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    Hello Spanophiles

    What are the rules for using articles (el, un, los, unos) etc in Spanish? You know how in English, we say "I have a cat" (singular noun, with article), but we can say "I have cats" (plural noun, without article)? Is this the same in Spanish? - i.e. is it grammatical to say "Tengo gatos" or do you have to say "Tengo unos gatos"?

    Also is there the same difference between mass nouns (nouns referring to uncountable entities, like "flour" ) and count nouns (like "chair", "dog" etc)? In English for example, we say "Use an egg" (count noun, with article) but "Use flour" (mass noun, without article). Is this the same in Spanish?

    If any of you could answer even one of these, I'd be eternally grateful, muchas gracias!
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    Nuuuuuuuu please save me from the coursework bot.

    Anyone, anyone at all who could give me even a "I'm not sure but" answer? Please?
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    (Original post by Ywiss)
    Hello Spanophiles

    What are the rules for using articles (el, un, los, unos) etc in Spanish? You know how in English, we say "I have a cat" (singular noun, with article), but we can say "I have cats" (plural noun, without article)? Is this the same in Spanish? - i.e. is it grammatical to say "Tengo gatos" or do you have to say "Tengo unos gatos"?

    Also is there the same difference between mass nouns (nouns referring to uncountable entities, like "flour" ) and count nouns (like "chair", "dog" etc)? In English for example, we say "Use an egg" (count noun, with article) but "Use flour" (mass noun, without article). Is this the same in Spanish?

    If any of you could answer even one of these, I'd be eternally grateful, muchas gracias!
    Correct and correct.
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    I've been wondering this too...

    According to my Complete Spanish Grammar Book, you use definite articles (la/el etc) with:
    nouns in a general sense (la comida es deliciosa)
    days of the week
    names of languages, except after hablar
    parts of the body
    items of personal hygeine
    clothing
    with possessive adjectives (me duele la muela = my tooth hurts)
    to tell time
    names and titles (El doctor..)
    weights and measurements (we use the indefinite)
    nouns designating specific people and things (vi el programa)
    last names referring to members of a family in the plural
    nouns referring to geographic places like rivers, mountains etc
    infinitive functioning as a noun, equivalent to english -ing

    Indefinite Articles (un/una etc)
    to refer to one individual in a specific group (es una obra de arte)
    to identify a person with a noun indicating personal qualities (eres un angel)
    to indicate an approximate amount with numbers and quantities (cuesta unos cincuenta euros= costs about 50 euros)


    That was tiring :p: Hope that helped, I've been meaning to look it up for myself anyway
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    (Original post by misshape)
    names of languages, esp after hablar
    If you mean:

    "Yo hablo el español / inglés / francés, etc."

    No way.

    We use definite articles for languages, but especially NOT after "hablar".

    Example:

    "El español es un idioma fácil. ¡Aprendamos chino!"

    See, for "español" I used the definite article, but not for "chino". I guess it's because "español" is a subject in that sentence, but I'm not sure, though :o:
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    I'm spanish, but I wouldn't use unos. I use un even when in spain. You can say Tengo un gatos to say you have cats but it is usually like the following:

    Tengo un gato - I have a cat
    Tengo gatos - I have cats

    I am from Murcia so it will be different to Madrid, which is what the spanish GCSE/A Level is based on. Different parts of spain have slight variations in language.

    Utilice un huevo - Use an Egg
    utilice los huevos - Use Eggs
    utilice un poco de harina - Use some Flour
    utilice la harina - Use Flour

    espere que las ayudas
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    (Original post by EmUIbA)
    If you mean:

    "Yo hablo el español / inglés / francés, etc."

    No way.

    We use definite articles for languages, but especially NOT after "hablar".

    Example:

    "El español es un idioma fácil. ¡Aprendamos chino!"

    See, for "español" I used the definite article, but not for "chino". I guess it's because "español" is a subject in that sentence, but I'm not sure, though :o:
    Ooh yes, sorry, I mis-read "except" as "especially".... quite a big mistake to make really :o:
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    (Original post by clareramos)
    I'm spanish, but I wouldn't use unos. I use un even when in spain. You can say Tengo un gatos to say you have cats but it is usually like the following:

    Tengo un gato - I have a cat
    Tengo gatos - I have cats

    I am from Murcia so it will be different to Madrid, which is what the spanish GCSE/A Level is based on. Different parts of spain have slight variations in language.

    Utilice un huevo - Use an Egg
    utilice los huevos - Use Eggs
    utilice un poco de harina - Use some Flour
    utilice la harina - Use Flour

    espere que las ayudas
    Hi, is Spanish your native language?

    "Tengo un gatos" is completely wrong, wherever you're from.

    "Utilice los huevos" is not wrong, but if you're not specifying the quantity beforehand it doesn't sound natural.

    "Utilice la harina" sounds natural only if you have mentioned "harina" before, otherwise, it should be "Utilice harina". (which is like English).

    Where abouts is Murcia are you from? I have family there and go there quite often

    BTW, "espere que las ayudas"? That doesn't sound like Spanish at all.
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    Unos or Unas is similar to the english some but not like the french du .
    For example: Unas manzanas= some apples
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    family are from Alcantarilla
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    Wow, thank you all of you; I had no idea there were so many native Spanish speakers here!

    So although there is some dispute, in general the Spanish rules are the same as the two English rules in the OP?
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    (Original post by EmUIbA)
    Hi, is Spanish your native language?

    "Tengo un gatos" is completely wrong, wherever you're from.

    "Utilice los huevos" is not wrong, but if you're not specifying the quantity beforehand it doesn't sound natural.

    "Utilice la harina" sounds natural only if you have mentioned "harina" before, otherwise, it should be "Utilice harina". (which is like English).

    Where abouts is Murcia are you from? I have family there and go there quite often

    BTW, "espere que las ayudas"? That doesn't sound like Spanish at all.
    BTW it means hope that helps.

    Spanish isn't my native, my native is English, Although both my parents are spanish, they both were born in UK, although I was born in Spain, I've lived in UK for most of my life. We still carry on surname and marriage traditions though.
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    you wouldn't put the verb esperar into the subjunctive though because thats the trigger... surely it would be espero que las ayudes?

    unless like you said there's some dialect differences..
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    I'd say espero que te ayude myself...maybe that's Peruvian?
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    (Original post by Llamaaa)
    I'd say espero que te ayude myself...maybe that's Peruvian?
    It's not, when I'm Spain I use it a lot. Also Spanish that is learnt in Ed, is different to what is actually spoken in many areas.
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    (Original post by clareramos)
    It's not, when I'm Spain I use it a lot. Also Spanish that is learnt in Ed, is different to what is actually spoken in many areas.
    I know that much- when I lived in Peru I chose to just forget what I did at school pretty much.

    I've never heard/read "espere que las ayudas"....pretty sure that's not right. Doesn't actually make sense. No matter though- the op wasn't asking for that phrase
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    No I didn't think it sounded right but my main point was that you wouldn't put esperar in the subjunctive because its the trigger..
    I think espero que te ayude is correct
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    Espero que te ayude. Espero que le ayude.

    Espero que esto te ayude. Espero que esto le ayude.


    These four sentences are correct. Saying "espere que las ayudas" is grammatically wrong.

    Articles:

    EL: Means THE in singular. It's something specific. When you say "el gato" you're speaking about one specific cat: "el gato se comio al raton".
    LOS: Means THE in plural. It can be specific as to a group of something "los gatos de mi abuela", or it can used generically "los gatos tienen bigotes".
    UN: Means ONE. You use it to denote quantity: "Tengo un gato", "Utilice un huevo".
    UNOS: Means SOME. It's not specific about how many or how much. You only use it when your object is a count noun. You can't say "tengo unas harinas" as it means nothing.

    You can say "tengo unos gatos" or "tengo gatos", the meaning is very similar. The only difference is that when you say "unos" you're implying you have some, as in a small quantity. When you say "tengo gatos" you're not giving a clue as to how big the group of cats is.

    Mass nouns v Count nouns rules in spanish are similar to those in English. You say "utilice un huevo" for one egg or "utilice unos huevos" when you're not specifying quantity but it's a plural number. You say "utilice harina" without an article. You use an article when you specify the quantity with measurement eg. "utilice un gramo de harina".

    This should help as Spanish is my mother tongue
 
 
 
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