"The map is on top of the bed."
Translation:El mapa está sobre la cama.
Rude surprise: a lot of Spanish nouns have irregular gender.
What I've been able to glean and organize about Spanish noun gender:
-a is MOSTLY feminine, -o is MOSTLY masculine BUT there are a lot of exceptions.
Shortened words take the gender of the original long word: "la foto" because it's short for "la fotografia". This is one source of exceptions.
Greek-derived: Nouns which end in -ma, -pa, and -ta are often masculine -- like "el mapa"*. They're masculine when they are Greek-derived. They're likely to be feminine if they aren't Greek derived, but I don't guarantee it; for instance, see shortened words.
If it has a Greek-style ending AND it has an English cognate, it's often Greek-derived -- like "el mapa".
If it ends an accented vowel (á, é, í, ó, ú) it's usually but not always masculine. -e is usually but not always masculine.
Latin-derived: If it ends in -d, -z, or ión, it's usually feminine. (I believe words with these endings are feminine when they're Latin-derived, but I could be wrong.)
If it ends in a consonant and is NOT one of the above feminine Latin-derived words, it's usually masculine.
All the pages I could find on Spanish gender exceptions were disorganized and confusing, so I'm not providing links. You can all use google; maybe someone can find us a good page.
*(Except "el mapa" actually has a peculiar medieval Latin derivation; see the discussion in the comments here: http://blogs.transparent.com/spanish/word-origins/ )
The fact that many words ending with a are feminine doesn't make that a rule, just a common occurrence.
Rules of mas/fem in Spanish are rather complex. Some time ago I found an article (in Spanish) and posted it somewhere in the forum. You may have a go and try to find it out... and then have a go to study it.
These rules are taught in Spanish schools, but most of the words are learnt by kids. You're already fairly grown up when you come across these.
Depending on how you want to learn Spanish (or need to) studying the rules may be a way, else just keep reading and hearing and you will pick the right article with use.
words of greek origin (mapa, programa) have a masuline article despite ending in -a
I wrote "El mapa esta sobre de la cama" and was marked incorrect. I imagine it was due to the extra DE I inserted after "sobre." The drop-down tag says "sobre" means "on top." I took this to mean that the translation needed DE after "sobre." Ex. ...esta sobre DE la cama. Why am i wrong? Is the DE not needed and why? Thanks
Well, why questions like this are hard to answer, but let me give it a go
you need no "de" because one of the translations is "on top of" although not all "on top of" can be translated to "sobre", but that's another battle. Encima can be used as well, and it does use "de", encima de la cama (see http://www.rae.es/drae/srv/search?id=WnmNRmPfBDXX2uQmFOlu)
Sobre has some other meanings and many native speakers barely use it at all, using "en" instead. (not that I advise you to... it's just laziness and may change the intended meaning)
"Estar" is the verb that's always used with location. That makes sense, because locations change -- they're not part of the very being of things.
Could you clarify your answer a little more? In this case a map may move locations, but what about the location of a house of city (something that doesn't ever move) - still estar?
That's a very good question you got there, samkins! Learners of Spanish should really throw this temporary-versus-permanent garbage out the window because this only confuses more than clarifies things. Let's just all remember that location of things/people uses estar (including geographical locations), while where something is taking place uses ser.
Well, even so, a house is a temporary thing, just as love is.
The temporary-permanent distinction may be the biggest one, but it is not the be all and end all of ser/estar rules.
That's just the thing: temporary-permanent is NOT the biggest one, and that's why I said what I said in my old post. I don't even use that temporary-vs-permanent thing (that so many learners are crazy about) as my base guide at all.
I'm not even sure if you're really responding to my comment lol.
I totally disagree with the sentiment that temp-perm is confusing and should not be told to learners, which is why I replied. It is not that confusing, you should simply know it is not the only one. If you think it is the only rule for ser/estar, yes, then it is confusing. Personally I would teach location-temporary-subjective as uses for estar, that should be correct in 90% of cases.
I was going to write down the list of different cases that I learned at school (when to use ser/estar), but then I saw that you already made that list.
Why is "esta" used in this sentence? Isn't "esta" supposed to be use when talking about a person?
• Use está (ESTAR) when talking about:
- Temporary state of being/How someone feels (happy, sick, well, The banana is unripe, etc)
- Position and Ongoing action (kneeling, seated/sitting, walking, reading, etc)
- Result of a process (dead, broken, etc)
- Personal opinion in terms of taste or appearance (To me this coffee is heavenly!, He's ugly in those yellow pants, etc)
- Locations [physical/geographical, and figurative use] (The keys are on the table, Where are you?, He's at school, The Eiffel Tower is in Paris, You're under arrest [This last one is Duolingo's sentence; I'm not sure if it's a valid Spanish expression.], etc)
• Use Es (SER) when talking about:
- Inherent characteristic/General description (He's tall, She's a bad person, I'm a sickly person, They're friendly, The apple is green [referring to its color, not to its state of ripeness], etc)
- Identification (He's a child, This is a table, etc)
- Profession/Occupation (I'm a carpenter, He's a priest, She's a teacher, etc)
- Where someone or something is from/What material something is made of (He's from France, This basket is made of straw, The beer is from Mexico, etc)
- Relationship (He's my cousin, They're sisters, etc)
- Telling time/the date; How much/many something is/are (It's nine o'clock, It's $3.00, 5 times 5 equals 25, etc)
- Where an event takes place (The meeting is in Colombia, The party is at his house, The rally is in the town square, etc)
Why can't I say 'el plano' intead of mapa? Both mean map and we aren't given enough context to know which to use.
Yes, which may make sense to you in the following context: on the subject of
Don't worry you'll get it soon. So está is gor he/she and él/ella/usted of the verb estar, same thing with es it's the same person but different verb, ser. But i'll give you examples in the first person so yo or I it's estoy and soy. Estoy is what you are rite now, at this moment (when you're sayind it) maybe thinking of changing, so an example is estoy canadiense, that means i'm Canadian but i'm thinking of changing soon. Soy canadiense means the same thing but you're NOT thinking of changing. That answers you're question? Good luck!
There are different forms of Spanish people. My families homeland is Granada, Andalusia, Spain, but they still live in Spain, and Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Belize too. Most spanish speakers speak Castellano spanish but have their owns argots-slangs. There are also Andalusian spanish which mostly covers all different forms of spanish with lots of latin & arabic origins due our ancestors, since it is basically all spain. Then you have Valencian, which uses vosotros teneis, mostly spoken in Argentina due to 95% of the population being Valencian, then aragonese, galician, and so on fourth. A lot of spanish speakers get erong answers because they are not speaking correctly and need to study more.
Would it be correct to say that the verb form "ser" describes more abstract verb concepts while the verb form "estar" describes more concrete concepts?
I don't think this distinction is helpful. Other commenters have written almost exhaustive lists, so I advise you to take a look at those. You may use ser when speaking of physical properties like height and you may use estar when speaking of love and death
Thats how you learn, by making mistakes? Duolingo can only hold your hand for so long!
I'm confused about the difference between "encima de" and "sobre"? I thought sobre meant 'about'?
Sobre means 'on'. About is only a valid translation in the case of topics, but then you could use the translation 'on the topic of' to let it make sense.
Just like "La/El motor" this question was once "La mapa" now it's "el mapa" Why?
The reason seems to be unclear:
"The correct form is “el mapa”. Originally, the word comes from the medieval Latin expression “mappa mundi”, where “mappa” refers to “napkin” or “canvas”, as the material maps were painted on. Even though “mappa” is a feminine noun, “mappa mundi” (map of the world) was lexicalised in Spanish as a masculine noun, and “mapa” is an abbreviation of that expression, retaining the masculine gender." http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/152995/what-is-the-reason-behind-mapa-having-an-el-in-the-begginnging-when-mapa-is-feminine
DL should adjust the heart deduction (to 1/2) for mistakes on exceptional occurrences such as a word ending in "a" but is not feminine so that one isn't as easily caused to repeat the whole chapter for these minor errors.