"The secretary writes the letters on Mondays."
Translation:La secretaria escribe las cartas los lunes.
The days of the week that end in -s don't change for plural. The definite article tells whether you mean one day or more.
El lunes = on Monday. Los lunes = on Mondays.
Sábado and domingo (ending on -o) are made plural by adding -s.
El sábado = on Saturday. Los sábados = on Saturdays.
Él es el secretario del rey →
"He is the King's secretary"
El secretario de la jefa lee la carta →
"The boss's secretary reads the letter"
The above are a couple of Duo's examples using el secretario at
I thought if you dont know the gender of the secretary it would take the masculine form! The same with el jefe/la jefa on a previous lesson. Am i missing something? EX: The boss has a new car. i was wrong when i said El Jefe. How do you determine by that sentence that the boss is a woman??
How do you determine that the secretary (secretaria) is female? I thought if the gender is unknown it would defer to the masculine form. I also had an issue with "The boss has a new Car", I was incorrect by saying El Jefe?? Am I missing something?? I talked to a native speaker and she said it would be "El jefe", just as I though, but I was incorrect according to duolingo. ???
The masculine definite article is el; lo when used as a definite article is neuter gender. As secretario is a masculine noun it requires el.
One of the uses of lo is to create nouns from adjectives, as in
Lo bueno, lo malo y lo feo →
"The good, the bad and the ugly"
Lo importante es … →
"The important thing is …"
This article describes the uses of lo (which may also be a pronoun):
There is no real logic for determining the gender of nouns:
One cannot predict the gender of a noun, except in the case of living creatures. Do not try to analyze the nature of the object, looking for some inherent masculinity or femininity. It won’t work! StudySpanish.com
The feminine article (la, las) is used before the hour because it refers to “la hora.” StudySpanish.com
Assuming this same logic does apply to days of the week and to months it could be because "day" is masculine - el día - and "month" is also masculine - el mes
Just a comment I am an old guy learning and the people I hang with are laughing at me. You are teaching me correct spanish and their street talk is less formal shall we say. Thank you to all of you that make this available to me.
I understand the confusion.
un or una mean "a" or "an" los and las mean "the"
If you write unas cartas in essence you are saying "a letters" and that is grammatically incorrect even in English. Further there is no "s" added to una because cartas in plural. It should be una carta (a letter) or las cartas (the letters).
Spanish is not English, m_clayton. In Spanish, "unos/unas" has the same meaning as the English word "some." However, "cualquier/calquiera" and "alguno/alguna" are also translations of "some," and "unos pocos" is used as an adverbial phrase that means "a few" or "little," as in "unos pocos preguntas" (a few questions) or "datos poco conocidos (little known facts). Interestingly, when "poco" is used as a Spanish adverb, it retains its singular form when modifying any Spanish adjective, such as "conocidos." In fact, when the Spanish adjective "conocidos" is used as a noun substitute, it requires the article "los" to make it clear that "conocidos" means "the known ones" (which is a noun phrase).
DL: El secretario escribe las cartas los lunes. So, I find this potentially uncomfortable even in spanish to put this repeating Las (noun) los (noun) together, even if position correctly identifies the part of speach/ special phrasal conotations. Is there an extra word to throw in there in spanish to make polite? Like english: "Green rested so purple could play" to "green rested so THAT purple could play" reducing ambiguities again, even if unlikely people would get confused. *Not a good comparison, but yknow what I mean? "Escribe las cartas EN los lunes?"
"Los lunes" means "On Mondays". Your proposed correction would read, "He writes the letters at on Mondays," which I'm betting is the exact opposite of what you thought you were going for.
The more you practice Spanish (or any other language) by reading, listening, and speaking, the more natural its grammar will sound to you. This is the same way you learned to tell when an English sentence is grammatically correct: by knowing that it "sounds right".
Buena suerte, y mantén practicar.
I have practiced this sentence so often, I almost know it by muscle memory. Would it be possible to at least change the day of the week...
El lunes - On Monday Basically means on any given Monday.
Los Lunes - On Mondays Basically means every Monday.
So ya, meanings are different.
Escribe is a verb and verbs don't have gender. English verbs are the same in this respect.
Él escribe » "He writes"
Ella escribe » "She writes"
Usted escribe » "You write"
El secretarío escribe » "The secretary writes"
La secretaría escribe » "The secretary writes"
The above are third-person singular except for the formal usted which is second-person singular.
fug1tivus: the "secretary writes the letters" would refer to writing correspondence. The Spanish letras does not mean letters as in correspondence, but
• letters of the alphabet
• handwriting (as in calligraphy)
• song lyrics
• a type of finance agreement
See Spanish Dictionary
paridhik, it is simply that Spanish is not English: by that I mean the two languages often vary in the way they express things. Which prepositions are used or not is one of the big differences between the two languages (and other languages I believe).
With days of the week Spanish simply does not need a preposition to say "on" - the definite article is used instead. We occasionally say it that way in English too, especially if we want to add emphasis: "I worked the Monday of last week", or even simply "I worked Monday last week".
[In Spanish] days of the week are usually used with the definite article (singular el or plural los), and it isn't necessary to say that an event happens "on" a certain day. Correct: Trabajo los lunes. (I work on Mondays.) ThoughtCo.com
When you think about it the use of the English "on" in this sense is a little peculiar. You can get "on/in a bus", "on a bike", but how do you get "on Mondays"? 😄
Link to ThoughtCo article: https://www.thoughtco.com/spanish-grammatical-mistakes-you-can-avoid-3079247
Duo does use el secretarío in sentences too. This link¹ currently has 9 examples using la secretaria and 5 different sentences that use el secretarío, so at least there are some masculine forms.
Yes, because letras is used as in letras del alfabeto / "letters of the alphabet", it doesn't mean mail or correspondence.
AnthonyMai, in Spanish the articles "the", "a/an" have gender and must match the gender and number of the noun before which they are placed. ALL nouns have gender, even inanimate "things" such as cartas (letters/correspondence) and names of days of the week (Monday).
With objects there is no logic as to what is masculine and what is feminine, although nouns ending with -a are generally feminine and those with -o are generally masculine - but there are many exceptions.
Use el for singular, masculine nouns. El carro (the car), el pie (the foot), el niño (the boy), el día (the day), el vestido (the dress).
Use la for singular, feminine nouns. La falda (the skirt), la camisa (the shirt), la mujer (the woman), la habitación (the room).
Use los for plural, masculine nouns. Los libros (the books), los teléfonos (the phones), los pueblos (the towns), los zapatos (the shoes).
Use las for plural, feminine nouns. Las mesas (the tables), las casas (the houses), las ciudades (the cities), las clases (the classes).
Duolingo Skill Tip that has some instruction on this (Skill 1, Intro): https://www.duolingo.com/skill/es/Intro/tips
SpanishDict article: https://www.spanishdict.com/guide/el-or-la-an-introduction-to-spanish-articles
Twice now I have exactly what it says it should be and it's still marking it wrong. I stopped trying to gain this homework a long time ago and came back to it thinking I'll just go right through it now. I am not the problem it is not accepting correct answers this needs to be adjusted or why bother
I wrote "El secretario escribo el mensajes los lunes" purposely wanting to state that the secretary is male. Is this wrong? Are there no male secretaries in the spanish speaking contries? I see from previous posts here, that more people have reacted to this. Duolingo needs to fix this asap.