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I have heard the following dialogue in the Narcos TV series:

--Para agarrarlo necesitamos toda esa tecnología satelital y espionaje que tiene su gobierno, Agente Peña.

--Y eso se lo pongo en sus manos yo?

Context: A drug dealer and the leaders of a right-wing paramilitary force want to kill Pablo Escobar and ask for the help of US Agent Peña to accomplish it. The drug dealer says the first sentence and Peña answers with the second one.

What does "se" mean here? I know it is replacing an indirect object pronoun "le" because it is before the direct object pronoun "lo". What would the indirect object pronoun "le" mean here?

  • Yes, logically it would be "Le lo pongo en sus manos" but "le lo" gets replaced with "se lo" because that sounds and flows better, I guess. Remember "Ponme la mano aquí" (song lyric)? We show the ownership of a body part with an indirect object pronoun instead of a possessive pronoun in Spanish. Here, both are used, for emphasis -- in this case, to convey a tone of sarcasm. I'm writing a comment rather than an answer because I would like to find an existing le lo -> se lo Q-A to point to. – aparente001 Jan 14 at 4:04
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  • @aparente001 My question is not about "le/se" before "lo", but rather the meaning of the indirect object pronoun in the sentence. I have edited my question to make it clear. The ownership of the body part is already expressed with the possessive pronoun "sus" in the sentence. – Alan Evangelista Jan 14 at 9:21
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    @AlanEvangelista yes, "se lo pongo en las manos" would be more correct. Or "lo pongo en sus manos". "Se lo pongo en sus manos" sounds redundant. – wimi Jan 14 at 9:33
  • Is the US agent supposed to be a native speaker of Spanish? – mdewey Jan 14 at 9:37
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Yes, logically it would be "Le lo pongo en sus manos" but "le lo" gets replaced with "se lo" (there are questions q-a's about this).

Now, as to the function of the "le" -- do you remember a while back I shared the lyrics of the classic song "Ponme la mano aquí"? In Spanish one shows the ownership of a body part with an indirect object pronoun instead of using a possessive pronoun as is done in, for example, English.

Here, both are used, for emphasis -- in this case, to convey a tone of sarcasm. It's similar to "You want me to hand it to you on a silver platter?!"

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