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Why "lo que dicen" and not "que dicen"??

When you say "it is not important what they say" why do you put "no importa lo que dicen" and not "no importa que dicen"?? What is the meaning of "lo" in that sentence?

For learning: Spanish
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    When you have a problem like that, just change the order of the words in the phrase as follows:
    What sounds better: "que dicen, no importa" or "lo que dicen, no importa"?
    lo literally translates as "it". However, lo que dicen is more equivalent to "That which they say..."

    "LO" en este caso se refiere al objeto directo,
    el objeto directo responde a la pregunta "qué cosa?" el objeto directo se reemplaza por las siguientes palabras: Sustitución por lo - la - los - las - le - les

    por ejemplo.
    hoy compré flores.
    entonces haces la pregunta "que cosa"?.. la respuesta es flores: entonces flores es el objeto directo: y se puede remplazar por lo - la - los - las - le - les
    dependiendo de la cantidad y el genero.
    en este caso flores es femenino y plural.
    entonces flores se reemplaza por "las"
    entonces yo puedo decir la oración de estas dos formas
    Hoy compré flores --- Hoy las compré

    supongamos esto en una conversación...
    - hey, tom, te acordaste de comprar las flores para la cita?
    - Si, hoy las compré.

    espero que esta explicación te haya servido, si quieres te puedo dar mas ejemplos y tambien si quieres puedo intentar decirlo en inglés..

    I hope it helps you... but if you want, I can translate it...

    MIRA ADAM....SE DICE "lo que dicen" CON EL AUXILIAR "lo" PARA REFERIRNOS EN FORMA ABERVIADA A DETERMIBNADO TEMA...EJ:
    _ ESTAMOS HABLANDO DE ESTO( CUALQUIER TEMA)
    Y EN FORMA ABERVIADA ES
    _DE LO QUE ESTAMOS HABLANDO...... viste que ambas quieren decir lo mismo?? solo que esta ultim aes mas corta.....NIA!!♥♥♥♥

    Think of it this way:

    In Spanish "what" at the beginning of a sentences is "que", but "what" in the middle of a sentence is "lo que". Que is a question word, "lo que" is a relative pronoun (like "that" in "This is the the house that jack built!", You can easily replace " lo que" with " the things that".

    In fact, many languages differentiate between the initial and middle-sentence "what". English is the odd one out. French and Italian have the same structure. We can say German and English speakers -strangely- have no word for "lo que" and use the same "what" for both cases :P

    Spanish is a very specific language so in your sentence No importa que dicen is incorrect because it is open to something else. It means Doesn't matter that they say....in other words. No importa que dicen que cosa? you must say what. No importa lo que dicen is correct because with LO you are saying It doesn't matter what they say.

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