In the grammar topic, "Repetition of indirect object pronouns with verbs (general)"

JamesC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

In the grammar topic, "Repetition of indirect object pronouns with verbs (general)"

¿________ miraron los bolsos al entrar en el concierto? (Did they check their bags when entering the concert?
The 2 correct answers were, "A ellas les" and "Les"
==========================================
Why is ellas used with the masculine object, los bolsos?


Thank you, James


Asked 6 months ago
JamesC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributorCorrect answer

Inma,

If "Los Bolsos" is not the object then the object must be "they" and it must be known that "they" are females.. The literal translation would be something like, "entering the concert they looked at the bags to them."???

Is that correct? 
James

InmaKwiziq team member

Hola James,

in this sentence, "ellas" is not linked to the object "los bolsos" (bags). They are two different elements in the sentence. If we analyse it, we've got:

miraron (they looked, verb)

los bolsos (the bags, direct object)

a ellas (to them, indirect object)

The indirect object here is a bit difficult to see because in English it doesn't sound quite right to say "they looked their bags to them"?? But we do say this kind of thing in Spanish. 

If I give you another sentence with a direct and indirect object you  may be able to see it better:

Miguel dio un beso a su madre. (Miguel kissed his mum= Miguel gave a kiss to her mum)

"Gave a kiss to her mum" would be the literal translation, although you would more naturally say "Miguel kissed his mum"

If I turn "to her mum" into an indirect object pronoun, that'd be "le", so:

Miguel le dio un beso. 

This le here would have the same function as "a ellas" or "a ellas le.." in the sentence about the handbags.

I hope this makes sense. Indirect object pronouns are not easy to master in Spanish...

Saludos

Inma

InmaKwiziq team member

Hola James,

There are two objects in the sentence, one direct object (los bolsos) and one indirect object (les= a ellas)

Your literal translation: "entering the concert they looked at the bags to them." shows the two objects clearly: the bags / to them

Les= to them is an indirect object pronoun which is not the "usual" indirect pronoun we find in sentences like: Yo le compré un regalo (I bought her/him a present)le being the indirect object (to her/him, for her/him)

There is what is called in Spanish "Dativo posesivo", which is what you see in the sentence about the handbags. The "dativo posesivo" is an indirect object that shows some kind of connection between the direct object and the indirect object (this last normally referring to a person), and this connection is often seen as "possession" ( dativo posesivo). Now, thinking about this possession concept, we can see the sentence from that point of view:

Les miraron los bolsos They looked at their handbags.

Les miraron sus bolsos =They looked at their handbags. 

There is a connection between the object (bolsos) and the person (les) and this connection is to do with possession. Here are other sentences that show this same nuance:

Le corté el pelo (=corté su pelo)

I cut his hair

No le vi la cara (=no vi su cara)

I didn't see his face.

I hope this made it a bit more clear.

Inma

In the grammar topic, "Repetition of indirect object pronouns with verbs (general)"

¿________ miraron los bolsos al entrar en el concierto? (Did they check their bags when entering the concert?
The 2 correct answers were, "A ellas les" and "Les"
==========================================
Why is ellas used with the masculine object, los bolsos?


Thank you, James


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