It would not be usual to use the definite article 'the' in that sentence, one most usually might say 'this/that meat is very expensive at $20 a kilo' or perhaps 'the meat is very expensive at $20 per kilo' one might also say 'The meat per kilo at $20 is very expensive'
You could dissect this all night.. but the kilo of meat sounds wrong to me as a native born inhabitant of the UK... maybe its ok in U.S. english
Nope. Martha is right. It would be useful to have a native speaker enlighten us on whether this is contextual or if this is how Spanish works. If I would walk up to the counter and ask how much a kilo of sirloin cost would I say "un kilo" or "el kilo." If "un kilo" would sound strange in that situation to a Spanish speaker, then the proper translation here of "el kilo" is probably "a kilo."
Thank you RyagonIV.
I can envision going to the grocery store with a list of items. I left home with a limited amount of cash and no credit card. I've placed everything else on the list in my cart, but the price of meat is more expensive than I expected. I call home and tell my wife I've gotten everything else on the list, but the kilo of meat is very expensive. I am more likely going to talk about the price per pound of one or more specific types of meat, but the sentence is not constructed improperly. In Mexican towns like Tepoztlán or Puerto Escondido you are probably going to do your shopping in a large central market with many individual vendors. The/A kilo of meat is very expensive here, but less expensive over there.
The definite article "replaces un/una when talking about quantity, frequency, or weight." I don't remember where I found this rule, but it is the one demonstrated in this Spanish sentence.
Unfortunately, it looks like the appropriate English sentence may not be acceptable. Also unfortunately, I used "the" in my answer, so I can't very well check or report it. Hopefully it will come back around so I can verify if they have added "A kilo" or "One kilo" as an acceptable answer.
EDIT: "A kilo of meat is very expensive." was accepted June 2020.
Huh. Fascinating. All those years of watching Top Gear and I've never heard of it used that way. At least I learned what a lorry is and where the bonnet and the boot are.
If you say something is dear in the U.S. it means it's precious to you. In this sentence you'd be telling people that you love this kilo of meat and it is very dear to you. Think Gollum and his ring, except it's a human with his precious, loved lump of meat.
Both the original sentence put too much emphasis on "the kilo". Yet it's not the kilo that's expensive, it's the MEAT that's expensive. (I'm assuming that the price per kilo is the same regardless of how much you buy.)
In any case, I would just say "That meat is very expensive." It's clear and avoids confusion.
As a native English speaker beign a bit pedantic here: I would not say "the kilo of meat" but rather "that kilo ..." or "a kilo...". "The kilo.." sounds very stilted and for me would immediately identify a person as a non-native speaker.
Anyway, to get through the exercise I have to write "the kilo..." sigh
It's not the Spanish translation I'm questioning. I'm questioning if there ever is a native English speaker that would ever say The kilo of meat is expensive. The direct translation El kilo would be The kilo yes but using that phrase doesn't sound like something anyone would ever say.in English. So why is it used?
Scenario: I'm comparing prices at the meat counter of the market. I might say, "That's a good price on the fish, but the kilo of meat is expensive."
Just remember you are learning to speak Spanish, and whether you would say "a kilo" or "the kilo" in English, in Spanish you would say "el kilo."
But you're breaking a sentence a part. Yes your sentence makes sense. But on its own it doesn't. I'm learning Spanish yes but I get distracted when I have to translate to a weird English that sounds like someone that speaks Spanish would say. ;) Not a native English speaker.
Spanish Articles are used with nouns of weight or measure:
Duo accepts a kilo or the kilo in the English version of the sentence
Most of the complaints/misunderstandings about this sentence are due to looking at the situation bass-ackwards, o sea, the phrase is correct in Spanish. Rule: use (nearly always) the definite article "el/la/los/las" when the referenced noun is SPECIFIC, same as English ("The water is cold", "The house of Mr. Smith is big". ) Where we native speakers have a problem is in accepting the use of the definite article in Spanish when the noun is ALL INCLUSIVE: "Los gatos son felinos" o "El queso es caro", for example. In these cases, where the meaning of ALL is implied, an English speaker omits the article, resulting in a problem for a native Spanish speaker who will tend to say, "The cats are felines" and "The cheese is expensive".
Re. expensive/dear/pricey: a Yank would never use "dear" as a synonym of "expensive" unless mimicking a Brit or effecting an English accent. "Pricey", as someone mentioned, is rather informal, slangy and/or colloquial