Shouldn't all of them have "le" or "les"?

Can someone explain what is going on here please?

The specific question is why does this sentence not have "les" "El chef sirve comida a los niños."

It seems to me that it should be "El chef les sirve comida a los niños." Duolingo marked it wrong though and Google translate says the les is not necessary either.


  • 1
    Welcome to the site! First of all, never trust an automatic translation software. Secondly, what's your specific doubt? Have you tried to search the site? We have a lot of questions answered about the use of "le" as indirect object, what makes yours unique? Try to be as much specific as you can and you will get better answers. Please read the How to Answer section for more information about how this site works.
    – Charlie
    Apr 16, 2019 at 14:21
  • Sorry, I meant the How to Ask section. ^__^U
    – Charlie
    Apr 16, 2019 at 14:30

1 Answer 1


There are three situations in which the indirect object pronoun, when the indirect object itself is explicitly mentioned, is required:

  • Verbs of the gustar-type
    You cannot say Algo gusta al niño, you must say le gusta al niño
  • When the main object comes in front of the verb
    If you say al niño María __ sirve comida, then a le is required. There are even exceptions here, though, as if we are being particularly emphatic about how was being served the food we can omit the pronoun.
  • When the main object is a pronoun itself
    In your examples, all the indirect objects are niño or hijos, which are not pronouns. However, if they were él/ella/Vd./mí/ti/etc, then you must include the object pronoun.

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