Lo and Behold

LO AND BEHOLD  The little word lo in Spanish is a very handy one and is used in a variety of ways.  One use is as a direct object pronoun, replacing a masculine singular word and meaning “it”.  Always remember to put it in front of conjugated verbs, attached to infinitives.  (el libro) Lo tengo.  Quiero comprarlo.  Another use is when you want to use the word “what” as a subject, not just as the question asking word. (A question asking word would be asking for a definition – Qué es esto?)   In English anytime you can use “that which”, you can use lo que in Spanish.  What (that which) I need is more time – Lo que necesito es más tiempo.  What’s (that which is) important is the cost –  Lo que es importante es el precio.  And there’s even more!  You can take an adjective and turn it into a noun meaning a thing by adding lo.  Lo bueno – the good thing, lo malo – the bad thing, lo mas necesario – the most necessary thing, lo bonito – the pretty part (or thing).  Another use of lo is in the common expression to express probability, and it doesn’t even need a subjunctive verb.  A lo mejor, Pablo no necesita más dinero – Pablo probably doesn’t need any more money.    A lo mejor, Juan viene mañana – Juan’s probably coming tomorrow.  Contrast this with the more complex construction of – Es probable que Pablo necesite más dinero.  Es probable que Juan venga mañana.

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