana por correo electrónico.
  • Le enviaré las fotografías mañana a usted por correo electrónico.
  • Le enviaré las fotografías mañana por correo electrónico a usted .

The differences in meaning can be barely perceptible (if they even exist, which is doubtful/would be unusual in many cases), but when placed first it often has a meaning of "to you (and not to someone else)".

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  • Siempre me he preguntado si hay alguna regla general, como recuerdo que había en inglés. Entiendo que todas suenan bien, pero lo mismo en el core del lenguaje hay algo ¿? – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' Jun 13 '18 at 14:06
  • Thanks. If this "a" is essentially the preposition "to", the placement would seem to be the semantically-neutral difference in English between "To you, I will send the photographs", "I will send, to you, the photographs.", and "I will send the photographs to you." I was under the impression that the object pronoun "a" was something more abstract like the personal "a". – Patrick Dark Jun 13 '18 at 16:18
  • i prefer to omit the "usted" if there's no ambiguity between "you" or "him/her" this is because the formal pronoun "usted" is conjugated t he same way as "el/ella". in that case i switch to the informal pronoun "tu" – Mike Jun 14 '18 at 2:26
  • @PatrickDark actually, the same rule would apply for the direct object pronouns that take the a personal. The (minor) catch is that while indirect objects allow for full redundancy, with a handful of exceptions, with direct objects you are required to use the pronoun and the explicit object if the explicit object comes before the verb, and you are prohibited from using the pronoun if it comes after. – user0721090601 Jun 14 '18 at 8:20
  • Not sure which fits your idea better -- doubtful or unusual -- so I hope you'll check my edit and pick the one that reflects your idea. – aparente001 Jun 19 '18 at 4:32

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