https://www.duolingo.com/profile/um6661138

i was marked wrong for, "Ustedes no comieron EL pan en el restaurante." help?

i was marked wrong for, "Ustedes no comieron EL pan en el restaurante." i thought it's common that articles are used in spanish with nouns. help?

DL said that the correct translation is, "Ustedes no comieron pan en el restaurante."

thanks. : )

March 30, 2018

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarcelBal

In this context, I believe you would say -el pan- only when referring to specific bread

March 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/um6661138

thanks. : ) hmmm... i feel like i see articles used sometimes for both specific nouns and general all encompassing nouns. i am aware that the article isn't always used for nouns. but, i was hoping for a more definitive answer. : )


i feel like it has to with the word order maybe, or all the language rules that i am unable to explain, but sort of know by just repeating things enough times. the action is happening to the bread, so is that a factor of the sentence structure in this case?

March 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chilotin

If English sentence was "You didn't bread...", the right answer is "(Ustedes) no comieron pan". "Pan" is "bread", "el pan" is a specific loaf of bread (or "bread" considered in general, as a substance). If you didn't eat any bread is "pan". If you didn't eat an specific/known loaf of bread or an element of a group of known loaves of bread, is "el pan".

March 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Catherine966298

Thank you. Es claro ahora.

March 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/um6661138

i don't really follow you, but thanks. : )


i am aware that the article isn't always used for nouns. but, i was hoping for a more definitive answer. : )

March 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chilotin

For a more definitive answer, please provide the sentence in English. Did it say "bread" or "the bread"? If it sayed just "bread", "el pan" is wrong.

March 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/um6661138

to chilotin - - - sorry. i thought it was obvious what the english sentence was based on the facts that i presented and the discussion. if 'the bread' was in the sentence then i would have written 'el pan' for sure. the sentence that i was asked to translate was, "you all ate bread in the restaurant."

April 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/b05aplmun.ca

It gets tricky, because Spanish often does use the article when English would not for abstract nouns or nouns used generally. One would say, for instance, "Los caballos corren rápidamente" when talking about horses as a group or "El conocimiento es importante," when talking as knowledge as a abstract whole, rather than about one specific piece of knowledge.

That said, the specifics of when to use articles can be confusing to us English speakers. Fast and dirty shortcut: if the abstract or general noun is at the beginning of the sentence , use an article. If it comes near the end, the article may not be appropriate. That approach doesn't always work, but seems to help.

March 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/um6661138

thanks.
i am aware that the article isn't always used for nouns. but, i was hoping for a more definitive answer. : )

March 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alex_arnl

Unfortunately the rules regarding the use of determiners can be very tricky, as there are a few determining factors, such as type of verb, type of sentence (active/passive), and sometimes even the position of the noun in the sentence. I'm not going to explain everything as that would be too long, what I can tell you is that regarding consumption verbs, like (comer, beber, tomar, etc), the subject of the sentence always needs a determiner, regardless of it being specific or general, for example:

  • Los caballos comen mucho | This can be translated to "Horses eat a lot" or "The horses eat a lot", it's incorrect to say "Caballos comen mucho", you would sound like a caveman.

The object of this type of verb only requires a determiner when the noun is specific, for example:

  • Los caballos beben agua | This can be translated to "Horses drink water" or "The horses drink water", if you want to say "The horses drink the water", you must add the article "Los caballos beben el agua".

These rules apply to your example:

  • Ustedes no comieron el pan... (You did not eat the bread...)
  • Ustedes no comieron pan... (You did not eat bread...)
March 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/um6661138

❤❤❤❤. i knew that. (that's me exclaiming out loud feeling sort of ditzy for forgetting- i just edited my comment bc i was worried that it would be misinterpreted). i have learned that before, but is it really all that simple? i feel like the article isn't always dropped though, even when not being specific. what about this translation?: "fish don't like bread." google translate says, "los peces no les gusta el pan." wouldn't bread be general? so, why the article? or, is that an improper translation? even if it is a poor translation i still feel like i've seen other examples where the article was used. wish that i could think of them.....

March 31, 2018
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