"El hombre come una manzana."

Translation:The man eats an apple.

January 6, 2013

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How do you know when to put an accent on "el" when listening?


"El" without an accent is the definite article that means "the". So usually "el" comes before a noun. "Él" with the accent means "he", for example "Él come una manzana." (He eats an apple.)

To identify if the accent is necessary or not use context clues to find out if the "el" comes before a noun or if the "Él" itself is doing some kind of action.


This is a good explanation. Thanks!


The content of the sentence. Él with the accent above the "E", is a pronoun meaning "He". El without the accent "E", is an article and determiner of gender, meaning El is the male version for "the". For example, El hombre = "The man" compared to Él hombre = "He man". The differences in the sentence structures would be: Él hombre come una manzana = "He man eats an apple" which does not make sense and El hombre come una manzana = "The man eats an apple" makes sense and is correct. Hope this helps!


Difference between "a" and "an"?


Use "an" only when the word begins with a vowel sound:

An apple

An orange

A man


Or if the word is spelled beginning with a consonant but the consonant is silent, like "an herb" (in American English)


My first impression of this sentence was, "The man ate an apple" but it seems I was incorrect.


Because you said ate, which is past tense.


How can you differentiate the tenses?


In English it is quite simple: eat (present), ate (past simple), eaten (past participle)

In Spanish it is more complex xD there are several kinds of past tenses and, like you see in present simple, we have different words for each person and number.

In this case, since it is using present simple in Spanish, the corresponding tense should apply.


Just to add further to your point, the man ate an apple would be el hombre comió una manzana.


Is comer a regular verb then? so if I came across any other regulars I could use the same ending that comer has? i.e.: -o, -es, -e, etc?


There are five types of verbs: -ar verbs, -er verbs, ir verbs, reflexive ones (-se) and what I like to call half reflexive verbs. We'll leave out the reflexive and half reflexive for now.

For regular -ar verbs, it's -o, -as, -a etc. (yo hablo, tú hablas, él habla [verb: hablar [to speak/talk])

For regular -er and -ir verbs, it's -o, -es, -e etc. (yo como, tú comes, él come [verb: comer (to eat]) (yo vivo, tú vives, él vive [verb: vivir (to live)]


So what would be the difference between "the man eats" and "the man is eating"?


The man eats: el hombre come

The man is eating: el hombre está comiendo


I thought that because this sentence has a male subject, you would use a masculine article


The article must concordate with the noum that it is with it:

  • El hombre
  • La manzana


Why is an apple feminine?


English speakers understandably find the concept of masculine and feminine objects hard to comprehend. It is simply that English has evolved away from assigning genders to things, whilst other languages have not. There is no set explanation except "because it is!"


Is come present tense? How do you say "the girl ate a cake" in Spanish? La niña es come una pastel?


Yes, come is present and "The girl ate a cake" = La niña comió un pastel.


Are the accents vital to learning this language?



Besides proper ortography, sometimes accents differentiate words.


Was told that "el" with accent for "The man" instead of indefinite "the", but here "The man" is using "el" without accent.


"él" with accent is a pronoun; it means "he". "él" stands by itself as the subject of a sentence. Él come = He eats.

"el" without an accent means "the". "el" is followed by a noun. El perro come = The dog eats.


I don't notice any difference between the pronunciation of el (without accent) and él (with accent).


There is none. It is just the writing grammar rules.


Why do they use "una" a feminine term in the sentence when there is a masculine noun "Hombre"?


The "una" is for the apple (manzana is a feminine word). "una manzana" means "an apple".

It's a good idea to read all the existing discussion for the sentences. Sometimes you'll find the answer you're looking for is already there, and sometimes you'll find interesting things you didn't even know you were looking for.


Como is the yo form (yo como)

Come goes with él/ella/usted (él come, ella come, usted come)


Shouldn't the verb comer, to eat, be changed to coma, because the man fits in the he, she, or you singular category? Why is it come?


Spanish has three different regular verb forms.

The regular verbs ending in -ar (like hablar) use -a to end the third person singular. Yo hablo, tú hablas, él habla, nosotros hablamos, ellos hablan.

The regular verbs ending in -ir (like vivir) use -e to end the third person singular. Yo vivo, tú vives, él vive, nosotros vivimos, ellos viven.

The regular verbs ending in -er (like comer) also use -e to end the third person singular. Yo como, tú comes, él come, nosotros comemos, ellos comen.


Thanks! We are learning Spanish in school, but I wanted to get ahead so I did Duolingo. The teacher didn't mention anything except ar verbs. This helped a lot.


doesn't como mean "eat"? What is the difference between como and come?


The difference is who is doing the eating. Verbs change their conjugation based on who the subject is. Como = I eat, Come = He/She eats.


I don't get why a man eats the apple but the "an" is feminine? Please help!


The articles (and qualifiers, pronouns...) must match the gender (and number) of the noun they go with. In this case, manzana is feminine and singular, thus, 'una' is the correct choice.

hombre is another noun which is singular. Its article is therefore 'el'.


Why is manzana feminine ?


It just is. In general, if it ends in "a" or "ión", it's feminine, and if it ends in "o", it's masculine. There are lots of exceptions, but it's still a useful rule of thumb.


como is "ate" then and come is "eats"?


ate`= comió (past tense)

eat/eats in the present tense can be:

como = I eat

come = he/she eats

comes = you eat

comemos = we eat

comen = they/you (plural) eat


I don't at all understand if it's "one" or "the". How do you know? It seems to be really random. I said the apple.


You could confuse 'one' and 'a', but not 'one' and 'the'. 'The' is a defined article translated as el, la, los, las (depending on the gender and number of the noun). 'A' and 'one' are translated as 'uno' or 'una' (depending on the gender of the noun). Therefore:

  • Una manzana == an/one apple
  • La manzana == the apple


What is the difference between la manzana and una manzana?

  • La manzana: The apple
  • Una manzana: An apple, but it also can be "one apple"


why is it "an" apple instead of "a " apple!! yo soy confuso


"A" before a vowel almost always becomes "an".

  • a book
  • an orange book
  • an apple
  • a red apple

The exceptions are words starting with "u" that start with a y sound. "Unique" starts with "yoo", so it doesn't need "an". "Ugly" starts with "uh", so it needs "an".

  • a unique opportunity
  • an ugly person


I thought "una" was for a woman?


In this sentence, "una" (feminine "a") goes with "manzana", not with "hombre". The article "el" (masculine "the") is used with hombre in this sentence.


How come it is una even though we are talking about the 'man' being male?


There are two nouns in this sentence, "hombre" and "manzana". "hombre" is male, so the article is "el" (the). "manzana" is female, so the article is "una" (a).

(But don't forget to read all the comments before you ask a new question.)

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