El niño come pan. = The boy OR child eats bread.
If someone said that to me how would I know if they meant child or boy? Or does niño mean male child and niña mean female child.
For a language so set on giving everything a gender I'm confused how there possible can possibly confusions (if that ironically makes sense :)).
In this example as it's the definite article it would be probably be okay to assume that it means "the boy". Also you will normally be able to infer the meaning from the conversation. This doesn't bother me too much as we have the same level of possible confusion in English. I find the idea of assigning a sex to inanimate objects such as candles or trampolines to be just weird.
One the upside, it could be worse! I believe that German has three sexes: male, female and gender neutral. Which sounds sensible until you learn that objects have sex...
You think that having "gender" (and not "sex" it's different) for things is weird, but I think it's weird to call female or male animals "it". Indeed, English has only 2 genders: unisex and neutral.
I like having "gender" for non-living things, it makes the language more poetic... When you know a car is feminine, sometimes you understand some masculine passions ^^
We have some of the same types of generalities in English... when we say "mankind" for example, it includes women. Usually it refers to people in the plural form. We sometimes say "he" & it can mean either gender. It has only been fairly recently that we started saying he or she, even using "(s)he" when writing, to be politically correct. There are other examples, but I can't think of them right now. That's the only way I can think of to explain it, & not even sure if it applies. But I hope it helps somehow.
Thank you. I thought ella sounded like you stated eeya. I am not sure about your reference to eiia=a,ja is it ella in latin america sounds like "a ja" if so is the a like the sound ate or at. And is j like jut or hut. I hope this makes sense. You guys are great for helping me. I hope I can do the same in the future.
I want to thank you for your help. I can see how difficult it is to use letters to define a sound when the letters themselves sound differently in English and Spanish. I have not been exposed to any spanish so its hard. I learned French in school many years ago and I think my spanish sounds french. I will check the internet to see if I can find a site that slowly pronounces the letters. I find in the exercises I need to hear it slower and I can't slow the speech in every case. This will get better with more experience.
I will give it a go real fast. the way ella is pronounced is like short a then ya with a long a. so it would be a-ya. kinda like if you were to say heya but with a silent h.
then el is harder to describe. its like saying el in elbow like another said but with kind of an "a" sound to it. i imagine it like you are saying a short a directly into the l sound.
hope this helps.
http://learn-foreign-language-phonetics.com/spanish-phonetic-transcription-converter.php (Phonetics converter)
http://www.spanishdict.com/ (dictionnary with phonetics)
In a strict sense it means The boy eats bread, however in common usage it could also just mean The child eats bread. Yes, the gender denotes a male child, but it would still be correct to use either boy or child. Grr maybe I should just skip ahead since they don't want me thinking too much in these beginner lessons.
That picture I saw earlier of the "bread" looked much more like a cake than a loaf of bread (which - according to a quick check on google, should be "pastel."). I might be mistaken, of course, it might actually BE a loaf of bread. But I honestly thought it was a cake at first.
This seems to go against what people have been saying in previous lessons here about "is eating" rather than "eats". The translation as I understood it should be "The child eats bread" but the only option that fit was "is eating" so are they interchangeable or is that a bit more advanced?
It is a bit hard to explain. They are interchangeable if the action takes place now. However, note that in English present continuous is used for future actions as well such as 'We are leaving tomorrow', in Spanish only the translation of 'we leave tomorrow' is correct. We sometimes use present simple for future actions, but not present continuous.
So far the comments haven't helped me here. I'm still rather confused on the difference between The child and The boy. Earlier in my lessons it said "the child" was "el chico"..so i thought it was the same here but i got it wrong...x.x i understand that these two can be used interchangably tho..so is my answer still ok?
The chico, is rather exclusively the "boy", and can be a boy a bit older than a niño. Whereas the niño can mean both "boy" or (male) child.
Chico and niño can be considered as interchangeable here (because we don't know the context and how old is the boy) but only with the meaning of "boy", with the meaning of (male) child, it's only niño. I don't know if my explanations are clear.
To sum up "Earlier in my lessons it said "the child" was "el chico" ---> wrong, it's "niño", not "chico".
So, when you have to translate: "a boy..." you can use "chico" or "niño", but when you have to translate: "a child", you have to put "niño" or "niña" (if it's a female child) If you have no context to know the gender of the child, both are accepted, the masculine, and the feminine.
It doesn't matter, you are here to learn "how to say", to be able to have a conversation, and understand it, you don't have to use the words, you have to understand them, and to be able to do the exercise, each of us are free to prefer a word rather than another one. There are lot of words you never use in English, but you learnt them.
Kids, is unformal, child is proper and formal.
There's no context, you can need to say "The boy eats" in some context, (if you tell a story, it's often, etc...)
I am having issues with the verb conjugation. I think I am getting it: first person is "como", second person (vos, tu, usted) is comes and third person is come? I need to continue to bang this into my head. I don't know if other verbs follow a rule (e.g., "o", "es", "e" at the end of the verb)?
first person singular (yo) -> como
informal second person singular (tú) -> comes
formal second person singular (usted)/third person singular (él/ella) -> come
first person plural (nosotros/nosotras) -> comemos
informal second person plural [Spain only] (vosotros/vosotras) -> coméis
formal second person plural (ustedes)/third person plural (ellos/ellas) -> comen
Not all verbs are conjugated the same way. It depends on the ending of the infinitive. https://www.spanishdict.com/guide/spanish-present-tense-forms/