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https://www.duolingo.com/NCat

I am wondering about the necessity of "el/la" and "un/una" in Spanish?

NCat
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I speak french, and I know that in french you need to have one of these types of words in front of your nouns (I think they are called déterminants).

For example, if I were to say "I eat fish" it would be:

Je mange LE poisson.
––> However, notice how in my english sentence I did not say "I eat THE fish", but I had to add the "le" in front of the word poisson.

In spanish (at least on duolingo) I have noticed that this extra word is not needed. If I were to write the same sentence in spanish it would be:

Yo como pescado.

I have gotten the impression that you are not to add the determinants "el/la" or "un/una" unless the english translation actually says "THE fish" or "A fish".

If someone could confirm or deny this it would be great. I can clarify what I'm asking a bit more if I need to. Thank you :)

3 years ago

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/eleanorlh

Spanish is a bit more like English in that you do only use articles (el/la/los/las/un/una/unos/unas) when they are necessary. However, Spanish and English disagree a bit on when they are to be used. Generally whatever expresses what you mean is right, except for in a few cases. For example, while in English you say "I am a lawyer." in Spanish you would say "Soy abogado." not un abogado.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NCat
NCat
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Thank you :) That helps a lot, I will be less confused now.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/remoonline
remoonline
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This talks of a few differences for usage of the definite article.
http://www.livinglanguage.com/blog/2014/09/03/6-rules-for-using-the-definite-article-in-spanish/

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElimGarak

It depends on the context - sometimes it really is necessary and sometimes not so much. http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/persa.htm http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/reflexive1.htm http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/defart1.htm http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/defart2.htm French and Spanish are both romance languages, descendant from Latin - they have some similarities. I find that sometimes I get questions wrong because I don't pay attention to their definite article - I was annoyed when "el planeta" broke the "words ending in "a" are feminine rule - so in these cases, always learn which ones are exceptions to the rules.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NCat
NCat
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Thank you!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

In Spansih it often depends on whether the noun is a subject or an object.

3 years ago