Is the following sentence correct?

Le compré un regalo para Pedro.

Does it mean the following?

I bought (from him/her) a present for Pedro.

I ask because a friend gave me the following example sentence:

Le compré a Juan un regalo para Pedro.

and I am trying to replace "a Juan" with a pronoun, if that is allowed.

  • 1
    The English you are trying to use should be: I bought a present for Pedro from him. Your friend is right. You can't replace a Juan because then you'd get: Le compré a Juan un regalo de él.
    – Lambie
    Nov 19, 2022 at 17:50

1 Answer 1



  • Le compré a Juan un regalo para Pedro.

"le" is a double indirect object that has the same referent as "a Juan." If it is clear from the context that you are referring to Juan, you can omit it and "le" will be the only indirect object:

  • Le compré un regalo para Pedro.

If the direct object is replaced by "lo", then "le" will become "se":

  • Se lo compré para Pedro. (Here, "se" refers to Juan.)
  • 1
    We don't say double indirect object. The le and a Juan refer to the same person. Le compré a ella, a él, a Juan. That is the Spanish need to identify who the le refers to. And you have not omitted the le, you omitted the Juan.
    – Lambie
    Nov 19, 2022 at 17:14
  • 1
    We call it "duplicación del complemento indirecto" (the result of duplication is a double indirect object). You can read it here: rae.es/dpd/pronombres%20personales%20%C3%A1tonos
    – Gustavson
    Nov 19, 2022 at 17:17
  • Duplicación de complementos: coaparición del clítico y el complemento tónico. En español, los pronombres átonos aparecen a menudo dentro de la misma oración junto con el complemento tónico al que se refieren: Me dijo a mí que me callara; Lo sabe todo. We would not call that duplication. In English, You can describe that as "doubling" the pronoun. Not duplicating. That's a false friend here. duplicar has two meanings in Spanish and only one is duplicate, the other is double something.
    – Lambie
    Nov 19, 2022 at 17:46
  • That's why I said: DOUBLE indirect object in English (one is pronominal, the other is nominal, with both of them having the same referent) and used DUPLICACIÓN in Spanish. If you take the trouble to read the whole article, you will find the following examples: A mi madre le he dicho la verdad (no *A mi madre he dicho la verdad); A Juan le han denegado la beca (no *A Juan han denegado la beca); Le molestó a tu padre que no vinieras; Le ha cansado a la abuela el paseo; Le pareció bien al jefe nuestro plan; No le conviene al niño comer tantos dulces.
    – Gustavson
    Nov 19, 2022 at 17:56
  • Look, you said: "(the result of duplication is a double indirect object)" should be: the result of doubling the indirect object. With regard to English, just believe me. Also, we say reflexive verbs in English. Why don't you just acknowledge you said it? I don't know as much about Spanish as you, obviously. And you don't know as much about English. A little humility is in order.
    – Lambie
    Nov 19, 2022 at 18:01

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