www.whyville.net Oct 5, 2008 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

Spanish for the Clueless

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If you read last week's article, then you've already learned the definite article. If not, then it's pretty simple. There are for ways to say "the" in Spanish - el, la, los, and las.

Now it's time to get the hang of the indefinite article. In English, it's the equivalent of the word "a," "one," or "some." If we wanted to say "the comb," we can use what we know of the definite article, el.

The comb = el peine (pronounced: PAY-neh)

What if you didn't want to talk about "the comb" specifically, but just "a comb" in general? That's where the indefinite article comes in handy! The indefinite article for something that is masculine and singular (like "the comb") is un (pronounced: oohn). In English, it is translated as either "a" or "one."

A comb = un peine One comb = un peine

What if you're a complete fashionista? What if you can't stand the thought of using just one comb? What if you spend hours in front of the mirror and pile on the hairspray like there's no tomorrow? Why, we'd have to use the indefinite article for something that is masculine and plural (Here, it's "some combs") - unos (pronounced: ooh-nohs)!

Some combs = unos peines (pronounced: Pay-nehs)

Time to move on to the feminine singular!

The magazine = la revista (pronounced: reh-vee-stah)

To say "a magazine" or "one magazine," we use the feminine singular of the indefinite article, una (pronounced: ooh-nah).

A magazine = una revista One magazine = una revista

I'll bet you all know where I'm headed next. If you guessed the feminine plural unas (pronounced: ooh-nahs), then you're right!

Some magazines = unas revistas

A quick recap:

Un = masculine singular
Unos = masculine plural
Una = feminine singular
Unas = feminine plural

Time for me to watch my novelas. Hasta la vista!



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