Contents of Lesson 3

Articles
Location of adjectives
Agreement of adjectives
Agreement in number
Plurals of nouns and adjectives
Agreement in gender
How to determine gender of nouns
Genders and more on plurals of adjectives
Words to memorize 1: Some basic words
Lectura 1: Una introducción a España

Lesson 3: Nouns and Adjectives

Articles

Articles are the most common type of adjective.

El is the masculine singular definite article (the), la is the feminine singular definite article. Both mean "the." Un is the masculine singular indefinite article; una is the feminine singular indefinite article ("a" or "an"). Masculine nouns of course take and require a masculine article; feminine nouns require a feminine article.

Location of adjectives

Agreement of adjectives

How to determine the gender of nouns.

Genders and more on plurals of adjectives.


Words to Memorize 1: Some Basic Words


Lectura 1: Una introducción a España

Note the locations of nouns and adjectives. Adjectives usually follow nouns, except that articles, numbers, and some other nondescriptive adjectives MUST precede the nouns they modify. Other adjectives, when placed before the noun, have a weaker force.

Your translation must always make sense. If a sentence seems meaningless, some small error or errors have been made.

A translation of the exercise is provided. If you send it to me via e-mail I will return it with comments and a grade (not counted, but for your information).

España es un país europeo. La capital de España es Madrid. Otras ciudades importantes son Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao y Sevilla.

Barcelona es la capital industrial y literaria de España. Valencia es la capital del antiguo reino de Valencia. Bilbao es el centro del país vasco.

En España hay fuertes tensiones regionales. Unos catalanes y vascos son separatistas.

España es una monarquía. El monarca es el rey Juan Carlos I. Los católicos españoles son monárquicos. El Primer Ministro es un derechista, José María Aznar. En España hay actualmente mucho desempleo y descontento. El clima político es inestable.

España es un país preocupado con su historia. Hay muchos episodios gloriosos, y otros tristes, en la historia de España. También, España es un país de una histórica polarización. Las oscilaciones entre puntos de vista opuestos son causas de unas glorias literarias y artísticas, pero también la destrucción de la cultura española, una serie de guerras civiles y emigración. Sin embargo, hay esperanza de una resolución pacífica de los conflictos actuales. En 1992 hay conmemoraciones del quinto centenario del viaje de Colón al Nuevo Mundo


Notes on Lectura 1, Una introducción a España

País means "region" as well as its more formal or standard meaning of "country."

Separatistas is masculine plural, and agrees with vascos (masculine plural) and catalanes (undifferentiated plural, but is the default masculine unless otherwise specified).

Derechista is an example of a word which might not be in the dictionary. Given that its root is derecha (right in the sense of "right-hand side"), can you guess its meaning? (For the answer, see the Trans lation.)

An adverb: "currently," "at the present moment." The suffix -mente, which is applied to feminine adjectives, corresponds to the English suffix -ly. The root adjective actual is an amigo falso or false friend, which has an unexpected meaning: "current," "present" (in the temporal sense of "at present").

Note how the noun episodios, although not repeated, is implied by the two adjectives otros and tristes. More precisely, the -os ending of the adjectiveotros implies a masculine plural noun; tristes only requires a plural noun (i.e., it could be of either gender).

Note the masculine plural-os ending on opuestos. The ending tells you that opuestos modifies puntos, and not the adjacent word vista.

Sin embargo is an idiom: nevertheless.

Colón: the Spanish form of Columbus.


This page Copyright © 1998 Daniel Eisenberg. Please report errors or omissions: daniel.eisenberg@bigfoot.com. ¡Mil gracias!