https://www.duolingo.com/dr.liz

Definite articles

dr.liz
  • 20
  • 13
  • 11

I'm having some trouble understanding The use of the definite article, or else I am having trouble understanding how Duo is handling it. I just got the following two sentences in a unit:

El gas (Translate from Spanish to English.) I knew that if I said "the gas," it would be correct, but I decided to say "gas," to see how it would handle it. It marked it wrong.

Then I got the sentence, "Los huevos son blancos." The translation, "Bones are white," was correct.

Why is the second correct and the first wrong? More generally, what is the best way to express such a general statement, that we would say in English without an article?

3 years ago

4 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/HelenCarlsson
HelenCarlsson
  • 23
  • 18
  • 18
  • 18
  • 15
  • 15
  • 12

If you speak about something generally in English, you normally don't use the definite plural. But in Spanish, the definite must be used. Example
I like dogs - Me gustan los perros.

If you're supposed to do the translation the other way around, Duolingo normally accepts with or without article in English:
Los huesos son blancos - Bones are white or The bones are white
since you don't from the Spanish sentence if you're talking about bones in general or some very special bones.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
  • 25
  • 16

Dr. Liz: With a 100 day streak, I would think you would have encountered the computer bugs that live in Duolingo. There are a lot of inconsistencies on the answers. We users try to report them, but they seem only to be addressed infrequently. If there is an article in the Spanish (el gas), my inclination is to translate it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dr.liz
dr.liz
  • 20
  • 13
  • 11

Sorry, i meant to erite huesos. My mistake, not Duo's.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
  • 25
  • 16

It's funny. Eggs are white too.

3 years ago
Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.