"A cup of coffee."
Translation:Una taza de café.
Words endng in a are almost always feminine. Ending in o are almost always masculine. Also words ending in ad or ion are generally feminine. Nouns that are made from verbs, like el amanecer, (they end in r) are generally masculine. For most of the rest, you just have to learn them on by one.
Whatever the word "a" or "an" is next to is what determines the ending of un/una. So since the sentence is "'a cup' of coffee", the a is with cup, and therefore, the gender of the word cup determines if it's un or una. You can use copa or taza to mean cup, both of which are feminine, and so you would choose to use "una".
Normally feminine words end with "a", "dad", "ción" and masculine words normally end with "o". However, sometimes a feminine word ends with "o", such as "la mano" and sometimes masculine words end with a, such as "el día", however, this is uncommon. If you come across a noun ending with "a", "dad", "ción", assume it is feminine, unless you are notified otherwise (same with o for masculine), and then memorize the exceptions to the rules, such as mano and días.
Also, for more ambiguous endings, such as "e", look up the gender of the word to figure out if it's una or un. If you are speaking with a native speaker and come across a noun with an ambiguous ending, assume that it's masculine, because that is more understood; they will most likely correct you if it's wrong anyways and it usually doesn't affect their understanding of what you meant much.
This post explains the difference: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/28869140/Copa-vs-taza-vs-vaso
taza = cup, while vaso = glass. But in some places “la taza” always refers to the toilet bowl! So people tend to avoid using the word “taza” for anything else. Many will say “un vaso de cafe” while others will ask for “un cafecito”, to sidestep either taza or vaso. It’s just a cultural thing that we learn along with the language itself.
My whole family is mexican, and we choose to say vaso for cups instead of taza so its kinda confusing
Yeah, I think that somewhere in one of these discussions it's explained. But I came to ask how to unsubscribe from this thing. Anytime someone comments on any discussion I have ever seen, I get ANOTHER EMAIL. Duolingo is an inportant aspect in my life, but my e-mail is really cluttered an full of these messages. I understand how this may be helpful if you are talking in one discussion, but I have looked at many, and this is just a burden that I can't carry be anymore.
un vaso = a clear, see-through glass, usually used to hold cold beverages like water, milk or soda
una taza = a cup with a handle, made for holding hot beverages like tea, coffee, or hot chocolate
una copa = a glass with a stem, like a wine glass
While there are several exceptions to this rule, the general rule is if the noun ends in 'o', it is masculine so you would use 'el' or 'un'. If it ends in 'a' then you would use 'la' or 'una'. Again, there are exceptions such as 'carne'. This is feminine, but café is masculine. 'Vestido' which is a dress, is masculine, but a falda(which to me is half of a dress) is feminine. I couldn't tell you who decided or how nouns were decided to be gender specific, but in Spanish(and other languages as well), they are. A word if advice would be to make a Spanish notebook and write this down so you can study them at your leisure.
It's really not to confusing. Think about it like this, you use gender to determine what words to say anyways. If Emily lost her chocolate, then you would probably say (unless you are a cruel person) Let's help HER find HER chocolate. If you were talking about your buddy Edwin, you would say his. See? It makes sense. Just remember the... err... gender of what your talking about? It may sound strange, but you'll get used to this. (If you know an Emily or Edwin give me a lingot) :)
Good news! You don't need physical buttons with the accents. This can actually be fixed within a minute or two if you know your way around the computer settings. I'll leave some help with the assumption is that you are based in the USA but you should be able to follow along regardless.
Windows: If you're on a newer Windows 10 machine, right click on your start menu icon and left click on Settings. Then type in "region". Click on "Region & Language Settings". Click on "English (United States)". Then click "Options". Then click the "+" symbol to add a new keyboard. Add the "United States - International" keyboard. Once they keyboard is installed, you'll notice your taskbar now has text icon indicated your current keyboard setting. It will normally say "ENG US" for US English, but, you can click on it to change it to "ENG INTL" for US International English. When you change to this keyboard, you can quickly type accents by holding the right-ALT key down first and then typing a letter. This also works for the upside-down question mark and exclamation point. This keyboard setting is application specific. This means you can have different keyboard settings as you switch windows on your computer, for example, between your browser that has Duolingo in it and your text editor like Microsoft Word.
Mac: because you pay a premium for Apple devices in exchange for convenience, you should at any time only need to press and hold a letter on your keyboard. After pressing and holding for about a second or two, a window will pop up on your screen with alternate letter options.
Una goes with feminine words, which usually end with the letter 'a', so 'a cup' would be una taza. When words end with 'e' or 'o', they're almost always a masculine word and masculine words go with 'un'. Same with 'the'. it the noun ends with o or e, the word 'the' is 'el'. if the noun ends with an 'a', then the word 'the' is 'la'. so 'un' and 'el' are for masculine words. and 'una' and 'la' are for feminine words. un and una mean 'a' or 'an' el and la mean 'the' I hope that helps
When I lived in Colombia, if I said: "Una taza de café", invariably, someone would correct me and tell me, "Las tazas no se hacen de café." They would insist that you should say, "Una taza con café." I even bought some liquid laundry detergent once, and the instructions said: "Eche medio posillo de café con jabón al agua de la lavadora." I spent 20 minutes trying to figure out why on earth I would want to put coffee in my wash water. I finally realized it meant a half a coffee cup with soap. I think that may be just a Colombian thing, because I usually say "Una de taza de café" where I live now, and it is considered normal.
"Un" and "una" both always mean "a", regardless of formality. The only difference between the two words is that the former is masculine and the latter is feminine. "One", on the other hand, is "uno" in Spanish. In some circumstances I suppose you could replace un/una with uno, much like you can in English, but it does sound rather awkward to me. I would never switch them intentionally.
Why are inadamant objects feminine?
You mean inanimate objects? Every noun in Spanish has a grammatical gender, regardless of natural gender or animacy. A quick Google search can tell you much more than I ever could.