The end of the second book in the trilogy gives a possible question to the answer as being "What do you get if you multiply six by nine?"
In my opinion, If I may add: * Felicidad = continual feeling, it has a long range of time. Por ejemplo: Amor entrega felicidad en todas las vidas
Alegria = Joy, like a one time thing. Por ejemplo: Ella fue alegra de verlo, pero después siente mal
(I hope I wrote these sentances correctly please correct me otherwise)
I disagree, they're just different. I'd say "happiness" and "joy"/"cheerfulness" are pretty good translations if we want to set them apart (although they may be interchangeable at times, just as "joyful"/"cheerful" might substitute "happy" sometimes, I suppose). But it's definitely not an issue of frequency in use.
This bacon is happiness for both humans and the little pigs :) http://www.thatwasvegan.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/cinnamon-waffles2.jpg
In general, in English we don't use a determiner with abstract nouns; and in general, in Spanish, they do. More-so when you're in the subject than the object position. "El amor es fuerte." Love (as a general concept) is strong. That's what they do, you kinda just have to get used to it.
I would agree if they used alegría, which is a word that means joy or happiness as an abstract concept. But felicidad is related to the English words "felicity" and "felicitous" -- the root is a Latin word meaning "luck" or "good fortune". It can mean both a feeling of happiness, or an event/occasion that makes you feel happy.
I'm not sure whether this ambiguity exists in Spanish as well, but I feel like I've heard it used in ways that suggest it does.
Yes Susanna explained it well. It goes for the definite article not only la. El and la are used before nouns with a "general aspect". Fish is good. (general aspect) and the fish is good (a specific fish). In Spanish they have both as el pescado see also
The Definite Article in Spanish http://spanish.about.com/od/adjectives/a/intro_def_art.htm
I suppose it could depend on context, but I'm having trouble coming up with an appropriate context to trigger such a question. It would only work if it referred to some undefined or indefinite number of happinesses. The question here seems pretty clearly directed at the more philosophical notion of happiness as a general concept, encompassing all forms of happiness. In that sense, you do need the definite article.
Having lived in South America for 6 years I understand that phrases can not be translated exactly but must be looked at in a general sense in many cases. Qué es la felicidad to me is someone asking "what is happiness?" I would answer things like, happiness is a Christian life style, having a loving family etc. This really is not a difficult question, at least for me.
True enough. When I wrote "philosophical notion of happiness" I did not mean to imply the question was difficult to answer or even very profound. It was merely to distinguish it from a dictionary definition. Of course, that distinction is irrelevant and unnecessary here. You'd use the definite article in any case. My mind was probably still connected to another response I gave related to the use of qué vs. cuál.
Since you have been living in South America for the past six years and studying Spanish on duolingo, I estimate more likely than not, you are referring to a Christian lifestyle based on following the teachings of Christ instead of the judgmental, hateful version currently in vogue with many around the world.
The article, I kept wondering about it too and dove into this. An old book explaines it like this:
You use them: 1 noun in a general way (las perlas son caras), 2 time/date, 3 title + name (la reina Beatrix), 4 country with some specification (la América del Sur, la España del siglo diecisiete) ... and some less important not mentioned rules
You don't use: too many rules, mostly expressions. Just learn them is the advise the book gives me.
Una pistola cálida?
I don't think "un armor" is "a gun". "Un arma" is "an arm / a weapon". And, "caliente" is closer to "hot", although it's kind of ambiguous. "Tibio" or "cálido" are more like "warm but not hot".
Yes, BobPage1 was clearly referencing the song title. I was suggesting that "cálida" would be better than "caliente", because it's a warm gun, not a hot gun. (I think "tibia" would be more like "lukewarm".)
Here's a definition of cálido, which you can get from GTranslate if you just put in the word by itself: Que proporciona calor y, en ocasiones, comodidad. "lugar cálido; ropa cálida." Providing heat and, sometimes, comfort. "warm place, warm clothes."
Cálido is a good adjective to use when we're talking about a level of hot-ness that is comortable -- which in English, is "warm".
I think also, while it's true that Spanish frequently uses "arma" to refer to guns, technically the word is a broader category, like "arm" or "weapon". I'm not sure they actually have a word that maps perfectly to our category "gun". They have arma, and then they have words that are for specific types of gun. (pistola = pistol, revólver = revolver, fusil = rifle.) There's "arma de fuego", firearm. But that's awkward for a song title.
Duolingo is not a phrasebook. It's a system for teaching usage. In that respect, this sentence is as useful as any other grammatically correct sentence. Here it's demonstrating the very useful notion that Spanish requires a definite article (the) where English does not.