The sentence that I am confused about is this:

"Esto le parece mala suerte."

I have a guess about what it means, "this gave him/her bad luck". The only reason why I am confused is that it doesn't say "da"(to give him) in this sentence. If this means, "this gave him/her bad luck", please tell me why "da" is excluded.

Extra examples/translations would help!

  • 1
    There is a mistake in that sentence. Esto le parece (la) mala suerte.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 28, 2021 at 18:18
  • Just caught that mistake. Thanks. Commented Mar 30, 2021 at 1:17

2 Answers 2


Without knowing the context the sentence alone may mean that something was caused by bad luck. It is not indispensable to use the verb "dar" in this case.

If the verb "dar" is not used an equivalent sentence may be "Le parece que esto fue mala suerte" or "Le parece que esto es mala suerte". The sentence is not saying that something gave bad luck to someone, just that something was bad luck, that there was or there is bad luck involved.

The situation caused by bad luck could be affecting several people, not a specific person: "Hay una tormenta y se suspendió el vuelo. Esto le parece mala suerte."

If the intention is to say that something causes bad luck then the preposition "de" should be used (not "da"): "Esto le parece de mala suerte".

If the word "da" (from the verb "dar") is to be used then the sentence should be: "Le parece que esto da mala suerte". The sentence "Esto le parece da mala suerte" is unnatural for a native speaker.

It may be necessary to know the context to give a precise answer and to know if the sentence is correct or not in that context.


Unless I am missing something, the sentence "Esto la parece mala suerte" is grammatically wrong. The closest correct sentence is

  • Esto le parece mala suerte

which means "This seems like bad luck to her" (i.e., she thinks that this is bad luck). The verb parecer means "seem", or "look/sound like". The reason why "le" must be used instead of "la" is that it refers to an indirect object.

If you want to say "this gave him bad luck", the most natural way does use the verb dar:

  • Esto le dio mala suerte.
  • Hi, thanks for the clarification. Is there a more natural translation though? Saying "This seems bad luck to her" doesn't really make sense to me. Thanks. Commented Mar 28, 2021 at 19:31
  • 2
    Esto le parece mala suerte is: That seems like bad luck to her.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 28, 2021 at 20:07
  • 1
    @Lambie thanks. Fixed answer.
    – wimi
    Commented Mar 28, 2021 at 21:35
  • 1
    I would like to mention that to my Argentinean ear 'esto le parece mala suerte" sounds like something a native would never say. It would be a bit more normal to say something like "a ella le parece que esto trae mala suerte". Commented Mar 29, 2021 at 3:02
  • 1
    @MartinArgerami I agree that it does not sound very natural. I just tried to find the closest grammatically correct sentence to what OP wrote. Maybe the mistake is another one and the intended meaning is different...
    – wimi
    Commented Mar 29, 2021 at 8:00

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