I have read all the correspondance around this lesson, but my problem has not surfaced. It is this:-
if 'mirar' is intransitive and needs pronoun 'a' before inanimate objects, then I don't have a problem. If, however, it is transitive and takes a direct object ( of inanimate objects ) then I cannot see why there is an indirect object pronoun at all. Can you explain?
I imagine you are referring to this question:
Mirar is a transitive verb, you look at someone/something, this being a direct object.
But the difference in this sentence is that the direct object here is "los bolsos" not the people with the bags represented by "les".
In this case, the people affected by the action are an indirect object pronoun.
Other similar cases could be:
Les pusieron una multa por conducir muy rápido.
They got a fine for speeding. (Lit: they issued a fine to them for speeding)
Nos compraron un apartamento.
They bought us an apartment.
(They bought an apartment to us/for us)
Le peiné el pelo con un cepillo especial.
I combed her hair with a special comb. (I combed her hair to her with a special comb.)
Can you see the same structure in:
Les miraron los bolsos...
I hope this clarified it.
In this sentence:
¿Les miraron los bolsos al entrar en el concierto?
(Did they check their bags when entering the concert?
it is somebody else doing the checking, so the doormen (we assume) are checking the bags of the people going in the concert. So if we analise the sentence, we have:
Les (to them = to the people entering the concert = indirect object pronoun)
miraron (they checked/looked= the subject is omitted but it implies it is the doormen at the entrance)
los bolsos (the bags, direct object, what they checked)
For this to mean "they checked their bags themselves (their own bags)" you would need a reflexive pronoun:
Se miraron los bolsos al entrar en el concierto.
They checked themselves their bags when entering the concert.
I hope it clarified it.
Is the "checked" here being done by the owners of the bag, i.e., they are "checking" their bags at a coat (and bag) checkroom, or, is a third party (e.g., security) "checking" their bags (for their contents)?
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