La niña siempre se veía alegre, pero no lo era ni un poco.

when “lo” replaces a noun (the girl), it doesn’t change to match the noun’s gender. So it’s not “pero no lo era ni un poco” right?

It actually refers to “alegre”, so “lo” is correct.

Thank you! That’s a toughie.

Would “la” also work if I wanted to refer to the girl. e.g, The girl always looked happy, but she wasn’t one bit?

Not in this context. I can’t really imagine where “pero no la era” would work.

Disclaimer: I am not a native Spanish speaker.

Hi 6dDcHYgMAg,
As morbrorper said, “lo” refers to “alegre”, and “era” here means “she was”, so as a whole, “pero no lo era”, translates literally as ‘but not it she was’ or as English speakers might say “but she wasn’t”.

Notice that “it” appears in Spanish but not in English, and for abstract ideas, like “happiness”, Spanish speakers use “lo” not “la”.

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