Some tricks to use LE/LA/LO

Some tricks to use LE/LA/LO

How is it right, “ella le vistió” or “ella lo vistió”?

I confess thatleísmo” is one of my vices, so I wanted to write a post to give some simple guidelines to avoid falling into it.

Theleísmo is the grammatical phenomenon that occurs when pronombres personales átonos of indirect object (le and les) in direct object function, instead of the pronombres personales átonos of direct object that shoult be written (la, las, lo or los, according to the phrase)

A María le pillaron robando en la tienda.

A María la pillaron robando en la tienda.

But no worries. Here I show some simple guidelines to take the right way.


The Guidelines:

As a general rule, we will use pronombres personales átonos of indirect objetc (le, les) when forming the question ¿qué…? with the elements of the sentence (ni dónde ni cuándo ni cómo ni por qué; únicamente el qué) in the sentence. Otherwise, we will use pronombres personales átonos of direct objetc ( lo, los, la, las) The best way to understand it – using some examples:

LE vi la cabeza  –>¿qué le vi? La cabeza
LO vi por la calle –> the question with “qué” has non sense, in any case it should be ¿dónde lo vi?

LA besé en los labios
LE besé los labios

No pude seguirLO porque era muy veloz
No pude seguirLE la pista

¿What is correct form, “le vistió” or “lo vistió”?

The correct form isle vistió“. The lo” must never be used, at least in a formal way, to replace the direct object.

Mary vistió a su hija. [su hija Direct Object]
Correct: Ella la vistió (a su hija).
Incorrect: Ella le vistió.

The use of “LE

“LE” works in other cases, it can be used to replace the indirect object of the sentence. “Lo” (or “la” o “los”) is used to replace the direct object. For example:

Mary envió una carta a Pedro. [una carta Direct Object, a Pedro Indirect Object]
I.e.: Mary le envío una carta (a Pedro).
Or: Mary la envío a Pedro (la carta).

The context

In summary, for instance according to the sentences “le vistió” or “lo vistió”, I must say that BOTH CASES ARE CORRECT.

It depends on the context.

Viste un pantalón. Lo viste muy bien. (lo lleva con elegancia)
Viste un pantalón. Lo viste muy bien. (el pantalón le otorga elegancia)




   la dolía la cabeza (variedad laísta) = INCORRECT
(‘[a ella] le dolía la cabeza’) = CORRECT
las dolía la cabeza (variedad laísta) = INCORRECT
(‘[a ellas] les dolía la cabeza’) = CORRECT

Some interesting facts

– The laísmo is common in Madrid dialect

The laísmo is also prevalent in Castile. It is also used in Santander (Cantabria) and surroundings.






“Hola, I’m Pablo from Malaga, Spain.

I am a qualified Spanish teacher at Lyceum Español and my Spanish teaching diploma, CAP (Certificado de Adaptación Pedagógica) and CLTA (Certified Language Teacher for Adults) have given me the knowledge and practical skills to create multi level lessons and to manage groups as well as individual students.

I have 8 years professional experience during which time I have enjoyed working with a diverse group of people with different backgrounds and goals. As a Lyceum Spanish teacher I love drawing on my experience in helping my students get the most from my lessons. My experience has shown me there’s no place like home and that’s what I found at Lyceum Español.”

Learn more about Pablo…




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