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  5. "I have a problem."

"I have a problem."

Translation:Yo tengo un problema.

May 24, 2018

103 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rabidace03

Why un and not una?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmineHadji1

Because problema, even though it ends with an A, is masculine.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JOJO_123_123

Why is it masculine? There should be some sort of explanation!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eric740723

While most nouns ending in "-a" are feminine, there are exceptions. Some — including many that end in "-ma" — derive from Greek words and are masculine nouns despite ending in "-a". There are no hard-and-fast rules for these, so you'll just need to make note of them when you come across them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MikeM597512

Great explanation! Thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zachary661198

This is the first time I've ever actually gotten an explanation for this thanks


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

Thank you so much for this explanation!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shawn818060

I kept getting this wrong and didn't understand why, thanks for the explanation!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SaptarshiM437817

I just started learning spanish.. So not yet an expert.. But this is very interesting.. Thanks for initianting the nice explanation.. I loked up more words endong in ma which are the masculine whereas "mano" ending in o is feminine. https://spanish.stackexchange.com/questions/346/why-are-certain-words-ending-in-a-masculine el clima: the weather el programa: the program el sistema: the system el lema: the motto el tema: the topic el idioma: the language el drama: the drama

Problema is from Old French probleme, via Latin from Greek problēma, from proballein ‘put forth’, from pro ‘before’ + ballein ‘to throw’


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

Thank you! So interesting.


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

Thats great Eric what are the other ones? Thanks


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

i remember wondering about this much earlier in these lessons. I think it was "el agua", meaning "the water"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sreelakshm458636

I couldn't have explained it better myself. Very structured way of explaining. Thank you! (P.S. I gave you a lingot)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sharonda464076

Thank you so much for this wonderful explanation!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RyanShea474062

The lesson really should explain this to you first. As a platform for teaching people languages, it's important to explain the nuances of the language as they come up rather than leaving people confused.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LucyEsposi1

I agree. Where are the charts of conjugations and declensions? I feel like that would help me out a little. As for learning new vocab, hovering over the word is enough for me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RyanShea474062

I actually just discovered yesterday that there's a dictionary feature and it shows you the conjugation charts! It's only on the desktop version of the site though which is pretty lame.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MirandaJon425891

I wonder that toooo!!!!! Drivea me nuts!!!! If it has an A at the end it should be feminine


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deact1vated_User

Houston, yo tengo un problema.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelMar43591

Houston, TENEMOS un problema.


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

Houston, hemos tenido un problema.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheDuo27

Wouldn't that be "we have had a problem?"


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

Houston, tenemos un problema.


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

Lol, good one! But it would normally be "Houston WE have a problem" So I THINK it would be "Houston, nosotros tenemos un problema"


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

Spanish does not require pronouns like English does. The verb usually makes it clear who the person performing the action is.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BelindaBra5

You are right, but you don't actually have put nosotros in there because the conjugation of the infinitive verb "tener" let's you know it's "we have" a problem.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eloise23

June 16, 2018 Here's a discussion of Spanish gender exceptions: https://www.lawlessspanish.com/grammar/nouns/gender-exceptions/

Some are shortened versions of feminine words (such as foto/fotografia). There are also some -o words that are feminine (la mano).

Note that many of these exceptions end in -ma, -pa, & -te. When I encounter an unfamiliar word with those endings, I check the gender in the dictionary.

There really aren't that many, and you'll remember the ones you use a lot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bro-KenWilliams

Muchas gracias, Dios te Bendiga. Septembir 2019


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/krisbutler1234

There's also el día and el agua that are masculine


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eloise23

El día is indeed masculine.

However, just to confuse the issue, the el in el agua is there just because it's hard to say la agua. Agua is feminine for all other uses. In fact, you would say, El agua es preciosA. http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/the%20water

This is why when you run across these odd words, you need to check them in the dictionary if you're the least bit uncertain regarding the gender. It's taken a long time for me to get agua correct consistently. July 10, 2018


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rabidace03

dies of confusion


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eloise23

Yes, agua confused me for a long time. :-D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sumxs1

Thank you so much for clarifying that! Finally understand,!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/john581308

Why "yo tengo" and not just "tengo"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eloise23

Duo is feeling self assertive today, so has added the yo.

As you well know, the yo is optional. Be sure to report it if DL counts it wrong to leave it off. Remember to check for other errors, too. July 20, 2018


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

It can be just "tengo"


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

you dont have to put the yo there its optional and kinda a more assertive way to say it


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

Would've been cool if the info in the lesson threw a little hint in there. "By the way, 'problema' is an exception to the gender rule, in that it's masculine, but ends with an 'a.'"

When I was in school, if I didn't know something, the teacher would ask "did you read the lesson." Well, I did, but in this case, there wasn't anything in there regarding gender exceptions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HSSweetie2019

I think Duolingo is tryna tell my something...I have a problem


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pookie1888

Got me again, got to memorize all these nouns with femenine and masculine since the letter they end in doesn't mean anything. I do think duolingo should add a note to questions like this explaining the rules if any exist that would help to give context. It gets frustrating just guessing wrong and not having anything to reinforce the correct answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/saana317627

Difference between quiero and tengo????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eloise23

March 11, 2019 - quiero = I want and tengo = I have

If you haven't found it yet, SpanishDict https://www.spanishdict.com/ is an amazing resource.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lorna659977

One of the best threads explaining masculine gender, and not too get caught out. Thanks to all for contributing.


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

some words are just different. like agua is masculine, even though it ends in an "a"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eloise23

May 29, 2019 - "some words are just different" Quite right! Fortunately, Spanish has relatively few exceptions, especially when compared to English.

Just to confuse the issue, though, the el in el agua is there just because it's hard to say la agua. Agua is feminine for all other uses. http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/the%20water


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RoseGold25144

Why wont it say the spanish sentence so you can know how to say it.


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

Why is it un?!?! Pregunta is feminine!!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlanJennin5

This is great explanation, but my complaint is the duolingo show forward to an exception help page. Doesn't help when the response shows pairing un problema and then has a help page saying to pair una with words that end in 'a.'


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

It really surprised me that "problema" was masculine rather than feminine but I now know for next time!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zoe480751

i was taught that ending in 'a' was feminine, ending in 'ma' was masculine... so el clima is masculine as is un problema...... look out for the 'm' first :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sue877175

Gracias, Eloise23, para the explanation. Your comment is quite belpful.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eloise23

You are most welcome! :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mary.walsh

Why is it "un pregunta" but "una problema?" This gives me a problema grande :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eloise23

February 25, 2019 - Why is it "un pregunta" but "una problema?" I'm assuming you meant una pregunta and un problema.

From June 16, 2018 Here's a discussion of Spanish gender exceptions: https://www.lawlessspanish.com/grammar/nouns/gender-exceptions/

Some are shortened versions of feminine words (such as foto/fotografia). There are also some -o words that are feminine (la mano).

Note that many of these exceptions end in -ma, -pa, & -te. When I encounter an unfamiliar word with those endings, I check the gender in the dictionary.

There really aren't that many, and you'll remember the ones you use a lot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Noor213953

it should of been unaaaaa


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hilary38851

I thought it would allow 'Tengo un problema


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karen759221

In this answer un was used. But a few questions ago it was una problema. How is problema both un and una and how do I know which one to use?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eloise23

Problema is definitely masculine. Granted that there are some Spanish words that vary in gender depending upon the region, but el problema is not one of them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karen759221

That's what I thought. But in one sentence it marked me wrong when I said un problema. It said it was supposed to be una. In another sentence I said una and it marked me wrong saying it was un. Is that just a mistake on Duolingo?


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

Always check your sentence carefully when you get a correction like that. I usually find that it was really because I made another error in the sentence. You can't always rely on the correction. It is often weird. I always click on Discussion when I see that and look at what the sentence should have been.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eloise23

Sometimes Duo says my error was one thing (often a head scratcher!), when it clearly was another. The program hasn't learned all the possible variations yet. :-)

That's why I like the comments section. Who's sleep deprived? Me or the Owl?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeyaSummer1

Why is this soo hard


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/T8xV0RC4

why is problema a masculine noun


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rosemarie638621

Why is it un and not una problem - as problema has a feminine ending


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eloise23

Please check the rest of this thread. This question has been answered several times.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/minato03

Same question I want to ask... This language is so difficult


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zachary661198

JOJO_123_123 that seemed so set up


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John604221

Still having trouble with un, una, el, and la. Any rules for using these? Or is this strictly memorization.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TonySmith17

Ha, this has caught me out so many times. I thought I'd got it when I went for "una problemo", but nope, got me again. I will learn!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Berend2704

Yo tengo un problema


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marlene939271

Thank you for the exp!anation.


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

But there's need to put una not un because it was problem"a"


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

How many exceptions do we have with ma ending i mean 5 or 20 or something like that does somebodt know


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sasha576055

Thank you! Very helpful


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

one of the Duolingo questions translated to "I am the China tomato man"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nova-Kim

Every time i put un it says i need to put una. Then i put una next time and it says i need to put un. Please fix this. It won't let me leave this lesson without this.


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

Ok but in a previous question i was marked wrong for "un pregunta." Should i flag that? I'm so confused


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

Arnold Schwarzenegger threw me off... No problemo!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karlota8324

Because the masculine are the problem, guys. Spanish proves it.


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

Sometimes it accepts "una."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kristen469460

How can you know if something is masculine if it ends in the letter a? I keep goofing on this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MIDDLECLAS1

Is there any type of reference where to use un and una


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alex598262

every time the correct answer switches - un or una so I NEVER get it right!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CatMac17

I have the same question. Since the noun ends with an "a," shouldn't it have the feminine article "una"?

Has this program corrected ANYTHING at all?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CatMac17

This program seems to have more and more mistakes. I'm seriously considering deleting it altogether. Very frustrating.


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

This should be correct un or una


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeorgeTurner971

This video is useful in learning some exceptions to the masc/fem rules... As he says in the video - it's all just practice! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fre-Vd438Ok


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cait549684

Please explain why problema is masculine and an exception to the rule so people don't get confused


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Positive31122005

This video is posted by Rae F from the question 'Un problema difícil'. Will be useful for those who have a doubt in un or una. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fre-Vd438Ok


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jill9

why isnt it una problema?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rich544638

Thanks but confusing and interesting


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alan738002

Thanks for this explanation makes interesting reading.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Veronica395707

Why isn't "una" used? Problema ends with 'a'? I am confused?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamuelStir4

I was told that anything that ends in -ma should have una in front of it. Is that not true?

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