greenmanCreerle o creerlo

The personal pronoun used with some verbs alternates between le and lo, with a change in meaning. 

Remember that in many parts of Spain le is used for males instead of lo to represent the direct object - see leísmo.

 

Esperarle/lo

When esperar means 'to wait for someone', the person is the direct object and should take the accusative lo/la pronoun. 

"Con el sentido de ‘permanecer en un sitio hasta que [alguien o algo] llegue o hasta que [algo] suceda’, es transitivo en el español culto general".1

 

-Estuve esperándola dos horas — I was waiting for her for two hours

-Mi abuelo lo (le) esperaba en la estación de Córdoba — My grandfather waited for him in the station in Córdoba

 

When esperar is used to mean 'await', as in something awaits or is in store for someone, the person should take the indirect object pronoun le (el dativo).

"Cuando significa, dicho de una cosa, ‘estarle reservada a alguien o haberle de ocurrir en el futuro’, es intransitivo; el complemento de persona es indirecto".

 

-Esa mujer no sabe lo que le espera — That woman doesn't know what is in store for her

-Una vida llena de desgracias le espera (a él o a ella) — I life of tragedy awaits him/her

 

Creerle/lo

The person is usually considered the indirect object le, and the thing being believed the direct object lo/la; however, in Spain la is often used for females, and the person being believed can be expressed in the passive.2

"Cuando aparece únicamente el complemento de persona, este puede interpretarse de dos modos: como indirecto, suponiendo una omisión del complemento directo por consabido: «La rubia más alta respondió “sí” [...]. Nadie le creyó» (Clarín [Arg.] 3.2.97); o como directo: «Lo dijo con tanta seriedad que todo el mundo la creyó» (Ocampo Cornelia [Arg. 1988])".3

 

-Yo no lo creo — I don't believe it

-Yo no le creo — I don't believe him

-Yo no la/le creo — I don't believe her

-La acusada no fue creída por el jurado — The defendent's story wasn't believed by the jury

 

Entenderle/lo

Similar to the case of creerle, entender tends to take the dative (le) for the person when referring to what the person is saying, while the accusative (lo/la) is recommended when referring to understanding someone's behaviour or attitude. That said, in many parts of Spain it is not uncommon to hear la used for females in both cases, while le tends to be used in either case for males since lo is easily confused for 'it'.

"Con el sentido específico de ‘comprender o percibir con claridad [lo que alguien dice]’, el complemento directo puede estar implícito; en ese caso, el complemento de persona sigue siendo indirecto: A María no le entiendo cuando habla".4

 

-No la entiendo (a ella- no entiendo su actitud o comportamiento) — I don't understand her

-No le entiendo (lo que dice ella) — I don't understand her

 

-No lo entiendo (a élello— I don't understand him/it

-No le entiendo (a él o lo que dice él) — I don't understand him

 

Mandarle/lo

Mandar is unusual in that it can be used to express an order like ordenar, and it can be used like enviar to send someone to another place in order to do something. Despite the fact that they are often used interchangeably, in Spain it is recommended that the person take the indirect object pronoun le when it is an order, without the preposition a of destination.5

-Le mandaron buscar el tesoro (a él o a ella) — They ordered him/her to look for the treasure

-Lo (le) mandaron a buscar el tesoro — They sent him to look for the treasure

-La mandaron a buscar el tesoro — They sent her to look for the treasure

-Mandó callar al público (le mandó callar) — He told the audience to be quiet

 

Furthermore, with transitive verbs, mandar+infinitivo can be used to mean "to get/have sth done" when there is no indirect personal pronoun. The direct object lo/la is the thing being acted on by the second verb rather than the object of mandar.6

-Lo mandaron matar / mandaron matarlo — They had him killed

-Mandé arreglar el coche (lo mandé arreglar/mandé arreglarlo) — I had the car repaired

-Me he mandado hacer un traje  — I'm having a suit made

-El jefe mandó decir a sus empleados que estaban despedidos — The boss had someone tell his employees that they were fired

 

As well as the above, the verbs ayudar and llamar also alternate between accusative (lo/la) and dative (le) usage with no change in meaning.

 

En La Prensa

Marvin no le creía. Entonces, el asesino le envió fotos y vídeos de lo que estaba ocurriendo en aquella casa. Le enseñó los cadáveres. El Español-Oct 31, 2016

Tino Llano no lo creía, pero su mujer resultó estar en lo cierto. Así se lo confirmó el pasado viernes el especialista al que suele acudir en estos ... La Voz de Asturias-Mar 21, 2017

 

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