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"Es un lenguaje universal."

Translation:It is a universal language.

5 years ago

90 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Daniel_B
Daniel_B
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Notice that in English it is "It is A universal language" not "It is AN universal language". This is because we pronounce it like "You-ni-ver-sul".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheBigE1980
TheBigE1980
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Exactly. That's because many people are incorrectly taught that "an" precedes words that begin with vowels, when "an" really precedes words that begin with vowel SOUNDS.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kleinhanscs

Count me as an english speaker who just got that wrong.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/The.Other.Caleb

Oh look, another Caleb.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gismon

Several common examples of this occur when using acronyms. For example it is correct to say 'a Master's in business Administration' however when using the short form 'an MBA' is correct due to the fact that when pronounced the former begins with a consonant sound and the latter with a vowel sound

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Blas_de_Lezo00
Blas_de_Lezo00
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When the following word starts by a vowel sound, we use AN, e.g.: an elephant, an apple, an uncle, an hour, an honour, an heir, an heiress, an honourable man, an empty glass, an MP member, an L-shaped object, etc

When the following word starts by a consonant sound, including semivowels /j/ and /w/, we use A, e.g.: a house, a horse, a cat, a ghost, a friend, a European country, a ewe, a university, a universal language, a uniform, a one-eyed person, a wet coat, a woman, etc.

Almost the same thing happens with the two pronunciations of the definitive article THE, e.g.: the ewe /ðə 'juː/, the elephant / ði ˈɛlɪfənt /.

And what about The United States, The United Nations, The United Kingdom, The European Commission, etc?

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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Very well explained. I have run down the h words and the u words, but I didn't even think of your cases a European country or a one-eyed person. I studied English and Linguistics, but I don't remember even studying this rule except maybe in the third grade. This normally falls under the category that Noam Chomsky would call what a native speaker knows. They are mostly automatically internalized rules, but that something that's not particularly helpful when assisting 2nd language speakers. Well done. Have a lingot.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Blas_de_Lezo00
Blas_de_Lezo00
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Thanks lynettemcw, I also appreciate your comments.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/clairecoulier

thank you for this explanation

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/UomoLumaca
UomoLumaca
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OK, thanks for the explanation, but I still don't like this. Why do I have to know English perfectly in order to learn Spanish? They should just let it pass as a minor mistake (like they do with typos and accents): it's obvious that I got the answer, as far as the Spanish meaning goes...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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You act as if there is a person sitting behind a desk who quickly reads, evalutes, and marks each entry correct or incorrect. It is a massive undertaking to build a database to allow multiple correct translations to a sentence. If it were not based on correct English usage, it would inevitably be more prone to make or allow actual incorrect translations to come through. Not requiring accents can easily be programmed in, but figuring out typos is already less than perfect because it is based on an algorithm like a spell checker which can sometimes leave a lot to be desired.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TracyS221
TracyS221
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I like to think of it as part of the journey, my understanding of English is improving as part of my learning Spanish! Especially thanks to people on these forums who understand English grammar way better than I do. :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SGuthrie0

Duo often let me by with one typo -- so long as there is only one typo, and no other mistakes.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Merlin0488
Merlin0488
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You really do learn a new thing every day

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DELETE4CCOUNT

OOOOH! Years doing it wrong

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Evi_Anguelova

Oh, right... I was wondering which one to type and at first I typed A but then changed it to AN

2 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/blairb06

What is most common? "lenguaje", "idioma", or "lengua" to represent "language"? I've always used idioma...

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/linguisticat
linguisticat
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Based on my limited experience (my parents and grandparents speak Spanish fluently and I grew up in a predominantly Spanish speaking community) idioma is the most common term for language, however idioma and lenguaje are essentially synonyms depending on context.

The way I understand it, idioma is a language as in English, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, etc. It can also be the term used to describe a national language or the common language of a group of people (e.g. Lakhóta y Dakhóta son los idiomas de los Sioux). While lenguaje also means language, but with a bit more specificity. Lenguaje is more likely to be used to describe language in context, as in regional languages of China, or the language modalities within a specific language as in English of the South versus New England English versus British English (i.e. dialects). Lenguaje is also often used to describe technical languages as in El lenguaje de programación de computadoras or el lenguaje morse (Morse Code). However both of these words, idioma and lenguaje can usually be used interchangeably. Lengua on the other hand is more of a generalization of language, as in English is my mother tongue, or ...en la lengua de Cervantes o Shakespeare, or las lenguas nacionales modernas. Usually if you can comfortably replace language with tongue in an English sentence (albeit sound a bit archaic) you can usually do the same in Spanish (e.g. Latin is a dead language (tongue) = El latín es una lengua muerta). Lengua is also used for the orthographic and phonic systems of language (i.e. the field of linguistics).

I hope that helps.

(P.S. Sorry for all the quotes. I wish Duo offered italics and bold. - Thanks Pastafarianist, this is now fixed!)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pastafarianist

Duolingo does offer italics and bold. Just surround whatever you want to make italic/bold with single or double asterisks, respectively. *italics*, **bold**

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MikeBradle4

Just wanted to try it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LoveForsberg
LoveForsberg
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A lingot for learning

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/linguisticat
linguisticat
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Thanks Pastafarianist, that deserves three Lingots on me!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pastafarianist

I'm not really sure that it looks better now.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/linguisticat
linguisticat
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Hahaha... perhaps I will change it back later, but either way thanks for the formatting info. :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dtpetry

I bestow upon thee one Lingot. Ramen!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RamNagel

It also offers bold italics. Just surround the words with three asterisks.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/james.ray1
james.ray1
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How do you make URLs?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pastafarianist

Duolingo supports Markdown. Just google it and you'll find a ton of references.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Deo.
Deo.
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How do you highlight words?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KittyBee

Lengua is also used as a religious term, i.e. "speaking in tongues." In my Ecuadorin town, lengua wasn't used any other way (and I got funny looks when I tried to talk about Spanish or English as lenguas.)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KenecxjoGoldberg

linguisticat, I think this is quite brilliant, and so I thank you! ---Keneĉjo Ricardo P.S. Ne surprizas min, ke vi scias Esperanton; mi vin salutas!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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That was helpful. I had correctly determined the difference between lenguaje and idioma, but wasn't sure at all about lengua.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/paulinasot4
paulinasot4
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In Argentina we use "idioma" more than "lenguaje". Lengua is more the tongue, or a subjet in the school. I'm sorry but my english is bad

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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To clarify, lengua actually does mean tongue (the part of the body), correct? I have always assumed that came from older formal speech. Few people would say tongue for anything in English, except for the expression "mother tongue" which has a nostalgic quality to it. But idioma is the common way to express what we call foreign languages. Cuántas idiomas hablas? But when speaking with a Spanish speaker about something you read or heard in Spanish if you wanted to discuss the formality of the language (Spanish) or say it was poetic or technical, etc, these expressions would most likely use lenguaje, wouldn't they? As for apologizing for your English, no one in this forum need do that. I definitely appreciate people's insights on their native tongue. If it were easy to express the differences in English, fewer of us would be here.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Blas_de_Lezo00
Blas_de_Lezo00
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However, "lengua" is also commonly used with the meaning of "language", mostly in idioms like "lengua madre" (as you say), but also "lenguas muertas" (e.g. Latin), "lengua de trapo" (child talk), ¿cuántas lenguas se hablan en la India? (also ¿cuantos idiomas se hablan en la India?), lenguas indoeuropeas. When I was at university, one of the subjects was History of the English Language, in the Spanish curricula it was "Historia de la Lengua Inglesa".

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Amodia
Amodia
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El Amor es un lenguaje universal.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Furbolg

"If you smile at me, I will understand, cause that is something everybody everywhere does in the same language".. :]

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KenecxjoGoldberg

Furbolg, ¡Verdad! ---Keneĉjo Ricardo :) :) :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Owlish-stare

Sí. Pero según Gary Chapman, hay cinco variaciones del lenguaje Amor -

palabras de ánimo, tacto, regalos, tiempo de calidad, servicio.

Él da el ejemplo de un padre ocupadissimo que compra muchas cosas para su hija aún que lo que ella quiere en realidad es pasar tiempo con él. Por consecuencia, ella no se siente muy querida porque su lenguaje preferido de Amor es diferente.

Igualmente, pienso que en Japón dónde un abrazo ya significa "eres un muy buen amigo de mí", gente de una cultura coma la española tendrían que estar cuidadosas con sus muestras de cariño ;-)

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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Si. Las emociones y sentimientos son compartidas entre culturas. Pero frecuentemente las muestras de esas no son.

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KenecxjoGoldberg

lynette. ¡Verdad y verdad! ---Keneĉjo Ricardo

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KenecxjoGoldberg

Owlish-stare, ¡Bravo! ---Keneĉjo Ricardo

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Owlish-stare

Les agradezco :-)

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/linguisticat
linguisticat
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I hope I don't get too many downvotes for this statement, but: Esperanto es un lenguaje universal que no tiene un curso aquí. Que verguenza! Me gustaría tener un curso de esperanto aquí en DuoLingo. If anyone is part of the Esperanto community and knows someone with a high level of fluency please try to convince them to help build an Esperanto course for Duo.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EvelynDunn

I think they all ready do.??

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pastafarianist

Jam estas kurso ĉe Incubator.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/linguisticat
linguisticat
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Ha, jes, mi rimarkis tion! Mi ne povas atendi!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RicardoOlvera10

Duolingo jam havas kurson de Esperanto sed nur por anglajn parolantojn… :( Tiu ĉi kurso devas esti por ĉiuj la lingvoj kiel hispana, itala, franca aŭ portugala

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KenecxjoGoldberg

***Ricardo, Duolingo nun havas kurson pri Esperanto por hispanlingvanoj. Venos kurso por parolantoj de la portugala ... [skribas Keneĉjo Ricardo | 2017-04-15] ............. P.S. Ni ĉiuj funkcias kiel unu komunumo.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/The.Other.Caleb

¿Una sonrisa?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/skepticalways

The.Other.Caleb, Hola. I was going to say "una sonrisa," también, para la lenguaje universal. I love that the Spanish word sounds a lot like the English "sunrise," because some people's smiles seem to light up a whole room!

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PfifltriggPi
PfifltriggPi
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Ĝi estas Esperanto!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/andreim1828

Es el esperanto y la ingles

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/michael722440
michael722440
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Via esperanto

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KenecxjoGoldberg

michael, Mi konsentas! ---Keneĉjo Rikardo

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/learnTACO32

When/How do i know when to put DE between nouns and the adjectives describing them? "Lenguaje universal" has no DE while other phrase such as "Compania de Economico"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aboyer02
aboyer02
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'De' is used when one noun is describing another noun. In your first example 'Universal' is an adjective and 'de' is not used. Your second example should be "Compañía de Economía." 'Economía' is a noun. A literal translation would be 'Company of Economy.' An example of this usage on the internet is "Compañía de Economía Mixta" ref: http://www.lahora.com.ec/index.php/noticias/show/1000073161/-1/Proyecto_impulsa_%26acute%3Bcompa%C3%B1%C3%ADa_de_econom%C3%ADa_mixta%26acute%3B.html#.UrqyJPRDuTk I can find an example of economico, but it is an adjective describing a noun directly . "Compañía de Ferrocarril Económico" ref: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compa%C3%B1%C3%ADa_del_Ferrocarril_Econ%C3%B3mico_de_Valladolid_a_Medina_de_Rioseco The following article describes how to use 'de' for forming adjectival phrases: http://spanish.about.com/od/prepositional-phrases/a/de-used-much.htm

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rdouradofr
rdouradofr
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Thanks Evan Thompson for you explanation of the "vowel SOUNDS" I'm Brazilian and I learned once more ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LocalHumanist
LocalHumanist
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Duolingo could be describing math here ;)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HaroldDiazB

Aja, no se supone que antes de una palabra que empieza por vocal no debes colocársela , en este caso, la preposición "a"? For instance, i place "It´s an universal language" and was bad. I don´t understand.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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The U sound in the word universal is like the y consonant sound so it doesn't require the an. Actually this is true of many words beginning in U like union, use, usual, unit, etc. Words that begin with the prefix Un like unnecessary, and unimportant as well as umbrella, Ulster, under, etc. Essentially when the initial U sound is long (e.g. "says its name) it does not require an as it will begin with the consonant Y sound. If you say the two sets of words, you will hear it.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Melita2

Harold, take a look at my post below from 11 months ago. Lynette is right.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LFCAlex

Love or football?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/canarystar
canarystar
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i see am not the only one confused about the 'a' universal language instead of 'AN'

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KenecxjoGoldberg

canarystar, Duolingo follows "American" usage rather than British ( ! )

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/crazyIrishgirl

what is the difference between lenguaje an idioma?

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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Lenguaje is a broader term. It can be used in the general sense like el lenguaje del amor or el lenguaje de las calles. Idioma refers specifically to the named languages. Él habla cinco idiomas. Lenguaje also means tongue and can be used to refer to specific languages, but idioma isn't really used to talk about language style etc

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KenecxjoGoldberg

crazyIrishgirl, I just checked: SpanishDict –– (I once googled it, and then freely downloaded it.) Somehow, I just looked up "language." With just a few simple examples, it answered our question! :)

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zapper112
zapper112
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Think Music!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TracyS221
TracyS221
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I was wondering if this translated this way - La música es un lenguaje universal?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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Absolutely

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tynaroni

What is love?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/travis792542

I feel like this sentence is an ad for Smith and Wesson. .45 ACP, the universal language

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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You might consider that a universal language but most people don't like it when it speaks.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ROMELIA9
ROMELIA9
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Esa frase no.es.posinle.que este buena

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/swedishmaid
swedishmaid
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Why not lengua?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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Well without context it as it is it definitely could be. But let me attempt to address what I think was in the mind of the person who came up with the sentence so that they would not accept lengua or idioma. Lengua and idioma refer to the languages of a country or people like Spanish, French or English so if you were trying to say that English or Esperanto was a universal language then lengua or idioma would work. But if you were trying to say that love, music, art, or mathematics was a universal language you would use lenguaje. Lenguaje is talking more about a means of communication or sometimes the feeling or flow of communication within a particular language. So, for example if you said La lengua fue difícil It might be assumed that you didn't speak the language fluently, but if you said La Lenguaje fue difícil It is more likely that the language was stilted or over technical, but you are talking about the language(or tongue) that you speak. So although the lack of context makes anything possible, since there is no tongue (lengua) which is really anywhere near universal, I think the assumption was that the user would understand that Lenguaje fit the phrase better. Of course whether any music art etc is actually universal is another question, but many people do say things like that. You will even find some of that in other comments.

http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/language

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/swedishmaid
swedishmaid
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gracias por la explanacion.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheArtsyWolf

You talkin' 'bout English, Duo? (Yes, I know, gripers, that English is not exactly universal...)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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But ironically English is much more of a universal language than Esperanto which was specifically designed to be one.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/The.Other.Caleb

It's especially ironic since English is such a conglomerate, with so many exceptions to all of its rules, that it is one of the hardest languages to learn, while Esperanto, being an invented language, is pretty much perfectly logical and much simpler than English.

Interestingly, if the Spanish Armada had successfully invaded English, then the Spanish language and culture would likely be in the position of English today. If Napoleon or Hitler had conquered England in their time, then it might be French or German.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KenecxjoGoldberg

lynettemcw, Vi malfeliĉigas min! Esperanto estas lingvo parolata en 130 landoj. ---Keneĉjo Ricardo

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CandySpani1

when there is a vowel in the next word you don't put a vowel before it. you don't put two vowels together.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fourleafclovergy

It is 'an' universal language

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Blas_de_Lezo00
Blas_de_Lezo00
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When the following word starts by a vowel sound, we use AN, e.g.: an elephant, an apple, an uncle, an hour, an honour, an heir, an heiress, an honourable man, an empty glass, an MP member, an L-shaped object, etc

When the following word starts by a consonant sound, including semivowels /j/ and /w/, we use A, e.g.: a house, a horse, a cat, a ghost, a friend, a European country, a ewe, a university, a universal language, a uniform, a one-eyed person, a wet coat, a woman, etc.

Almost the same thing happens with the two pronunciations of the definitive article THE, e.g.: the ewe /ðə 'juː/, the elephant / ði ˈɛlɪfənt /.

And what about The United States, The United Nations, The United Kingdom, The European Commission, etc?

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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No, at least not in Standard American English which is what is used on Duo. Words starting with u where the u has a uh Sound, use an. That would include ulcer, underdog, unfortunate, ugly, and most u words. However, when the u sounds like yu, a is used. That includes words like usual, union, university and universal.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Blas_de_Lezo00
Blas_de_Lezo00
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lynettemcw, greetings from Spain.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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Yes. I actually got my lists mixed up in the middle. Most un words actually do habe the uh Sound and take a. I kept going back and forth and mixed myself up. I will edit my answer. Thanks.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KenecxjoGoldberg

lynette, Congratulations regarding your explanation of a / an in American English !

2 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JackMcslay
JackMcslay
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Bah weep grah-nah weep nini bong!

1 month ago