"These skirts cost a lot."
Translation:Estas faldas cuestan mucho.
Could someone please explain to me why the translation is "Estas faldas cuestan mucho" and not "Estas faldas cuestan muchas"? Why wouldn't mucho need to match number and gender in this instance?
Dictionary.com tells me that "a lot" is "a noun and adverb". Online and pocket dictionaries say "mucho" is an adverb, adjective, and pronoun (!). OK...?, but, I attended math and science schools where learning the parts of speech and how to parse were, ah, not valued. So I don't know how to apply the English vs Spanish parts of speech to this sentence to grok DL's translation of "a lot" in this particular sentence. Help?
Mucho is modifying the verb cost here (telling how much), not the noun skirts. So it's an adverb, which doesn't change its -o ending.
Adjective (agrees): Tengo muchas amigas. No quiero mucha ensalada.
Adverb (stays -o): Las chicas trabajan mucho. Me gustan mucho las faldas.
It certainly is confusing! Because it was not cuesta but cuestan. Anyway, verbs don't have gender, and both cuesta and cuestan are verbs.
It's true that many feminine nouns end in a, and masculine nouns end in o. But verbs end in those letters too. Don't worry, it sorts itself out after a while.
These skirts cost a lot - a lot applies to cost so it's an adverb. In Spanish, adverbs are invariable, so it's always mucho.
A lot of skirts - so a lot cannot be an adjective, because it needs the of. However, mucho is an adjective because you can apply mucho directly to a noun, where it has to agree with it (muchas faldas).
How many skirts do you have? A lot. - some dictionaries say that a lot here is a noun, some say it is a pronoun. In any case, you would translate A lot by Muchas to agree with faldas
This is a massive problem for us who don't analyze before we speak. I value momentum in a conversation. I am deaf dumb and blind when it comes to differentating between adverbs and adjectives. Let alone put them in correct order. It's a true pain to get through these when there isn't a clear logic unless you belong to the small group that thrive on analyzing grammar.
Verbs change form depending on the subject of the verb. In English we have it costs and they cost. Notice the difference? Costs and cost. In Spanish it works similarly but is much more extensive. This is called verb conjugation.
SpanishDict shows the conjugation of all verbs. You can just look them up. At this early stage, only look at the first column, the Present tense.
"Costar" means "to cost". For "he/she/it costs" you say "cuesta" and for "they cost" it is "cuestan".