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https://www.duolingo.com/mira.pasca

Differences

What is the difference between "la" and "el"? I can't get the difference!

4 years ago

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ricardomfe
ricardomfe
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Gender. It is something that doesn't exist in the English Language. Nouns either are masculine ( in that case you use el or los) or Feminine (la or las).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mira.pasca

Thank you!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BobbieL
BobbieL
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If you find yourself having a really hard time remembering which nouns get "la" and which ones get "el", you might want to think about creating a mnemonic for yourself.

What people sometimes do to remember grammatical gender is to pick something a very vivid image to pair with each of the possibilities. So maybe all male nouns are on fire and all female nouns dance around. When you learn "la manzana" for apple, you might stop to picture a silly dancing apple (like the apple guy from the Fruit of the Loom commercials, maybe), and when you learn "el papel" means paper you might picture the sheet of paper bursting into flames.

Whether any given thing is masculine or feminine is pretty much arbitrary, so that's a way of creating a much more vivid association that you can use to remember the words that are tough.

You don't have to use it for all the nouns you come across, though, because for a whole lot of them it's just obvious after a while. Almost everything that ends in 'a' is going to be feminine and almost everything that ends in 'o' is going to be masculine and there are similar rules that cover the vast majority of nouns. It's just a relatively small group of them that aren't obvious or go directly against the rules that you might need to pay careful attention to.

It's important to know the gender of a noun, because you'll need to make adjustments to other other words in response. Like an adjective describing a noun needs to be adjusted to match the gender of the noun. A red apple is a "manzana roja" while a red sheet of paper would be a "papel rojo".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mira.pasca

Thank you so much for your help!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mennjai
Mennjai
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In Spanish? "La" and "el" are called definite articles. All spanish nouns have gender (and most adjectives, but let's not go there yet): masculine and feminine. In Spanish, if you wish to talk about, for example, the dog, you would say, "el perro." The word "perro" is a masculine, and ''el'' is the masculine article. But if you wanted to say, ''the smile'', you would say, ''la sonrisa'', because sonrisa is a feminine noun. Hope that helps!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mira.pasca

Thank you so much! Now I understand! I had a really difficult time with those.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/turkeysock
turkeysock
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La = female gender word "the" El = Male gender word "the"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mira.pasca

Thanks so much!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/turkeysock
turkeysock
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No problem! Thanks for the lingot! :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mira.pasca

:)

4 years ago