https://www.duolingo.com/Double100

A question about Spanish...

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In Spanish, the water is "el agua."

Why is it not "la agua." ???

Agua ends in a, la ends in a.

Normally in Spanish, at the end of a 'the' (la, el, etc.) it is the same letter ending as the word after the 'the' .....

So why isn't... "El agua" "La agua" ?

Do you see what I mean?

If you know why (if it has something to do with gender, etc. .) please comment. That would be great!

Thank you so much!

3 years ago

55 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Ilmarien
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Any feminine word in Spanish that starts with a stressed A takes the article "el" instead of "la" to avoid running the A sounds together. So we have el agua, el alma, el águila, etc. (A word like aguja, with the stress on the U, would still be la aguja, however.)

Keep in mind, the word is still feminine, so we'd have las aguas, las almas, las águilas, etc. And the adjectives would still take a feminine ending, e.g., el águila roja.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Mod
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There it is! I knew I was missing a vital component. I just couldn't recall what it was. :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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You were very helpful anyway Usagi!!!!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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Oh, right. Thank you ever so much!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/compicej

Ilmarien, excellent answer, as usual. : )

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ilmarien
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Haha, thank you. The topic came up briefly in a class in Spain about two months ago - I have no excuse to forget it again already! (If only I could remember half of the vocabulary that came up also.)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/compicej

Por lo menos ya sabemos que eso no se te olvidará jamás. ¡Algo es algo! ;)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Mod
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The a followed by the a is awkward. If it was la agua, people would just say lagua. So instead it is el agua. A very rudimentary response. I'm sure someone can give a more satisfactory answer. :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CretinClearwatr1

In Portuguese water is referred to in that "awkward" way. "a agua" means "the water".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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Okaaaaaaaaayyyy. Now that is pretty awkward. O.O

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jon.-
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and in "gallego" is a auga.......awkward intensifies

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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Thank you Jon.- . All help counts! :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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It's okay... and thank you Usagi! Or l'agua, if Spanish was French. :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PfifltriggPi
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That is probably the number one thing I dislike about Spanish. I cannot tell you how many times I have gone to write "d'Usted" and been yelled at by an electronic device or teacher.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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Haha! I feel sorry for you. Though "la agua" doesn't sound right. "El agua" just has that "flow" .

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hyllning

Puns! {@style=color:orange}

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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<h1>{@style=color:green}Ummmmmmmm....</h1>
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mynameischelsea

water flows! pun point ! (lingot)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jdenney99
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That's one of the things I like about Italian versus Spanish; it'd be l'acqua.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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Yes, it would :D:D:D:D

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/traroloc

That rule usually works for the most of the nouns , but there are exceptions:

  • La investigación / The research

  • El canal / The channel

  • El mar / The sea

  • El planeta / The planet

So, you will have to learn the exceptions if you want to achieve to be fluent in spanish.

Greetings and Good night.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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Thank you.... sometimes Duolingo doesn't fill it all!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/traroloc

You're welcome. You can always use the forum when you have some doubt, dont forget it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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I certainly won't! A saying I just remembered: "If you don't use it, you lose it." That is true.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/traroloc

...I actually can confirm that saying. In fact, I didn't know that "saying" means "dicho". Interesting.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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Oh, it does? I think that saying is pretty accurate :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DaleFavier
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Yes, agua is in fact feminine, you say "agua fresca," for example. "La agua" would apparently distress the Spanish ear, though, so they use "el" instead. There's a nice rundown here: http://spanish.about.com/od/adjectives/a/el_for_la.htm

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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Thank you so much!... yes, "la agua" doesn't sound right, but would be right if Spanish was grammar. :D

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/virgilio931

not all words finished in "a" are femenine, the majority yes. but it not always, just like there are words that do not end in "a" but they are femenine that is to say they start with "la" eg. La cruz. I am afraid you will have to learn of memory.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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Oh, okay. I didn't know that. Thank you so much for the help!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Leslie_Duo

Yes, while it is true that we just have to memorize some of these nouns, it has always helped me to remember that many of the masculine nouns which end in "a" are words with Greek roots . Some common examples include: el mapa, el planeta, el agua, el clima, el programa, el sistema, el problema, and el idioma. Sometimes scientific and technical terms come from Greek, so that can be a clue to at least check to see if the word might end in "a" yet still be masculine. Hope this tip is helpful to some others too.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alAlexaLex

Hmmm, not so sure. but you have a good point...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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Thank you for commenting!!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alAlexaLex

no problem! I think i will follow u!!!!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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Thank you!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alAlexaLex

sure :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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:D

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CretinClearwatr1

In Portuguese they do say a agua .

There is a diference between grammatical gender and biological gender.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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Oh, okay. I might research deeper.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jon.-
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and in galician it is: a auga.lol

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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:D

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NeotheDino

I see exactly what you mean. My Spanish terrace even saw that mistake! She made a complaint to the website.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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Oh!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NeotheDino

I meant teacher

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NeotheDino

not terrace

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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I figured that :D

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NeotheDino

why does it have to do something with gender?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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No.... What do you mean? It was a question, I didn't say it was something to do with gender.... O.O

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NeotheDino

No... The thing I asked was a question that anyone could answer I want to know.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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Oh, right, I get it now ;) Sorry if I offended you ;)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NeotheDino

np

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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:D

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NeotheDino

:D o0o <--- This is a face! WOW!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/divya.mary

In case anyone is interested in learning the Latin connection, it is here: http://www.brighthubeducation.com/learning-spanish/17776-evolution-of-spanish-from-latin-el-agua-and-las-aguas/

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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I wanted to learn some Latin, thank you so much!

3 years ago
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