Quiero tu ayuda; por favor

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New member
Jun 14, 2005

In my study of Spanish, Im finding one concept hard to grasp- when to use the "se , le "and difference between te & ti (and when to use them).

I think the problem is there is no correlation or similarity with anything in English so that makes it harder to grasp.

Can anyone offer advice?


Grande Pollo en Boca Chica
Jan 9, 2002
"le" is used instead of lo for an indirect object pronoun - "to him" or "to her" rather than "him" or "her".

Examples - With decir (to tell or say) you would use "le" , example: "necesito decirle" - "I need to tell/say **to** him/her".

But..."necesito darselo" - "I need to give it **to** him/her".

Whereas if you needed to see her it would be necesito verla (not verle).

The difference is in the first two you are saying or giving something (the object of the sentence) to someone (the indirect object of the sentence - that receiving the object in other words).

In the "dar" example you now have a thing (it) and a person (her or him).

So you would think you say "necesito darlelo", right? (Dar - to give , le = to him, lo = it).

Well darlelo sounds goofy so when you face this dilemma, the "le" changes to "se". E.g. Dar (to give) -se (to him) -lo (it- the thing given) , darselo.

Give it to me!! - damelo!! (Da - command for give, me = to me, lo = it).

In the second example where you don't use "le", (e.g. verla) the object (what you want to see) is her, so you don't use "le" but la (technically "lo" but la is frequently used where the object pronoun is a woman).

So "necesito = I need" , "ver = to see", "la = her". She's the direct object.

What makes this a bit confusing is for the other forms of both direct and indirect objects me and te and nos, are all the same and only lo/la is for direct and le for indirect (and los/las and les) as well. See this table:

DO Pronouns --- IO Pronouns --- English Equivalent

me --- me --- me
te --- te --- you (familiar)
lo, la --- le --- him, her, it, you (formal)
nos --- nos --- us
los, las --- les --- them, you-all (formal)

Table of Se la lo le Switcheroos:

le lo = se lo
le la = se la
le los = se los
le las = se las
les lo = se lo
les la = se la
les los = se los
les las = se las

"Se" comes up with reflexive verbs as well, but in the context I think you are asking which is direct vs. indirect objects I will refrain from mentioning that as not to confuse the ideas.

As to me vs. mi and ti vs. tu, these are pronouns used after prepositions, like para (and many others). Something for my use , I would say para mi and not para yo.

A gift for you is para ti not para tu. However this is also not part of the direct vs. indirect object dilemma and thus let's leave that as it is for now as well.

Get a good Spanish grammar book, there are quite a few, I recommend the "teach Yourself" Series , start with Basic Grammar.

There are some books that show English side-by side with Spanish - Here is the Amazon link to the best book for this challenge (the side by side book)


Final thought - your comment that there is nothing similar in English as I have shown you is wrong - we see things all the time and we give things "to" people or speak "to" people all the time - I need to give this book to you, I need to speak to her. Simple.
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