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"How much water do you need?"

Translation:¿Cuánta agua necesitas?

March 29, 2018



Is not Agua masculine: el Agua?


"Agua" is femine (and not masculine). It takes "el" in the singular because of a clashing of vowel sounds, and "las" in the plural.

I'm not sure for un/una, but for other things like "esta" and clearly "cuánta" it goes to the feminine form (i.e. I can't describe the sounds to differentiate for myself but it is roughly the way it works)



Wow. That's a fairly significant bit of intel that I might have liked to have known earlier! Thanks!


Thank you! I never knew this!!!


nor did I. it looks like a lot of us didn't know this!!!

  • 1282

My Spanish teachers always taught us that aqua, like idioma, was from Latin and was one of the few exceptions to the "words ending in A are feminine" rule .


Aqua is feminine in Spanish and was feminine in Latin. It takes the "el" but is still feminine. We can tell it's still feminine because it take feminine adjectives (aqua fria).


Well, Spanish is a Romance language and most of its vocabulary is originated from Latin, which makes no sense as to being the cause of an exception. However, agua is not a masculine noun and just follows a rule where the feminine singular articles (la & una) cannot be used when the stress of a word beginning with a is on that beginning a. For example: El agua fría Las aguas frías Un agua fría Unas aguas frías


Wow! I can't imagine ever learning the ten tips on the video. I wonder why Spanish has the reputation of being an easy language to learn. I've tried for years. The more I learn, the more complicated it seems.


Idioma is from Greek (through Latin), and like many other words ending in -ma (clima, programa, esquema...) is neutral in Greek (and Latin), and masculine in Spanish. Agua comes from the feminine Latin word aqua.


this is the first I've ever heard of this!!! Are there other words that do this? here's a lingot!


I did not know this! Thanks for that link. Fascinating. And kind of excited I could read the whole article and understand it.


Should this be "Cuanto" since agua is EL agua?


It's news to me that agua is feminine. Wish i had been told before now (5 years using Duolingo nearly every day).


As agua is el agua why is cuanta not cuanto I thought we had to keep everything matched by gender and plurality


Why, though, when I tried this again, got the ¿Cuánta agua part right, and ended with "necesita usted?" did it object to my using the formal form of "you," and mark it wrong?

There is NOTHING about "how much water do you need" that either indicates, or would tend to MANDATE the sentence MUST use the informal "you" conjugation of "necesitar".

THAT should probably be fixed, or at least add an indication of which form, formal or informal, or when the singular or plural, is required. In English, "you" can mean any of many things and it's ambiguous. Formal or informal, (or familiar and polite, if you prefer,) and it's also both singular and plural. Spanish has at least about a half dozen words that all translate as "you" and are NOT interchangeable:

Tú: you (sing. fam.) Usted: you (sing. pol.) Ustedes: you (pl. pol.) Vosotros: you (pl. exclusively masculine, or mixed m/f, fam.) Vosotras: you (pl. exclusively fem., fam.) - Yeah, I know not all dialects use vosotro/as -

There may be others... I am not as yet fluent en español... not even close.


Yes, just report it! (The report flag)


Cuánta agua necesita usted accepted


Yeah it's pretty silly. Here's another one for you— vos: you (sing. fam).

It's used in Argentina and uses modified vosotros conjugation, e.g. "you are" is vos sos/vosotros soís and "you have" is vos tenés/vosotros tenéis. Funny enough they use ustedes, not vosotros, in Argentina.


Why don't they bring this up in the lesson or hints? This is not something one would have any way of knowing or figuring out from known patterns.

  • 2635

Which part of it is giving you trouble?


Unrelated but a question for a moderator. What is the number beside a person's flag? What does it mean?


I used the formal "necesita" said it was wrong


I also used "necesita". But it does not accept it yet.

I made my report. 25/august/2018


You must add "usted" for the formal to be accepted


I was marked wrong for "¿Cuánta agua tú necesitas?" Is it wrong?


Yes, when a question starts with a question word like cómo quién or cuándo I think you have to either leave off the subject or put it after the verb. This inversion is not required with statements said as questions such as You have a dog? ¿Tú tienes un perro?


Did not accept '¿Cuánta agua necesitáis?' and it isn't giving me the option to report it - 18 July 2018.


I still do get mixed up with masc/fem like cuanta/cuanto, but I find the silliest to be that egg is masculine as in el huevo

  • 2635

Grammatical gender is largely arbitrary and mostly has nothing to do with biological sex. There are even languages with gender systems that don't label their noun categories "masculine" or "feminine".


I found it funny as well. Kinda enforces the fact that gender in language has nothing to do with biological genders or sexes.


The hint says cuanto


I'm curious about changing "la" to "el" for agua because there are two "a"s together if it's left as "la agua". If that is the reasoning, why doesn't the same situation cover "cuanta agua". Perhaps this is just one of those things that is "just the way it is".


¿Cuanta agua necesitan?

Is also accepted


I thought that 'how much' is always 'cuanto'?


Why does water come before necesitas?


because you are asking "How much water do you need?" not, "How much do you need water?"


I may be overanalyzing and that's why I'm getting stuck. But, in a different problem it was saying to move the verb to the beginning. For example:

How much does costs? Cuanto cuesto _

So how do I know when to shift the verb in a question or leave it where I hear it in English?

  • 2635

What is being questioned?

How much does it cost? <-- How much costs it?
How much water do you need?


And why not ,cuantas?

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