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

https://www.duolingo.com/briancha.island

El agua?

Hello. Why is it El agua when agua ends with an a? Shouldn't it be La agua?

3 years ago

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
wataya
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 20
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 5

It's a euphonic rule. Nouns starting with a stressed 'a' sound take the article "el", even if they are feminine. EDIT: an -> a. Thanks, Lisa.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndrewMalmsteen
AndrewMalmsteen
  • 15
  • 15
  • 12
  • 11
  • 5
  • 179

:o you have 25 in almost everything!!!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Firstlady100

How are you learning so many languages????????????????????????????

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisa4duolingo
lisa4duolingo
  • 23
  • 17
  • 12
  • 11
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2

Good point, wataya, and I want to thank you for all the numerous, helpful posts you've shared with so many throughout these discussion threads, but speaking of euphonic rules, in English, the word "euphonic" is pronounced

yoo-fon-ik

and, therefore, it is preceded by the indefinite article "a," not "an."

BTW, I see errors in these forums all the time, but I don't always point them out. Some are so numerous that I have to think the errors are made intentionally. Your English, on the other hand, has been virtually flawless, and, in fact, I had to check your bio to make sure you weren't actually a native English speaker. (I have a feeling many native English speakers make mistakes about "a" and "an" as well, another good reason to make a comment about this.) For many others, I wouldn't have even bothered, but since you've been so helpful to so many, I thought I'd return the favor. To insert a little humor here, I guess you could say, one good euphonic rule deserves another.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya
wataya
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 20
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 5

Well, good point, Lisa :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OnesimusUnbound

Nice note: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/agua#Usage_notes

The same rule, as @wataya said, applies on arma, ala, hacha ('h' is silent in Spanish, hence you read it as acha), etc.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/frankenstein724
frankenstein724
  • 17
  • 13
  • 12
  • 9
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 2

wataya is absolutely correct. I also want to add that, independent of the rule he mentions, not all nouns ending with "a" are feminine. So, something like "agua" is, in fact, feminine and it takes the masculine article when it is singular (exactly what wataya was saying), but then some nouns don't follow the "a/o" generalization and they really are of the other gender. mano, for example, is a feminine word, and mapa is a masculine word.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/briancha.island

Thank you everyone.

3 years ago