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https://www.duolingo.com/maple6161

"El agua es clara."

If "agua" is masculine, why is "clara" used instead of "claro." This is an example from a Duolingo droid practice session. Two widely published Spanish - English dictionaries that I have list "agua" as "nf" meaning noun feminine, yet many other sources say "agua" is masculine which is what I remember learning in high school Spanish. An online source also lists "agua" as "nf" and then has the example "El agua es fria." Why is the feminine ending used in this example and also in the Duolingo example while the masculine article "el" is used in the same sentence? Is there confusion regarding whether "agua" is actually masculine or feminine or is the adjective ending supposed to match the noun ending regardless of the noun's gender? Clarification would be much appreciated. Wouldn't I say "Es un mal problema." rather than "Es un mala problema." since "problema", although ending in "a" is masculine? Why should it not be the same with "agua"?

3 years ago

5 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/johnhaug
johnhaug
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Agua is not masculine, it only takes 'el' because of the hard 'a' sound.

http://spanish.about.com/od/adjectives/a/el_for_la.htm

took me a while to figure that out too!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ceaer
ceaer
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Right, singular nouns that start with a stressed "a" or "ha" (the "h" being silent) take the article "el" to make it easier to pronounce, rather than having two "a" sounds together, as you would if you tried to say "la agua".

However, the word "agua" itself is still feminine, so although you say "el agua" for reasons of pronunciation, you still use the feminine adjectives. And in the plural, you would say "las aguas" since there is no pronunciation issue there.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johnhaug
johnhaug
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Yes- the link in my reply is really helpful and explains all the rules. I'd recommend taking a minute to read it for anyone who hasn't run into this before.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/UnexpectedShroom

Thanks , that's really helpful ^^

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Taloua
Taloua
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Agua is not masculin

3 years ago