Definite articles and nouns

Marianopolita

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Nouns in Spanish are either masculine or feminine. Articles are used to identify the gender. They are either singular or plural and the article is definite or indefinite.

Definite articles:

Masc. sing- el

Masc. plural - los

Feminine- la

Feminine- las


Indefinite articles:

Masc. sing. un

Masc. plural- unos

Feminine sing. - una

Feminine plural- unas


Two aspects to remember:

1) the gender of the noun

2) the rules of usage


4 words (in each category) but with a lot of potential for incorrect usage if you don’t know the rules of grammar. It does not compare to English.

There are many good resources on the web. Here are some that I think are helpful:









-MP.
 
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Marianopolita

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Vocabulary associated with COVID adds to the already diverse spectrum of words that the language offers. One aspect that I noticed right away is the usage of the article when talking about COVID. I read and write a lot in Spanish and I had to pause when having to write about COVID-19.


Is it el COVID-19 or la COVID-19? I researched it and as always I found what is considered correct interesting.


What are your thoughts is it el or la? What other words in Spanish function the same way?
 
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Chirimoya

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I've heard la Covid too, mainly in Spanish from Spain, but el Covid makes more sense because virus is masc. in Spanish.
 

Chirimoya

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What about nouns that use both genders in Spanish? Have you ever wondered why? :unsure:
Do you mean words that begin with a like área? It's a fem. noun but we say el área instead of la área because it sounds clearer.

I know that mar and calor can be fem. as well as masc. but never worked out why. I recall being told that la mar is considered more poetic/old fashioned.
 

Marianopolita

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I've heard la Covid too, mainly in Spanish from Spain, but el Covid makes more sense because virus is masc. in Spanish.

Actually, I use and prefer la COVID.

La COVID means there is a focus on la pandemia. El COVID means there is more of a focus on el virus.
 

Marianopolita

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Do you mean words that begin with a like área? It's a fem. noun but we say el área instead of la área because it sounds clearer.

I know that mar and calor can be fem. as well as masc. but never worked out why. I recall being told that la mar is considered more poetic/old fashioned.

What you mentioned and anything else that comes to mind.


Spanish grammar has a lot of logic. I encourage people to think about grammar that falls outside of the rules and ask why?


This topic is one of them. Have you ever thought about why you hear la sartén and el sartén. I did because one of them stood out to me which prompted me to look up the grammar point.
 

Chirimoya

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Actually, I use and prefer la COVID.

La COVID means there is a focus on la pandemia. El COVID means there is more of a focus on el virus.
Good point, also worth noting that strictly speaking Covid-19 is the name of the disease caused by the Novel Coronavirus.
 

Chirimoya

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Have you ever thought about why you hear la sartén and el sartén. I did because one of them stood out to me which prompted me to look up the grammar point.
I understood that although la sartén is the correct form according to the RAE, el sartén has become prevalent in Latin American Spanish. When that happens it ends up being accepted as a variant through usage.
 

Marianopolita

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Good point, also worth noting that strictly speaking Covid-19 is the name of the disease caused by the Novel Coronavirus.
Yes, but the usage el or la depends what you are referring to la pandemia or el virus. That is why you hear the variations.
 

Marianopolita

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I understood that although la sartén is the correct form according to the RAE, el sartén has become prevalent in Latin American Spanish. When that happens it ends up being accepted as a variant through usage.

El sartén is not correct. Even though it may be accepted once again it has been tagged as speech of the uneducated speaker. The correct article is la as in la sartén.
 

Marianopolita

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You can compare it to those unusual grammatical forms not referring to articles but other grammar points like haiga, delen, levántensen, escribistes etc. What is incorrect is incorrect.
 

Marianopolita

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Look at the comments from the top down. #6 is right on by O de la Cueva.


 

Chirimoya

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Going back to the question of el/la Covid, here's an article in today's El Nacional.
Dado que contiene el sustantivo enfermedad en su forma inglesa, su género es femenino (la COVID-19, mejor que el COVID-19).
La dificultad para los académicos, pese a la aseveración de que el vocablo es femenino, es cuánto se ha divulgado el uso en masculino, desde todos los ámbitos y tribunas: desde el poder político, desde los púlpitos, desde los medios de comunicación.
 

Marianopolita

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I will read the articles in full later but I have read several and I am sticking to what I said earlier. La COVID refers to la enfermedad or la pandemia and el COVID refers to the virus.

Seems like both your links are in favour of la COVID and to my ears it sounds better. My first instinct was la COVID and then when I started seeing el COVID I did some research to understand why.
 

Marianopolita

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The quote is an extract from the article, which explains why it should be la COVID.
I read the article and it’s consistent with what I have read so far. Interesting how the journalist pointed out that both Danilo and Abinader say el COVID.

The issue of what gender to use is normal when a new word comes into the language unless it is a foreign or borrowed word. There is a grammar rule for that.

The RAE is still examining this aspect. In the meantime, it seems like both will be heard and used.



This is the same as el Internet and la Internet. Have you noticed both are used?
 
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Chirimoya

Moderator - East Coast Forum
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I read the article and it’s consistent with what I have read so far. Interesting how the journalist pointed out that both Danilo and Abinader say el COVID.

The issue of what gender to use is normal when a new word comes into the language unless it is a foreign or borrowed word. There is a grammar rule for that.

The RAE is still examining this aspect. In the meantime, it seems like both will be heard and used.



This is the same as el Internet and la Internet. Have you noticed both are used?
I've never heard la Internet but it makes sense because of la red.

I can't remember if we discussed this here or if it's a conversation I had on another forum, but the explanation was that when Spanish borrows words from English, a language in which nouns are neutral, these words are treated as masculine by default because the convention in both languages is that the masculine encompasses both genders.
 
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Marianopolita

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I've never heard la Internet but it makes sense because of la red.

I can't remember if we discussed this here or if it's a conversation I had on another forum, but the explanation was that when Spanish borrows words from English, a language in which nouns are neutral, these words are treated as masculine by default because the convention in both languages is that the masculine encompasses both genders.

La Internet is just as common as el Internet in my experience.



Was that a grammatical source that stated what you mentioned above regarding the reason why the masculine gender in Spanish is used for words borrowed from English?

That sounds strange to me. I would like to see the source.