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Peter


Sep 23, 2010, 9:33 PM

Post #26 of 50 (7461 views)

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Re: [norteño] If you could change Spanish...

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      I am surprised that no one has wished for the elimination of gender in Spanish--a totally pointless complication, and one that continues to create difficulty in learning vocabulary long after all rules of grammar have been mastered.


Some of my Mexican friends don't understand the confusion I have with noun gender and corresponding articles. I have to explain to them that in English only people and animals have gender (not absolutely accurate but reasonably so for illustration purpose) and English articles are neutral.

The only definite article in English is "the" and the indefinite articles are "a" and "an" for singular, plural nouns do not use them except that the pronoun "some" is used as a plural indefinite article in some cases. The list of articles in Spanish is much larger and there are irreglarities - el día, for example.

I agree. Thanks for mentioning this.


(This post was edited by Peter on Sep 23, 2010, 9:38 PM)


morgaine7


Sep 23, 2010, 10:08 PM

Post #27 of 50 (7450 views)

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Re: [norteño] If you could change Spanish...

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Gender doesn't bother me much per se, but I could do without the "gotcha" nouns like problema and agua (masculine).

Kate


La Isla


Sep 23, 2010, 11:16 PM

Post #28 of 50 (7447 views)

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Re: [morgaine7] If you could change Spanish...

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Problema is indeed masculine and uses the masculine articles (el, los, un, unos). I believe it has something to do with its Greek origin, as is the case with some other words ending in a but which are masculine, such as el drama, el poema, and el clima. Others, such as el día and el mapa, have a Latin origin, and this has something to do with their grammatical gender. Perhaps someone who has actually studied the Classics could give a more detailed explanation than I. (:

Agua is a different case entirely, however. It is is feminine in gender but because it begins with a stressed a-, to avoid pronunciation awkwardness, it uses the singular masculine definite article, hence, el agua. However, in the plural, it uses the feminine article, hence las aguas. Other words of this type include el águila, el alma, and el hada.

The above is the kind of neat stuff you learn when you have been a Spanish major in college!


esperanza

Sep 24, 2010, 5:03 AM

Post #29 of 50 (7445 views)

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Re: [La Isla] If you could change Spanish...

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...Problema is indeed masculine and uses the masculine articles (el, los, un, unos). I believe it has something to do with its Greek origin, as is the case with some other words ending in a but which are masculine, such as el drama, el poema, and el clima...


There are other nouns (and yes, from Greek origins) that also appear to be feminine but are in fact masculine.
  • el síntoma (symptom)
  • el mapa (map)
  • el día (day)
  • el tranvía (trolley)
  • el idioma (language)
  • el telegrama (telegram)
  • el profeta (prophet)
  • el cometa (comet)
All nouns that come from the Greek preserve the gender they have in that language. They don't follow the Spanish rule that nouns ending in 'a' are feminine. You'll notice that most of these Greek-origin nouns end in -ma or -ta.

Still other nouns--not of Greek origin--end in -o and appear to be masculine but are in fact feminine:
  • mano (hand)...but in the diminutive it changes to manita
  • foto (photo...the full Spanish word is fotografía)
  • radio (radio...the full Spanish word is radiografía, which means 'radio' and not 'X-ray')


http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Bennie García

Sep 24, 2010, 5:26 AM

Post #30 of 50 (7440 views)

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Re: [esperanza] If you could change Spanish...

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Just to confuse non-native speakers more, las manitos is used in most Spanish speaking countries other than Spain and Mexico.


Rolly


Sep 24, 2010, 7:30 AM

Post #31 of 50 (7433 views)

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Re: If you could change Spanish...

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I hate su, too confusing.

¿Dónde está Juan y Maria? En su casa.
My house? His house? Her house? Their house?

Rolly Pirate


mevale

Sep 24, 2010, 8:40 AM

Post #32 of 50 (7421 views)

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Re: [Rolly] If you could change Spanish...

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I hate su, too confusing.

¿Dónde están Juan y Maria? En su casa.
My house? His house? Her house? Their house?


In this case, if you wanted to say Juan and Maria were at home, you would simply say "En casa." "En su casa" sounds awkward and strange to my ears, unless you're talking about a case when they are in the home of somebody else, in which case you have to go by context.


Rolly


Sep 24, 2010, 9:29 AM

Post #33 of 50 (7407 views)

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Re: [mevale] If you could change Spanish...

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It may sound strange to you, but that's what I hear a lot.

Rolly Pirate


Judy in Ags


Oct 20, 2010, 11:07 AM

Post #34 of 50 (7323 views)

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Re: [tashby] If you could change Spanish...

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Too many words.????

I'd say too few words.


tashby


Oct 20, 2010, 1:43 PM

Post #35 of 50 (7310 views)

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Re: [Judy in Ags] If you could change Spanish...

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Too many words.????


It was a joke. That didn't work.


mazbook1


Oct 20, 2010, 5:18 PM

Post #36 of 50 (7300 views)

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Re: [mevale] If you could change Spanish...

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melvale, I don't know what "brand" of Spanish you speak, but I must agree with Rolly, "en su casa" is the ONLY way I've ever heard that answer said in Spanish by native Spanish speakers. In this context (answering a specific question) the "su" can't refer to anyone except Juan y María. Leaving out possessive pronouns isn't the same as leaving out personal pronouns, and I've never heard it done.

"en casa" is particularly bad Spanish as an answer to the question ¿dónde estan Juan y María? as it could be any house anywhere. If they were in someone else's house the answer would probably be something like this: "estan en la casa de José alla", referring to José's house "over there".


Peter


Oct 20, 2010, 5:42 PM

Post #37 of 50 (7292 views)

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Re: [mazbook1] If you could change Spanish...

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As a non-native speaker either one would make sense to me, "en casa" I would interpret to sounding like the English "at home" but consulting my in-home expert Tere tells me the answer "en su casa" would be the correct response UNLESS Juan y María happened to live in the same house with me, then it would be correct for me to answer "en casa."

I'll stick my neck out a bit and suggest there may be regional or colloquial variation, but I will defer to Tere who was born and lived in Mexico City until she was about 15 as speaking a representative version of Mexican Spanish.


mazbook1


Oct 21, 2010, 4:29 PM

Post #38 of 50 (7270 views)

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Re: [Peter] If you could change Spanish...

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Peter, I never even thought about the case where Juan y María lived in the house with me. Tere is absolutely correct that in this case and this case only, the answer, "en casa" would be correct. Even though I get asked this question often (I have a family of 5 besides myself), I don't think I have ever used just "en casa" to reply, it was always, "es en su recamara", "es en baño", "momentido", etc. For me, "en casa" just doesn't work well.


mevale

Oct 22, 2010, 8:34 PM

Post #39 of 50 (7234 views)

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Re: [mazbook1] If you could change Spanish...

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melvale, I don't know what "brand" of Spanish you speak, but I must agree with Rolly, "en su casa" is the ONLY way I've ever heard that answer said in Spanish by native Spanish speakers. In this context (answering a specific question) the "su" can't refer to anyone except Juan y María. Leaving out possessive pronouns isn't the same as leaving out personal pronouns, and I've never heard it done.

"en casa" is particularly bad Spanish as an answer to the question ¿dónde estan Juan y María? as it could be any house anywhere. If they were in someone else's house the answer would probably be something like this: "estan en la casa de José alla", referring to José's house "over there".


Well, my brand is the brand I speak with my Mexican friends. Please Google "está en casa" and you'll quickly see what I'm talking about. I get 40,500,000 results. I can't believe you've never heard it, or consider it "bad Spanish". I hear it all of the time.


(This post was edited by mevale on Oct 22, 2010, 8:56 PM)


norteño

Oct 22, 2010, 8:34 PM

Post #40 of 50 (7232 views)

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Re: [mazbook1] If you could change Spanish...

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"En casa" for "at home", meaning the home of the person or persons referred to, is standard, correct Spanish.


mevale

Oct 22, 2010, 8:53 PM

Post #41 of 50 (7228 views)

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Re: [norteño] If you could change Spanish...

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"En casa" for "at home", meaning the home of the person or persons referred to, is standard, correct Spanish.


Thanks "norteño". These people had me thinking I had lost my mind.

A few examples from Spanish media:

"Zsa Zsa Gabor ya está en casa
La actriz se sometió hace cuatro semanas a un reemplazo de cadera" (headline from Estrella Digital)

"Confirman que Hanna Yaneh está en casa y con buena salud" (headline from TVN Noticias)

"Christina Aguilera ya está en casa con su hijo Max Liron" (headline from Son Famosos)

"Al fin, despues del milagro, Mía ya está en casa con sus papás" (headline from Clarín.com)












mazbook1


Oct 22, 2010, 9:16 PM

Post #42 of 50 (7220 views)

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Re: [mevale] If you could change Spanish...

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melvale, It's not worth arguing about. Up here in Sinaloa they say "está en su casa" which YOU said was incorrect and/or bad Spanish. Rolly says he hears that all the time over in the Torreon area, and I have never heard it any other way here in Mazatlán. Rolly lives with a Mexican family and my family is 100% Mexican (we don't even speak English at home).

I definitely don't trust Google listings for that sort of comparison, as they can be VERY misleading. Check the correct spelling of Tlaltelolco against the incorrect spelling, Tlatelolco if you don't believe me. Just because a lot more folks spell things wrong or use incorrect grammar or depend on lousy translations from English doesn't make them correct. Goggle just tells you how many people are doing so.

But all it means is that your friends speak a slightly different brand of Spanish than the family Rolly lives with or my family. When I get into these sorts of discussions on some international Spanish language forums, everyone identifies where they learned Spanish and how it is spoken there; it's only polite to do so.

I apologize it I was off base, but I didn't start it, you and Rolly did.


Peter


Oct 22, 2010, 11:01 PM

Post #43 of 50 (7212 views)

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Re: [mazbook1] If you could change Spanish...

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I don't think I have ever used just "en casa" to reply, it was always, "es en su recamara", "es en baño", "momentido", etc. For me, "en casa" just doesn't work well.

Even though "en casa" worked for me, a non-native speaker, though my darling better-half disagreed, I will by-pass asking her in this case and say in your examples that I would prefer "está en su recamara" and would use "está" over "es" when referring to the present location of a person.


mevale

Oct 23, 2010, 7:05 AM

Post #44 of 50 (7200 views)

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Re: [mazbook1] If you could change Spanish...

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melvale, It's not worth arguing about. Up here in Sinaloa they say "está en su casa" which YOU said was incorrect and/or bad Spanish. Rolly says he hears that all the time over in the Torreon area, and I have never heard it any other way here in Mazatlán. Rolly lives with a Mexican family and my family is 100% Mexican (we don't even speak English at home).



Sorry, but I never said it was "wrong" or "bad Spanish". Please read more carefully. I said it sounded awkward.

Let me give you an example in English. If I were to ask a friend where his wife was and he replied "At her home", it would be correct English but it would sound awkward and strange. "At home" would be the more natural reply. Same thing in Spanish. When I ask a Mexican friend where his wife or kids are, the reply is never "en su casa", but always "en casa" with the "están" implied.


(This post was edited by mevale on Oct 23, 2010, 7:06 AM)


mazbook1


Oct 23, 2010, 12:50 PM

Post #45 of 50 (7176 views)

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Re: [Peter] If you could change Spanish...

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Peter, Yep, you caught me! A big thumbs up. I should have written "está" instead of "es". Obviously, I'm a poor proofreader of my own stuff.

PS – I agree with Tere, the "su" is necessary AND normal.


(This post was edited by mazbook1 on Oct 23, 2010, 12:52 PM)


eyePad

Oct 24, 2010, 3:27 PM

Post #46 of 50 (7141 views)

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Re: [mazbook1] If you could change Spanish...

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As is my wont, when confronted with such a seemingly trivial question "en casa" or "en su casa" I had to research a bit. Apparently this question really is trivial because academically it is not covered (at least at first look). In colloquial Spanish "en casa" is not only fine, it is very common. "en su casa" is quite understandable also.


(This post was edited by eyePad on Oct 24, 2010, 3:32 PM)


colibri1

Oct 27, 2010, 8:58 PM

Post #47 of 50 (7085 views)

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Re: [sergiogomez] If you could change Spanish...

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WOW...I'VE BEEN WISHING I COULD CHANGE SPANISH...AS I GET MORE AND MORE INTO LEARNING VERB CONJUGATIONS....BUT... THE THING IS...ONE HAS TO LEARN THE CULTURE BEHIND THE SEEMINGLY INANE MANNER IN WHICH THEY ARE CONJUGATED. I UNDERSTAND THE TOO MANY WORDS THING...IT'S TOO MANY ARTICLES AND PREPOSITIONS AND LET'S NOT FORGET THE "PERSONAL A"... WELL, MY CONLCUSION IS THAT, I'D JUST BETTER BUCK UP AND LEARN THE INS AND OUTS IF I WANT TO COMMUNICATE WITH MY NEIGHBORS, BECAUSE SPANISH, AND MY NEIGHBORS, WOULD NOT BE SO INTRIGUING IF THE LANGUAGE WERE NOT SO.
ABRAZOS A TODOS,
M
PS YEA..JUST WHEN YOU THINK YOU'RE GETTING THE GIST OF THE CONJUGATIONS IN YOUR LESSON PLAN, THEY THROW IN A ZINGER THAT BLOWS YOU OUT OF THE WATER!!! OH WELL, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!


(This post was edited by colibri1 on Oct 27, 2010, 9:10 PM)


surjo666

May 6, 2011, 2:29 AM

Post #48 of 50 (6123 views)

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Re: [sergiogomez] If you could change Spanish...

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The reflexive verbs. Never really liked them.


mazbook1


May 6, 2011, 1:10 PM

Post #49 of 50 (6099 views)

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Re: [surjo666] If you could change Spanish...

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sujo666, Heck, the reflexive verbs are EASY compared to the subjunctive!


alex .

May 7, 2011, 5:06 PM

Post #50 of 50 (6056 views)

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Re: [mevale] en casa

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I interpret "en casa" to mean "at home". All this discussion makes me grateful that my English is more gooder than my geography ;<)


(This post was edited by alex . on May 7, 2011, 5:08 PM)
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