Tackling with sentences like this: write out word by word, and then pick out/add in things to make it sound more natural. This is what I think after quite some days into this.
Would you be able to leave out the "el" and be understood?
Ellos tienen pelo ❤❤❤❤❤
If there is a single black hair that they found under a couch or something... Who has the black hair? They have the black hair. Or would I need to say "the black strand of hair" or something like that?
"Ellos" refers to males or a mixed-gender group. Ellas refers to a group of females.
hmm. I thought "hair" was el cabello. Anyone know if there's a distinction between the two words, or are they just synonyms for the same thing...?
Double hmm. I had never heard of el cabello before. From this it sounds like some regions use pelo for all hair, and some use cabello for head hair and pelo for animal/body hair. http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/133732/pelo-vs-cabello
Seems like it's better to err on the side of caution and use cabello for head hair and pelo for other hair.
To BarbaraMorris: in Portuguese, which is very similar to Spanish, the word "Cabelo" is only used for head hair and "pelo" for the other parts of the human body and for animals. Greetings. October 27, 2016.
I've been wondering the same thing... I notice that I've seen "cabello" on shampoo/hair product bottles, though I haven't seen "pelo" on them.
Pelo can be used in all instances of hair or fur. It ncludes human animal or plant. So any hair.
Ie a peach or a kiwi have hair = pelo. Body hair = pelo Animals = pelo
Sub categories of other types of pelo narrowing the definition: Cabello: is only and specifically hair on a human head, for which you get a haircut. Ie: "Ella va a cortar su cabello". (In México) outside of Mexico it is ok to say. "Ella va a cortar su pelo".
Barba is only and specifically used on the face of "Men". But NOT Women!!
Note: in some regions because pelo is used for animals or body hair. It is insulting to use pelo when you should use cabello. Ie: Mexico. But in other regions it is ok to use it. As often the use another word for animals.
I still have no idea when the "the" is required. Other than by what is becoming to sound natural, which I'm not sure exactly what does sound natural but am hoping that progress is coming along somewhere in the deep recesses of the mind (mine that is).