We natives also make mistakes. Today we are going to talk about three common mistakes among some Spaniards.
. Interestingly, all the errors are related to one of the topics that Spanish learners also find problematic, object pronouns. The errors that we are going to comment on today have a name, they are called leismo, laísmo and leísmo.
We have to start by explaining the direct object pronouns and indirect object pronouns.
Direct object pronouns
Me te lo/la nos os los/las
Indirect object pronouns
Me te le nos os les
As you can see, direct and indirect object pronouns are the same, except for third persons, both singular and plural.
The direct object pronouns for the third person singular are “lo” or “la”, “lo” if masculine and “la” if for feminine. And for the third person plural we have “los” and “las”.
On the other hand, in the pronouns indirect objects are “le” for the third person for both the masculine and the feminine, it has only one form. And for the third person plural it is “les”
Let’s see now, what are object pronouns? How do they work?
Direct object pronouns are people or things that receive the action of the verb directly.
For example, in the sentence
Escribo una carta
The thing, in this case, that receives the direct action of the verb is una carta, a letter. Therefore, if we want to use the direct object pronouns in this sentence, we will substitute a letter for the direct third-person feminine singular object pronoun, because una carta is feminine. That is, we will use the direct object pronoun “la”.
And instead of saying escribo una carta, we will say la escribo.
Now let’s look at indirect object pronouns. Indirect object pronouns are persons or things that receive the action of the verb indirectly.
For example, in the sentence
Escribo a Lucía,
Lucia does not receive the direct action of the verb, because I do not write in Lucia, I write something to Lucia.
Therefore, if we want to use the object pronouns, we will need to use the indirect third-person singular object for Lucia, which is “le” and the phrase would be “le escribo” instead of escribo a Lucía.
This is a very quick explanation, very basic but that you need to understand to comprehend leísmo, laísmo y loísmo.
Leísmo is a dialectal variety of Spain. It is a phenomenon that occurs in some areas of Spain, which consists of using the indirect object pronouns “le” or “les” as direct object pronouns.
That is, it is to use “le” or “les” when we should use “lo”, “la”, “los” or “las”.
Normally leismo appears when there are people in the sentence. Confusion arises when people act as direct object pronouns.
But it is also possible an extreme case that people use leismo for things.
For example, if a person is talking about yogures and says “les como por la mañana” it would be incorrect and an extreme case of leismo. Yogures in this phrase act as a direct, masculine, plural object, so we would have to say “los como por la manaña.”
Let’s see an example when a person acts as a direct object.
Vi a Ana
Here, Anna receives the direct action of the verb to see, therefore Ana is a direct object. If we want to use the object pronouns, we will use “la” and the phrase would be “la vi”.
If someone says “le vi”, it is leismo and it is incorrect.
He llevado a los niños a clase de baile.
Here los niños, children are people and receive the action of the verb directly. Therefore, if we want to use the object pronouns, we will use the plural direct male object pronoun, which is “los” and the phrase we would use would be “los he llevado a clase de baile”.
If someone “les he llevado a clase de baile”, it’s leismo, it’s incorrect. If you have problems identifying if a person receives the action of the verb directly or indirectly, in my mini course of object pronouns I explain it to you and give you a trick to recognize it.
Okay, that’s leísmo. But all this is even more complicated because we have an accepted case of leísmo.
There are two cases in which the RAE accepts leísmo.
1- Leísmo de cortesía, courtesy, when we treat someone from you.
Le ayudo, Don Ramón
We have already seen that with the verb help people receive the action directly, but here we use the indirect object pronoun “le” and in this case it is accepted, it is courtesy leísmo. We are treating Don Ramón with the cortesy form “usted”
The same thing happens in the sentence
Yo a ustedes les admiro mucho.
We could also say “lo ayudo, Don Ramón” or “yo los admiro mucho”. But leísmo in these situations is accepted.
2- tenemos un pronombre objeto directo y es masculino y singular. We have a direct object pronoun and it is masculine and singular.
Vi a Juan.
Here Juan is a direct object, he receives the direct action of the verb to see. Therefore, the correct thing to do, using object pronouns, would be to say “lo vi.” But Juan is a direct, masculine and singular object, we could say “lo vi” and it would be correct. It is an accepted leismo.
What is secularism?
Laism is using one of the direct object pronouns “la” or “las”, when in fact we should use an indirect object pronoun “le” or “les”.
In the sentence
Escribo a Julia
Julia receives the indirect action of the verb, because as we have said before, I do not write in Julia, I write a letter, a message, whatever.
But if we think that Julia is feminine, singular, therefore, using the object pronouns we would have to use “la” and say “la escribo”, it is incorrect. We need the indirect object pronoun “le” because Julia receives the indirect action.
The correct thing would be to say “le escribo“. Saying “la escribo” is incorrect and is a case of laísmo.
Cuento un cuento a mis sobrinas.
Sobrinas-nieces is the indirect object, it receives the action of telling indirectly, because a story receives it directly.
Using object pronouns, the correct thing would be to say “les cuento una historia”. If we say or hear someone say “las cuento una historia”, it is laísmo and it is wrong.
Loísmo is using one of the direct object pronouns “lo” or “los”, when in fact we should use an indirect object pronoun “le” or “les”.
In the sentence
Escribo a Mateo
As we have already seen, Mateo, or any person, when we have the verb to write will receive the action indirectly.
Therefore, if when I want to say “escribo a Mateo”, using the object pronouns, and I use the direct object pronoun “lo”, because Mateo is a singular and masculine third person and I say “lo escribo” it would be loísmo and I would be making a mistake. The correct thing to do is to say “le escribo”.
One more sentence
Compré un regalo a mis sobrinos.
Mis sobrinos, my nephews receive the action of the verb buy indirectly, because the gift is received directly.
Therefore, my nephews is an indirect object and we would have to use the object pronoun “les”.
So we have to say “les compré un regalo”, If we use the direct third-person plural object pronoun “los” and say “los compré un regalo”, it is a case of the same and therefore incorrect.
This is what I wanted to explain to you today. I hope these examples have helped you.
In this course you will learn:
-what is a Direct Object Pronoun,
-what is an Indirect Object Pronoun,
-the trick to differentiate them, how to know, especially, when a person is direct or indirect.
– the placement of pronouns,
-when we are able to repeat pronouns?
-the pronoun “lo neutro”, (which also gives many headaches to students)
-The “a personal”, another thing that also gives problems.
In total, the course is eight units, each with its exercises to practice what you have learned in each unit, in PDF and online, so that you do them the way you prefer.
If you have doubts, you know you can contact me, leave a comment and I will respond as soon as I can.
This has been the more or less rapid explanation of what is leísmo, laísmo and loísmo. What do you think?
I hope this video has helped you a little and now you have things a little clearer.
But if you want to go deeper, as I said, you can take a look at the content of my Object Pronouns mini-course.