I was recently watching a Spanish language video that included the phrase "echarle un vistazo a." It made me wonder if the "le" was required or optional. Once I found evidence that both seem to be fairly frequently used,

I got to wondering if there was any difference in meaning between the two. In other words, is there a situation in which "echarle un vistazo a" would be the better choice?

Addendum: The thread for "All about datives, or: What's that funny “le” or “me” doing in there?" makes no mention of the redundant indirect object pronoun, which (seeing as how that is the only difference between the two variants I include) is at the core of this question. When I went to tag this question, I was actually on the hunt for "redundant pronoun," but not finding any, and seeing that only 200 or so questions had been tagged with the larger category "pronombres," I tagged it as such not knowing whether or not enough questions would ever be submitted to this forum on the much more specific topic of the "redundant pronoun."

¿Hay una diferencia en sentido entre "echar un vistazo a" y "echarle un vistazo a"?

Hace poco vi un vídeo para estudiantes de español que incluyó la frase "echarle un vistazo a". Me hizo preguntarme si "le" se requiere o es opcional. Una vez encontré evidencia que las dos frases parecen utilizarse con bastante frecuencia [véanse arriba], me puse a pensar si hay alguna diferencia entre las dos. En otras palabras, ¿hay una situación en que "echarle un vistazo a" sería la mejor opción?

Adición: El hilo para "All about datives, or: What's that funny “le” or “me” doing in there?" no hace ninguna mención del pronombre indirecto redundante, que (viendo como ésa es la única diferencia entre las dos frases que incluyo) es fundamental a esta pregunta. Cuando fui a dar "tags" a esta pregunta, en realidad estaba a la caza de "redundant pronoun", pero, ya que no encontré ningún tag con esa etiqueta, y viendo que menos que 300 preguntas se han dado la etiqueta más grande de "pronombres," le di a esta pregunta esta etiqueta porque no podía concebir de la necesidad para una etiqueta más específica.

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    There is a canonical Q-A about optional datives: All about datives, or: What's that funny "le" or "me" doing in there?. I'd like to see some reference to the canonical Q-A in your question, as part of the "show your research." Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 15:33
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    @aparente001 The link to the video and the Google Ngram was my research. My fruitless search for an answer to my question does not make for easy citation, nor would it serve a purpose. According to the rules set forth for posting a question, we should all probably assume that, unless the question is a duplicate or easily found on the web, a person who posts here has done at least that much. If there is some sort of magical rubric of research one must consult before daring to post a question here, please let us know what this magical rubric is.
    – Lisa Beck
    Commented Sep 27, 2019 at 1:54
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    In my defense, "All about datives ..." does not address the redundant indirect object. Furthermore, as a student of Spanish (and I have to question whether or not any of those who voted to close this question are students of Spanish as in native English speakers attempting to learn Spanish), a title with "dative" in the title isn't all that likely to generate interest ... even with the "What's that funny ..." tacked on to the end of it. Just my 2 cents FWIW. I'm beginning to think that moderation isn't fully taking the audience for this forum into consideration.
    – Lisa Beck
    Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 14:14
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    Voting to reopen. I went carefully through our canonical question about datives today and realized that I agree with Lisa that there's nothing there that would explicitly explain why the funny "le" is there in "echarle un ojo." I think there are several things going on with "echarle un ojo." 1 The indirect object referred to by "le" could be implicit, perhaps "the problem" in a general sense. There is a good q-a about this (something like "se lo dí" which I am not finding right now). 2 When the speaker includes le, he is in a sense owning the problem, and this can reassure the ... Commented Sep 29, 2019 at 16:59
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    This is IMNSHO not a duplicate question. I don't know what the answer is (and it's Sunday afternoon and I'm just back from vacations) but it's a matter of whether a redundant IO pronoun is optional; it's not a "special" dative.
    – pablodf76
    Commented Sep 29, 2019 at 20:36

2 Answers 2


Si omitimos la referencia explícita al objeto indirecto, "echar un vistazo" tiene un sentido más general que "echarle un vistazo":

—Se ha fundido la bombilla.

  1. —Voy a echar un vistazo. → Sentido general: revisar los fusibles, cuadro de luces, la bombilla en sí... No especifica.
  2. —Voy a echarle un vistazo. → Implica que se refiere a la bombilla.

Sin embargo, cuando el objeto directo va explícito en la misma frase, el pronombre "le" se hace redundante, y por tanto "echar un vistazo a ..." y "echarle un vistazo a ..." se vuelven completamente equivalentes:

—Se ha ido la luz.
—Voy a echar(le) un vistazo a la bombilla.

  • Good answer, but I'm going to give others a chance to answer before I award the green check mark. For starters, if you'll notice my tags and my examples, I am specifically looking for explanations that involve examples that include both a direct and indirect object. For example, "... take a look at the book ..." or "... take a look at the house ..." or "... take a look at this list ..." (You get the idea.) Thanks for your initial attempt, though. Even without any additional explanation, I found it interesting and of value.
    – Lisa Beck
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 7:57
  • Well, if you want the green check mark, I would say that would definitely be a step toward obtaining it. True, I did not specifically request for information about the DO and IO, but my question was tagged as such and furthermore, my examples both included an "a" at the end. Your answer did not provide examples that matched those I had given in my question.
    – Lisa Beck
    Commented Sep 27, 2019 at 2:05
  • And, while I am at it, I suppose (though I wasn't perhaps aware of this at the time), that I was hoping someone could address the "le" and its purpose (with respect to what I now realize is the indirect object).
    – Lisa Beck
    Commented Sep 27, 2019 at 2:06
  • I know that now because I happened to find a hard copy of a Spanish grammar book that, likely, not everyone has access to. Now that I've found this grammar book and have more understanding than what I had before, I suppose I could just delete this question and let other students of Spanish figure it out on their own. Truthfully, though, I was hoping someone on this forum could provide a thorough explanation that went beyond what I happened to find in this grammar book I found.
    – Lisa Beck
    Commented Sep 27, 2019 at 2:07
  • Furthermore, and Krauss below addresses this, the grammar book I've mentioned also adds that "In the spoken language native speakers would consider [the absence of the redundant pronoun] odd," which explains why I've already seen examples where the redundant pronoun variant is more common. For an example, see this Ngram here. However, I'm still confused as to why it is sometimes more common and other times is not. Does someone reading this know of any good rule of thumb (or does knowing when to use which just require extensive exposure to the Spanish language?).
    – Lisa Beck
    Commented Sep 27, 2019 at 2:17

Quick answer: When speaking, I would use the suffix le. It's more natural.
Respuesta rápida: Usar le me suena más natural.

Para comenzar le es un pronombre indeterminado que funciona como objeto directo; considera los siguientes ejemplos:

Echa un vistazo (Frase imperativa genérica que no especifica el objeto relacionado)

Échale un vistazo (El sufijo le indica un objeto indeterminado)

Para aclarar un poco mejor el punto considera los siguientes ejemplos

No sé donde dejé las llaves...
Por favor, echa un vistazo. (No hay objeto, asumimos que son las llaves pero la orden no especifica categóricamente que quieren que busquemos las llaves)


Compré un carro nuevo...
Échale un vistazo. (Aunque el sufijo le es indeterminado, el contexto nos dice inequívocamente que quieren que veamos el carro nuevo)

Con la lógica anterior, me inclino por incluir el sufijo le para el caso de tu pregunta:

Échale un vistazo al nuevo carro que compré. (Frase equivalente al ejemplo anterior que introduce el contexto al final)

Si cambiamos el verbo podemos ver como omitir le nos introduce una incertidumbre:

  • El niño tiene frío... ponle un súeter (Uso trivial, definitivamente le es obligatorio para dar este significado)
  • Ponle suéter al niño (Uso trivial)
  • Pon suéter al niño (Me suena muy extraño ¿Dónde quieres que ponga la ropa exáctamente?)
  • Pon un suéter junto a la mochila del niño (¡Espera! ¿Seguimos hablando del niño?)
  • Ponle un suéter al niño junto a su mochila (equivalente al ejemplo anterior pero con los roles de objeto directo y objeto indirecto intercambiados)
  • Interesting answer and since it touches more on what I was looking for and provides examples closer to what I had in my original question, you are definitely a contender for the green check mark. After reading just a portion of your answer I'm beginning to wonder if the inclusion of "le" in such phrases is somewhat like the difference between "esto" and "éste." (Since 2010, the variant with the accented "e" has been optional, as I would assume you are aware, Krauss, but someone else reading this might not be. I only add it here as an example to help me get a feel for when I should use "le.")
    – Lisa Beck
    Commented Sep 27, 2019 at 2:30

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