27 votes

All about datives, or: What's that funny "le" or "me" doing in there?

The dative case is commonly known as the grammatical case of indirect objects (the secondary object of ditransitive verbs like dar), and it is marked in Spanish by the use of special pronouns (me, te, ...
13 votes

Why is "a" needed in "Jugaba al tenis todos los días"?

According to the DLE, the verb jugar is used with that meaning followed by the a preposition: intr. Entretenerse, divertirse tomando parte en uno de los juegos sometidos a reglas, medie o no en ...
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12 votes

If "dar" means "to give", what does "daros" mean?

It's the second person plural object pronoun 'os' (as opposed to the subject pronoun 'vosotros'). It means 'you (plural)'. You would also use it where in English you might use 'to you' or 'for you' ...
11 votes
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"Dale un beso a los niños" - what does "le" stand for?

The text is mistaken. The pronoun should be les. In the text, the dative pronoun le is the indirect object, and anticipates the full indirect object, a los niños. This (showing the IO through a ...
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  • 38.9k
11 votes
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Redundant indirect object pronoun: is "le" redundant in "preguntémosle al estúpido / a él"?

TL;DR The redundant le is only optional if a noun acts as indirect object and that noun is placed after the verb: otherwise, it is mandatory. However, in spoken speech, the redundant le is almost ...
9 votes
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When to use an indirect object pronoun rather than a direct object pronoun?

Very generally speaking, a direct object completes or specifies the meaning of the verb, while an indirect object adds a destination, a goal, someone or something towards which the action is oriented. ...
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  • 38.9k
7 votes
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¿Cuándo se usa "le" en una oración?

Estás casi en lo correcto. Si bien en tu ejemplo lo normal sería decir: Dálelo.*        (incorrecto) es incorrecto porque en español existe una regla que ...
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7 votes

What is the grammar behind "¡Hágale pues!"?

Hágalo is do it by yourself Hágaselo is do it to/for him/her Hazlo is just do it. Hágale is go ahead and do something. -le refers to Usted The pronoun can be omitted (hence is missing) since it ...
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6 votes
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What does "Le tengo" mean in "Le tengo miedo al fracaso"?

For the first question, it's not compulsory at all to use "Le tengo" instead of "tengo" or "Yo tengo". It's a matter of choice on the speaker. It is true than in Spanish the subject is usually ...
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  • 486
6 votes

What is the role of the "le" in the sentence "Miguel le dio a su novia un anillo."?

Your sentence is an example of what is called "redundancia pronominal" or "reduplicación/doblado de clíticos": there is an object in the canonical position ("a su novia" in your case) and also a ...
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  • 1,780
6 votes
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¿Es correcto "pegarle a un padre"? Y en general, ¿se puede repetir el complemento indirecto en una frase usando "le" o "se" además del explícito?

Ambas formas son correctas. Dice el Diccionario panhispánico de dudas Pronombres personales átonos 5. [...] La duplicación del complemento indirecto a través del pronombre átono es siempre ...
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6 votes
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Implicit vs explicit subject verb agreement - how do Spanish speakers avoid ambiguity?

In this particular example, I'm afraid, there is no ambiguity. Let's strip the sentence down to the basics: Decidió que el primer caballero andante que encontrase le armaría caballero. This is a ...
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  • 38.9k
6 votes

Why "se lo" instead of "le lo"? / ¿Por qué debo escoger "se lo" en vez de "le lo"?

You were already answered the question when to use se lo but I understand your question is more why using se lo instead of the expected le lo? Like a lot of people, I wrongly believed this ...
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  • 1,204
6 votes
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Why use "le" in "se le oyo"?

You're so close. It actually means "from him/her", but it is not empahisis, because it is not repeating any information, but adding it for the first time. If you said Se oyó un comentario That ...
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  • 4,592
6 votes

The use of "a ti" with "perdido"

In Spanish there are two (partially overlapping) sets of object pronouns: the unstressed (átonos), clitic pronouns, and the stressed (tónicos), independent pronouns. The unstressed object pronouns are ...
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  • 38.9k
6 votes

Why is "le" used instead of "la" in "su marido le pegó"?

There are verbs that can take the indirect object (le / les) without a direct one. For example: Verbs of emotion and mental process: Le gustas mucho (He/She likes you a lot) Other verbs in this ...
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  • 25.7k
5 votes

Why does "'lo' insulté y 'le' ordené que me siguiera" use direct object and indirect object pronouns?

That's because with the verb ordenar the direct object is the given order, and the indirect object is the recipient of that order. With insultar you have only a direct object, the one receiving the ...
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  • 4,413
5 votes
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No possessive pronoun for body parts

His leg hurts would be correctly translated as "Le duele la pierna", literally, "The leg hurts him". In this respect, it functions exactly as in English, except that an object is obligatory, rather ...
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5 votes

Direct or indirect object for textear?

The word textear does not exist in Spanish, you will not find any entrance in RAE and in any dictionary. Use escribir un texto instead of textear, both means the same but the first one includes the ...
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  • 4,504
5 votes
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Understanding why a pronoun and "que se" are used in a sentence

I'll answer your three questions, one by one: le is just a duplication of the indirect complement, al jefe del banco. It is not strictly necessary, but in Spanish this duplication is very usual. This ...
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  • 9,959
5 votes

Why do we need a "a" in "Oíste a los pajaros"?

That depends on whether the object is direct or indirect. Imagine you are camping in the middle of the forest, you could say: Anoche oí un lobo a lo lejos. Anoche oí lobos a lo lejos. You don't ...
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  • 76.4k
5 votes

Mírame a Pablo convertido en santo - meaning of "me"

In: Mírame a Pablo convertido en santo. "me" is a dative, of a possessive or ethical type. It might be possessive because Pablo is one of his hitmen, and ethical because of the emotional ...
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  • 25.7k
5 votes

How to use “les” in examples like this?

This is a case of an indirect object that appears twice in the sentence: once as a noun and once as a pronoun. In the example: A los españoles les llevó años reconquistar la península ibérica It ...
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  • 10.9k
4 votes

When to use "lo" and "le"?

Indeed, there are rules, but it is important to distinguish between the rules that govern Standard Spanish (which should be used in formal communication) and informal or dialectal Spanish — which ...
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4 votes

When is the indirect object pronoun required in sentences with an indirect object?

Per Laura's suggestion, here's a summarized version of what the RAE says for when it is required. If the object (indirect or direct) is a person pronoun (mí, ti, etc) and included anywhere in the ...
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4 votes
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Indirect Object and neuter "lo" usage with inanimate objects

In Standard Spanish, there is generally no distinction made in animacy for the object pronouns1. Lo and la are used for direct objects, being lo for masculine2 and la for feminine. Le is used for ...
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4 votes
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The necessity of indirect object pronouns

The DPD gives good advice on this topic. Basically, there is one exception to when you can't indirect object pronoun. Here are the rules copied from another answer I gave a while back. If the ...
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4 votes
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When to use "ethical datives" in Spanish

According to Merriam Webster: Definition of ETHICAL DATIVE : a colloquial use of the dative of a pronoun for a person to whom it imputes a vague concern with the matter in question Spanish has ...
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