"Do you want to buy bananas?"
Translation:¿Quieres comprar bananas?
Me gustan las bananas. versus Quieres comprar bananas. Why does the former require the article "las", but not the latter?
Both seem to be talking about bananas in general rather than a specific bunch of bananas.
The use of articles sometimes has nothing to do with the noun referring to something general or specific, articles are required depending on different factors: type of verb, type of sentence, the function of the noun in the sentence, etc.
With most verbs, the subject of the sentence requires a determiner, but not its direct object, like comprar, for example, take a look at this sentence: "People buy ice cream in the summer", now, 'people' is the subject, so it will need an article in Spanish, but 'ice cream' is the direct object, so it will not need a determiner unless the noun refers to something specific, hence the correct translation is "Las personas compran helado en el verano".
With gustar on the other hand, the subject requires a determiner, as well as the indirect object, for example, if you want to translate the sentence "Cats like fish", the subject is 'cats', but in Spanish it will become the indirect object, and the object is 'fish', which will become the subject, so the correct way to translate that is: "A los gatos les gusta el pescado", with both nouns using an article. The following sentences are incorrect:
- Personas compran helado en el verano.
- A gatos les gusta helado.
Context will tell you if the speaker is referring to something specific or general.
Great explanation alezzzix. I've been trying to figure this out for a while now. So would I be correct in saying the following: The 'general' article rule really only applies to the subject of the sentence and not the object. The object of the sentence function opposite to this in that it takes an article when referring to a specific thing (not a general thing).
Once again, this is dialectical...in Panama people often say "platanos" when referring to any kind of banana. Apparently any banana species is a platano, but in some places people specifically mean "plantains."
DL accepted "platanos." I have lived in Mexico and Venezuela, plus visited Chile and in all cases bananas are called "platanos"
I went back and forth on whether to use the definite article on this one. I finally decided that in this case, the speaker is regarding "bananas" as a commodity and not as an inquiry regarding some specific bananas or some specific kind of bananas, so I translated the article "las bananas". But I seem to have guessed a different context than Duo intended.
Same question as asked by two others: why no "las" here? Could someone explain?
There are many ways to say "banana." It depends on the country. I lived in El Salvador for 17 months and they say "banano."
My oxford gran diccionario lists the following translations for banana. el plátano, la banana, el banano, and el cambur.