"I go to school."
Translation:Voy a la escuela.
You don't use the "yo" unless you have a reason to point out that "I" go to school.
I often seem to leave out the definite article when it is needed. Is there a rule about this?
Me too - I leave out the article when it's needed, and include it when it's not.
I get the impression that you develop a sense for it over time. I seem to be. You definitely need an article when describing a group as a whole. Eg. "Bears have fur" = "Los osos tienen pelaje."
Although these are difficult for me, I have determined this rule:
If the noun is a subject, use the definite object.
"Los osos tiene pelaje." La gente quiere más" (people want more) Los animales son mamíferos (Animals are mammals.0 Los ladrones trabajan en Washington D.C. (Thieves/ crooks work in Washington, D.C.)
The challenge for me is when to use a definite article when the noun is in the predicate, when it is an object.
Voy a la escuela. El estudiante come arroz. The student eats rice
La tienda no tenía mantequilla. The store did not have butter.
El gobierno necesita mejorar la seguridad. The government needs to improve safety
La unidad es mejor que el dinero. Unity is better than money.
Odio el azúcar. I hate sugar
Nunca bebe alcohol. He never drinks alcohol.
All these examples are from Duolingo.
Yes. Sometimes "la" & "el" are used before nouns we normally wouldn't in english. You'd probably have to ask a native speaker for them, because they're very complicated.
Because escuela is feminine. So it would be "Voy a LA escuela". You only contract 'a el' to al, not 'a la'. Hope that helps! :)
http://dictionary.reverso.net/spanish-english/instituto It is not quite the same thing.
I thought also that the la was not needed because we were talking of school in general not a specific school.
Scroll up to Theriaka who explains that "al" = a + el and "a la" for feminine nouns cannot be contracted.
I thought that masculine was used when the word began with a vowel. E.g. El agua
The noun keeps its gender which is important to remember for the adjectives describing the noun must match that gender. "agua" is a feminine noun which does use "el" because you would have two a's in a row, but "escuela" does not start with "a" and is "la escuela". So, no this does not happen with all vowels. There is actually a word "lagua" that could be confused if they used la with agua. http://spanish.about.com/b/2006/01/06/why-el-agua-instead-of-la-agua.htm
This substitution is done for other nouns that start with "a" and even for nouns that start with "ha" if the accent is on that syllable in the word. In plural form these words still use "las". http://spanish.about.com/od/adjectives/a/el_for_la.htm
Me is the first person singular direct object pronoun, the person being acted upon by a verb. It's not needed in this sentence.
The subject here is yo. It would be fine to include it in the answer: Yo voy a la escuela. But it is not necessary to do so as the verb conjugate being used, i. e. voy indicates the subject.
Hope this helps.
Voy = i am going Therefor the literal translation is i am going to the school. It should be "yo va a esceula" Why does "yo" have to be in this? "Va a esceula" = he is going to school? Why!??
Yo = I; voy = go; va = he/she/it goes/you go. You therefore cannot say . 'Yo va', as you are mixing up the two. It is not necessary to put in the 'yo', however, and 'voy' would still translate as 'I go', since you cannot omit the pronoun in English. You also need to add 'la' before 'escuela' for correct Spanish usage, and note the spelling of 'escuela'.
I said Voy a la escuela, and it marked it wrong and told me to use colegio. WOW.