Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

"El agua es clara."

Translation:The water is clear.

5 years ago

71 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Amodia
Amodia
  • 16
  • 8
  • 4
  • 2

When to use “el” with feminine nouns

El is often used for masculine nouns and la for feminine ones. But when the noun begins with a stressed a- or ha-, you must use el regardless of the gender. For example, agua is a feminine noun, but you say el agua and not la agua.

Ohhhhh, great. I've always thought they were irregular. :)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/K.Madejski

But we say "la habitación", cause the stress is not on the first syllabel, right?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zurdo666

You're right there KM

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Amodia
Amodia
  • 16
  • 8
  • 4
  • 2

Everything ending in "ión" is feminine as far as I know.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/loukaki
loukaki
  • 22
  • 21
  • 20
  • 19
  • 16
  • 7
  • 774

all the -ción endings in spanish, -tion endings in french and -zione endings in italian are all feminine and basically the same words :) e.g. la habitación in spanish and la habitation in french!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/s-partridge
s-partridge
  • 25
  • 10
  • 7
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

El camión (truck) is the only exception to this that I'm aware of.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mcdelamot
mcdelamot
  • 25
  • 25
  • 57

But camión ends with only -ión not -ción

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

Similar to 'a' or 'an' in English. An apple, a tomato. To avoid the a-a vowel combination.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GabrielDayot
GabrielDayot
  • 16
  • 11
  • 9
  • 9
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

Not in Portuguese. :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zurdo666

But remember it's "Las aguas"

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dolphinlover0

What do you mean by that

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AspiroFremor
AspiroFremor
  • 20
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 8
  • 3
  • 2
  • 68

Agua is feminine, despite being "el agua" in singular. Therefore in plural it becomes "las aguas" and not "los aguas".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Crowellnoob
Crowellnoob
  • 12
  • 10
  • 10
  • 4
  • 2

Water can be plural??

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Desperad1

Yes like in "international waters"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Blas_de_Lezo00
Blas_de_Lezo00
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 24
  • 18
  • 10
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 802

"Agua" is feminine, but it starts with stressed "a", so we have to say "el agua or un agua clara". All the other determiners must have a feminine form. "Agua" is used in some expressions like: agua bendita, agua blanda, aguas subterráneas, aguas turbulentas, agua oxigenada, agua salada, aguas negras, aguas bravas, agua tónica, esta agua, estas aguas, esas aguas, aquellas aguas, etc.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joyfulsongs

This sentence is "el agua es clara", but in other practice rounds the sentence is "el agua esta clara"...is both acceptable? and why? Thanks!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheOperaGhost

Spanish has two different words for "to be". Generally speaking, Es is used for permanent features, while Estar is used for temporary ones. When saying el agua es clara, you are saying that clearness is an inherent feature of the water, it always has been, and always will be. When you say el agua esta clara, you are saying that the water is clear right now, but that could change.

Both sentences are grammatically correct, but the underlying sentiment changes with which very you use. In another example, el coche es nuevo means the car is brand spanking new, while el coche esta nuevo means that the car is new to you but may have been preowned.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KenHigh

Be careful of the permanent vs. temporary categorization for ser and estar. This works in some cases, such as the situation you just described with the water clarity, but in many cases is has nothing to do with temporary vs. permanent.

One good example is location. Whether something has been in a location for a minute or a thousand years estar is used. Another case is living or dead. Estar is used to describe living or dead...even though "dead" is, in most people's minds sort of permanent:) Conversely, when you talk about where you are from, even though this is a location, you use ser. There is a rule that says if you are talking about an event, you always use ser, even though you might be talking about the event's location.

Find a good source on the internet to learn the distinction between ser and estar and then learn tons of phrases to cement your knowledge. I personally like the grammar section of Spanishdict.com for learning grammar rules. There you have a well-written article about a grammar topic and then have an online quiz to test your knowledge.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nokkenbuer

(I apologize in advance for the length. I was planning on a short response, but found that I was dealing with a far more complex concept. I am a beginner in Spanish and haven't even gotten to the "To Be" part, though, so I may be wrong. If I am wrong in any way, please point it out!)

I would say the distinction still holds, though not exactly in the same way as the distinction is usually presented. I definitely see how odd it can seem when they are used, but I think this may be because the permanent/temporary distinction can be misleading. Let me explain:

Ser refers to an inherent condition, whereas estar refers to a condition which is not inherent. This is often described as a permanent v. temporary distinction, though the real factor is the intrinsicality of the condition or quality being described and its relationship to time.

The location of a place is not an inherent aspect of said place per se, for a place can be defined without its location (which is only necessary to distinguish between identical places, which theoretically do not exist). A building, however lasting, is not permanent because the duration of its existence is finite regardless of whether that duration is a moment or millennia.

Death is not an inherent condition of life. It is an inevitable conclusion of life, but it is also a condition or state of an organism disparate from life. When speaking about both life and death as being conditions of an organism, you use estar because you are describing a change more than you are speaking about life and death themselves. You describe people as alive or dead, living or dying; you are not commenting on the quality of life or death. When speaking about life or death as abstract concepts, I can only guess that ser is used. (Could a native Spanish speaker confirm or deny that?)

One's place of birth is a bit trickier, but I surmise it has to do with the fact that the exact locus of one's birth is a fixed and intransient location in spacetime and an inherent quality of an individual. Even if the location of one's birth changes (e.g., the country is renamed, the hospital is leveled, or even the planet disappears), the locus does not. The same logic applies to an event: it occurred at a specific place in space and point in time, regardless of duration or size. It does not change just because the place does because time (treated as a quality) has already been established. Any change to the place would require a change in the time.

I get that this is really just a bunch of linguistic ontology and exceptions indubitably occur, but it may be worth noting the core meanings underscoring each type of being. Perhaps the etymology of the two terms could help elucidate on all this and help those struggling with the two:

Estar originates from the Latin term stāre, meaning "stand". The base root is stō. Both "state" and "status" share this root. It is a transient form of being which applies to anything which can cease to exist. It is a temporary state of being, even if "temporary" lasts many human lifetimes. It is temporary by virtue of having a beginning and end, of being finite.

Ser originates from sedeō, meaning "(I) sit". The base root is esse. Both "essence" and "essential" share this root. It is an essential form of being which applies to anything which always exists—it always did and always will. It is a permanent state of being by virtue of not being dependent on time.

For example:

"I am being honest." ("Estoy siendo honesto.")

"Estoy" (I am) is a temporary state, whereas "siendo honesto" (being honest), or honesty, is by itself an essential quality without duration. The claim here is basically that "I am partaking in honesty at this time". For comparison:

"I am honest." ("Soy honesto.")

This claim here is basically that "I embody the quality of honesty", that I am essentially and characteristically honest, that I am honest, not just being honest. Since there is no implication of duration or point in time, "I am" is "soy" rather than "estoy". I am permanently and essentially (and always?) honest.

If you are familiar with Plato's Theory of the Forms, I suppose you can say that Ser are the Ideas (essential qualities in their purest form), whereas Estar are mere doxa (manifestations of essential qualities in temporary states). Who knew Spanish forms of being could be related to Ancient Greece!

Whatever the case, I found the best way of remembering them is by remembering their etymological roots and philosophical implications. If the permanent/temporary distinction is how you wish to remember it, then go for it, but remember that ser and estar are a bit more... Complex.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BeastmodeK101

how long did it take to right that?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sharon449540

thanks! estar/stater, ser/stand. i think i might remember that!!

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KenHigh

The problem with your approach is that the logic you use could be used to conclude that estar is correct when ser is needed and vice-versa. For example, the argument you use to explain why estar is used with vivo and muerto could be used to say that estar should be used with viejo, gordo or alto. After all, it took some time and there was a change process to become old, fat or tall.

Likewise, to say that location is not an intrinsic characteristic of a city, to me, is just plain nonsense. How is the fact that Madrid is (está) in Spain any less of a permanent characteristic of Madrid than the fact I am tall?

In my opinion, the goal is to get ser and estar "right" almost all of the time. For this purpose, I think it is far easier to just learn about a dozen "rules" and pay attention to what is actually said or written in Spanish, than to try to explain WHY one or the other is used in various situations and then rely on this logic to predict / extend the right choice to unknown situations.

Just listen to a lot of Spanish and read a lot of Spanish and you will gain a sixth sense in terms of when to use ser vs estar, preterite vs imperfect and many other things.

For example: just learn that estar is used for the location of cities, geographical features, people and things, and that ser is used for the location of an event. Don't try to rationalize why this is the case. It doesn't matter even if you could come up with a good rationale. The only thing that matters is that you use ser and estar properly when describing location.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Blas_de_Lezo00
Blas_de_Lezo00
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 24
  • 18
  • 10
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 802

el agua está clara

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AJStar

Why is it not 'el agua es claro' if we are using the masculine el?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MystyrNile
MystyrNile
  • 14
  • 8
  • 7
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3

Just don't think of "el" as masculine. "el" is an alternate form of "la" appearing when the next sound is a stressed A.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AJStar

Ok thanks for clarifying

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dolphinlover0

What does la ropa mean?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AspiroFremor
AspiroFremor
  • 20
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 8
  • 3
  • 2
  • 68

"La ropa" is a collective noun meaning "clothes" or "clothing". If you ask why it's singular, think about English "furniture". It is singular, yet can describe multiple objects.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/UlisesSala1

Because agua is female then adj. is female

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Blas_de_Lezo00
Blas_de_Lezo00
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 24
  • 18
  • 10
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 802

"Agua" is feminine, but it starts with stressed "a", so we have to say "el agua or un agua clara". All the other determiners must have a feminine form. "Agua" is used in some expressions like: agua bendita, agua blanda, aguas subterráneas, aguas turbulentas, agua oxigenada, agua salada, aguas negras, aguas bravas, agua tónica, esta agua, estas aguas, esas aguas, aquellas aguas, etc.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lauriokasssss

The water is pure? Not correct?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jimijimmy

"Clara" more or less refers to the color i have gathered since the translations are light, clear, pale. Pure refers more to the composition/ quality or cleanliness of the water, almost in a chemical sense.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zemoer

Is it because of the robot voice or is 'clara' almost pronounced like 'clada'. It pretty much sounded like that.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/G2u3
G2u3
  • 14
  • 13
  • 7
  • 5
  • 3

Spanish single R and english D are both pronounced on the palate (sometimes pretty far back on it); spanish D among other sounds is pronounced with the tongue touching the teeth (sometimes pretty far down on them).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xdjzxwjpdjxzw

Why ''The water's clear'' is wrong?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/--._
--._
  • 20
  • 7

That means the clear owned by the water, which is wrong.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xdjzxwjpdjxzw

Okay, thanks.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Johngt44
Johngt44
  • 25
  • 6
  • 3
  • 66

Well, no, Mary. The apostrophe can indicate possession in English (the cat's tail) but your usage was a contraction, i.e. replacing a missing letter, I believe. "Water's " = " water is " like I'll = I will; can't = cannot, etc. This is very natural in the spoken language - we almost always contract like this, so it often sounds stilted not to - but unless representing speech it is best to write it out in full especially when being graded by computer software!!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xdjzxwjpdjxzw

Thanks, now I understand. Here's a lingot!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dolphinlover0

What:(

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AspiroFremor
AspiroFremor
  • 20
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 8
  • 3
  • 2
  • 68

The point is, contractions with pronouns are correct. Contractions with nouns are technically wrong, they are only used in informal spoken English. I think that this can and will change, but to my best knowledge these are the rules for now. So you can write "you're here", "she's pretty" as in "you are here", "she is pretty" and Duo and linguists will accept this. But "David'll be running" or "table's on the floor" are wrong and should be always in full forms "David will be running", "table is on the floor". Of course in "Anna's dress" "'s" is not a contraction of "is" so it is correct.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Matthew.Cisneros

why can't i say "the water is bald patch"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ThaMuzakSlayer

Not my water...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MK99408

Year Zurdo666 your right

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EllaRose684989

That moment when clara can mean clear and bald patch. Oh man I love spanish.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/karateduk

I said the water is a bald patch oops wrong definition

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hhartigan

water is clear - is not an accepted translation, why not?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MystyrNile
MystyrNile
  • 14
  • 8
  • 7
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3

The definite article in Spanish works very much the same as in English. Some languages (French, I think) use the definite article when referring to a kind, that is "all water" or "water in general" is clear. But in English and Spanish, we just say "water is clear".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KenHigh

To suggest that the definite article usage rules for Spanish and English "work very much the same way" is true in certain situations but not in others. For example in this case the article is required in Spanish because agua is the subject of the sentence. In English if you use "the" you are talking about some specific water but you omit "the" if you are talking about water in general. In Spanish you must use the article in either case when the noun in question is the subject. So "Water is clear" should be accepted. There are numerous other situations where the rules differ. I have a grammar book by Butt & Benjamin that has 6 pages about the usage differences.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KenHigh

Spanish IS one of those languages which requires the use of the definite article (in most cases) when the nouns are used in a general sense. See http://www.spanishdict.com/topics/show/5. There are numerous exceptions to this rule, for example, when using certain verbs such as Comer. (Yo) como carne, not (Yo) como la carne. I eat meat. However, when used as a subjuct, carne would have an article, even it is being referred to in a general sense. Me gusta la carne. (and yes, with gustar, and several other verbs, the subject usually follows the verb.)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Maoroh
Maoroh
  • 14
  • 8
  • 2

Why won't it accept water's instead of water is....fml

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AspiroFremor
AspiroFremor
  • 20
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 8
  • 3
  • 2
  • 68

You can only contract with pronouns, see my other post :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andreaja69
Andreaja69
  • 25
  • 15
  • 14
  • 13
  • 35

No, that's not the case. 'The water's clear' is a perfectly normal way to say this. In fact, it is the way it would usually be said. However, Duo's computer programme doesn't always understand contractions, to it's usually best not to use them. NB Please note that not all my contractions have used pronouns!

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/maple6161

Muchas gracias para toda la información y todas las preguntas!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LeJuanCa

Well I would hope so.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/schaeferma2

good

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GabrielDayot
GabrielDayot
  • 16
  • 11
  • 9
  • 9
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

Is the water girl?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AspiroFremor
AspiroFremor
  • 20
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 8
  • 3
  • 2
  • 68

Yes, it is feminine. But it is an exception, so it isn't "la agua" but "el agua" due to pronunciation. It's the same with "el águila" - "eagle", which is also feminine but with "el" article instead of "la". However, when you add modifications such as "la pura agua ", the article changes back to "la". It is "las" in plural, too.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brave001

you'd hope so

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielParks9

Rules

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BeastmodeK101

not in galveston

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SpookyPeanut

duh

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/john454299

I wrote it write but the system keep telling me i am wrong, please correct this problem

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andreaja69
Andreaja69
  • 25
  • 15
  • 14
  • 13
  • 35

I think you means 'I wrote it right.' If you write a comment about a technical matter in this discussion forum, it will neither help you, nor those of who are trying to help with language issues. We can't correct your problem, as we are neither Duo nor their computer programme.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ScratchSlash

Well good, otherwise i'd be worried

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ParallelEnder

Why was "ATM" in my word bank? Lol

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ItsDarkInMyHouse

Well i sure hope it is.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mason32360

I thimk doulimgo is sometimes wrong

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zinkshaw
Zinkshaw
  • 14
  • 10
  • 3
  • 4

Is it correct? - Quiero un vaso de agua clara.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ALRIGHTOKAYOKAY

I am now determined to find a way to normally speak a sentence using "bald patch."

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ALRIGHTOKAYOKAY

Would "clear" (as in, 'We're in the clear') in English still mean "clara" in Spanish or is that a different word?

4 months ago