"Yo no tengo lavadora."
Translation:I do not have a washing machine.
Why, in this case, is needed the indefinite article in English but not not in Spanish?
There was a very similar sentence a couple of lessons back (SP: "Yo no tengo esejo en mi casa" EN: "I do not have a mirror in my house",) that had this same problem. I'm a complete beginner like you, so I'll copy this explanation forward, even if it still feels unsatisfying.
In Spanish the fullest version of that mirror sentence is: "Yo no tengo ningun espejo en mi casa" Which is confusing to an English speaker as it reads like "I do not have no mirror in my house"
Spanish needs both a negated verb and a negated object in sentences like these to work.
We can't say "un" because in Spanish it introduces the ambiguity that you don't have "one," which could suggest you have loads. So "ningun" ("none,") is essential.
This is one sentence form that tries to dodge the whole mess by not using a modifer for the object, which can work with uncountable objects like water or light but seems a little weird with countable ones (the guy who explained this suggested replacing "esejo" for "esejos")
I think its an inevitable part of how we're learning that some of the sentences we're using are simplified forms of more complicated grammar. They don't make full sense in and of themselves.
I think he is right. The only thing I have noticed when "un or una" is used is when the sentence is positive. It seems when the sentence is negative, they drop the un or una probably for his reason. Yo tengo una secadora or yo no tengo secadora
The same if you say in positive or negative sentence; "yo tengo secadora" or "yo no tengo secadora", so, it's not necessary to put the article "un" or "una" before to the object, because in plurar we add a "s" to the final of the object.
Sorry for my bad English explanation
Curiosly enough the same sentence in Italian is "io non ho la lavatrice" with a definite article and is perfectly normal while "io non ho lavatrici" without article but with the noun in the plural is correct but sounds strange.
As says my russian-spanish textbook, articles are not necessary with absence as 'no tener'. Explanation was very simple - there is no difference if you dont have defined subject or undefined, you simply dont have and point, because of that article can be avoided. I think is not certain explanation, at least it variably, but almost always works. (sorry for my incredible english -.-')
I think I get it. It's like if a thing does not exist you can't logistically talk about it as being the thing. That's too definitive for a non-reality. There's no the thing. It doesn't exist.
In English, of course, you can use an article, and it's expected, but English isn't entirely logical being the hodgepodge it is. Our problem is that we are used to the nonsense that is inherent in English and our ears have trouble with genuinely purely logical verbal constructions.
"Yo no tengo una lavadora" would mean "I do not have a washing machine" or "I do not have one washing machine", but this sentence leaves the ambiguity that I may have two washing machines. So, in such cases this ambiguity is removed by using no article in case of negation. "I do not have a washing machine" in Spanish would mean "Yo no tengo lavadora".
My Spanish teacher recently gave a nice example of why sometimes the use of indefinite articles in Spanish is actually wrong, when in English an indefinite article would be required in the same position:
"Tengo barba" vs. "Tengo una barba"
Here the the use of the indefinite article does not make sense, because a person cannot have more than one beard ("I have one beard" sounds stupid in English, too). I believe that regardless of the negation, this extends to most Spanish constructions with "tener [algo]", where simply possession / non-possession are of interest, and not the exact count of items possessed.
To illustrate: If a smoker asked you for a lighter "Do you have a lighter?" and you had one lighter in your pocket but two more at home, you would not usually answer "I have three lighters" but rather you'd say "Yes, I've got one".
Consider these two English sentences: 1) I do not have any washing machine in my house. 2) I have no washing machine in my house. Both mean the same, but the difference is where the negation (some form of the idea "no") is placed. In the first sentence, the idea of "no" is conveyed by the adverb "not." In the second sentence, the idea of "negation" is conveyed by the adjective "no."
In example 1, the negation occurs BEFORE the main verb "have" (I do not have). The sentence could just as easily be "I do not have a washing machine in my house." In English, the noun phrase "a washing machine" uses the indefinite article "a" instead of the definite article "the." (Articles are a special type of adjective that indicates two things: a singular number and specificity. When an article is definite, it "points" to the noun. When I say, "Pick up THE pencil," I am talking about ONLY ONE SPECIFIC pencil (like the blue one on your desk) out of all of the pencils in the universe. When I say, "Pick up A pencil," I am only specifying the NUMBER of pencils I want you to pick up, NOTHING ELSE, such as whether it is red, blue, sharp, blunt, short, long, etc. Just as with the word "any," it could be any one of an indefinite number of pencils.
In example 2, the negation occurs AFTER the main verb (I have no). In this case, no = none. So, if asked if you have a washing machine, you could say, "I do not have a washing machine," "I have none," or "I do not have any." What is interesting in the answer is that either "none" or "any" = "a washing machine." However, "washing machine" has a definite number (singular), while both pronouns are referring to indefinite numbers (uncountables), just as Spanish uncountable nouns do.
What this all boils down to is that the sentence "Yo no tengo lavadora" does not specify the number by using either an indefinite or definite article, but does have the singular noun "lavadora." The next step is deciding whether to translate "lavadora" with the definite "the" or the indefinite "a."
"I do not have one specific bathroom" or "I do not have one of an indeterminate number of bathrooms" are the only two meanings possible. You do not want to be definite by saying "I do not have "the" ("only one specific") bathroom. (Why? Because you might have five bathrooms.) Thus, you default to "I do not have "a" ("one of an indeterminate number") bathroom" because the indeterminate "a" indicates that you are speaking of an impossible-to-count number of bathrooms.
Speaking of an indeterminable number, you can choose either "none" (a negative spin) or "any" (a positive spin). With English, if you choose "any," then you must put the negation (the word "no") before the verb. Conversely, if you choose "none," the negation is included in the pronoun "none." Unlike Spanish, in English you need to add up +'s and -'s (negations in the sentences). If they add up to an even number, the meaning is positive. If they add up to an uneven number, then the meaning is negative. See BenTurner93's excellent explanation of why an even number of "negatives" is sometimes necessary in Spanish.
I have a question, exactly why isn't the subject "a" used in this sentence? In English it wouldn't be grammatically correct to leave out the article so I do not know when and when not to use it.
This question has already been answered in the comments, but this time I found a link too.
With some verbs, including tener, it's common to omit the article when you would usually be talking about just one item.
Tengo coche - I have a car
Tengo un coche - I have one car
Tienes gato? Do you have a cat?
Tienes un gato? Do you have one cat?
Maybe they can put their clothes under running water? That would still clean it right? Or maybe they go to the cleaners to get their clothes washed? It doesn't have to mean thst they stink. :P I'm such a bum for making jokes literal. But I get the joke.
I have the same question... I said "I don't have a laundry machine" and it was deemed incorrect...
I've been calling it washER machine my entire life... Now I am questioning my english more than my Spanish...
I bet anything this has to do with the fact that this word is very old, and might have originated from a verb to be washing. Also in our language, a washing machine is used as a noun, whereas the actual term in fact is an object that is in the motion of washing. This makes absolutely no sense because it's own existence has taken two separate words, and turned them into one noun. Trippy right?
With "tener" it's implied
Tengo lavadora = I have a washing machine
Tengo una lavadora = I have one washing machine (not two, or ten, but one)
It should not matter whether there is an indefinite article before lavadora, should it?
Lavadora means sink, need a great tool like this to get it right this high up in the lesson, I'm not learning now
In Spanish, "b" and "v" are pronounced the same
With "tener" the article is usually omitted in Spanish, because it's assumed you're talking about just one/a.
Tienes novia? = Do you have a girlfriend
Tienes una novia? = Do you have one girlfriend
Not sure. Maybe because "own" is more of "poseer" in Spanish. Also, you can technically have something, but not own it. For example, you can have something in your hand like a pencil or a phone, but maybe the object is owned by someone else.
Hahaha! The first time I translated this, I wrote 'I don't have a bathroom'. I have to say, I did think it was kind of a weird sentence, but you know Duo Lingo. Weird is normal!
For those who are confused with this one, here's a simple way to put it; when there's no article used in a case like this, thibk of it like you're saying "I have no washing machine"
it should be : I don't have washing machine. is it important to say : i don't have a washing machine. some times we say it without using a .
'' i dont have a washing machine'' Me: then do you buy alot of new clean clothes or do you wear dirty clothes simutanyously?
Surprisingly, there are other ways of washing clothes. I washed mine in a big bucket when I didn't have a washing machine. I know someone else who washed them in the bath.
"don't" is an abbreviation for "do not" so it requires the apostrophy much like "it's" which is short for "it is"
I don't know where you live in Canada, but I've lived in Canada all my life and it's always been "washing machine"
I do not have washing machine. Why is that wrong? No "una or un" is particularly mentioned in the sentence?
In English, we always say "I do not have a washing machine." It can mean that you don't have one or any but it needs to be there to be correct.
I write: I do not have a washing machine. That is the right answer according to the "facit". But I get "wrong" every time
It doesn't say una...so i was told my answer was wrong, even though technically it was correct.
You can say "washer" or "washing machine" but not "washer machine." To be correct it is "washing machine." Washer has other meanings, it is also the little round piece of metal with a hole in it that is used with a nut and bolt for example but can also be a person who washes things, etc. When we say "washing machine" it is first and primarily a machine that washes clothes.
Back in my day we didnt have these fancy shmancy gadgets called washing machines we use hands lmao