El hacha / la hacha? | SpanishDict Answers
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1 Vote

I asked this question as a response to the 5/13/10 "palabra del día" but got no response, so I am opening a new thread:

I am confused about the word "hacha" : is it feminine or masculine? In the site dictionary and my Spanish dictionary, it is listed as a feminine noun. In the heading of this thread and several posts, it is used as a masculine noun. In the account of John the Baptist's beheading in Mateo 3:10, "el hacha" is used.

Is this one of those words that has a different meaning when used with different articles? If so, what do "la hacha" and "el hacha" mean?

Could "la hacha" mean a "hatchet" and "el hacha" mean an "axe"?

  • Posted May 13, 2010
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7 Answers

2 Vote

¡Hola!

I cannot help wondering if the answer to your question lies in the "La agua" or 'El agua" domain similar to this:

 

..........................El Agua not La Agua...................................

This is taken from our own Span¡shD!ct Reference page in re Definite Articles:

Exceptions

When a feminine and singular noun begins with a stressed á or ha, the masculine definite article is used instead to aid in pronunciation. When the same noun is plural, the regular feminine article is used.

Exceptional Definite Articles

Singular ─ Plural

el águila ─ las águilas

el alma ─ las almas

el agua ─ las aguas

el hambre ─ las hambres

To see the entire Reference Article,

Look Here

 

Muchos saludos/Best regards,

Moe

  • I had not thought of this. You may be right! - LaBurra May 13, 2010 flag
  • stressed "a" does not mean that the "a" must have an accent mark like in the example, just that the first syllable must be stressed.. - 0074b507 May 13, 2010 flag
2 Vote

I'm suggesting it should be Ser una hacha en algo

masculine article, feminine word

Many times, there is doubt over whether to say 'esta aula' or 'este aula'; 'este agua' or 'esta agua'. The rule is the following: only the articles el, un and the indefinites algún and ningún proceed in masculine form feminine nouns that begin with the accented a (ha).

The rest of the determinants (and adjectives) following their normal feminine form. For example:...read the article

1 Vote

¡Hola!, Lisbeth:

Even if my previous answer is correct, when used with the indefinite article or when used in the plural it seems to me the feminine gender of the noun shows itself once again as in;

Hizo una hacha de armas (note in the word of the day I'm suggesting the masculine indefinite article has been incorrectly used)

and

Ser un hacha en algo - To be a wizard at something

Isn't this all messed up. I'm suggesting it should be Ser una hacha en algo - To be a whiz (not wizard) at something.

Should we mark your thread for administrator attention to bring a light on to the word of the day??

1 Vote

As Moe said, a femenine word with the first letter A or HA stressed, will use el as the article in singular.

hacha1.

(Del lat. *fascŭla, cruce de facŭla, pequeña antorcha, y fascis, haz).

  1. f. Vela de cera, grande y gruesa, de forma por lo común de prisma cuadrangular y con cuatro pabilos.

  2. f. Mecha que se hace de esparto y alquitrán para que resista al viento sin apagarse.

  3. f. Haz de paja liada o atada como faja, usada alguna vez para cubiertas de chozas y otras construcciones de campo.

~ de viento.

  1. f. hacha (‖ mecha de esparto y alquitrán).

□ V.

paje de hacha


hacha2.

(Del fr. hache, y este del franco *hapja).

  1. f. Herramienta cortante, compuesta de una gruesa hoja de acero, con filo algo convexo, ojo para enastarla, y a veces con peto.

  2. f. Baile antiguo español.

~ de abordaje.

  1. f. Mar. hacha pequeña con corte por un lado y por el otro un pico curvo muy agudo, el cual se clavaba en el costado del buque enemigo y servía de agarradero al tomarlo al abordaje.

~ de armas.

  1. f. Arma que se usaba antiguamente en la guerra, de la misma hechura que el hacha de cortar leña, para desarmar al enemigo, rompiéndole las armas que lo defendían.

desenterrar alguien el ~ de guerra.

  1. loc. verb. coloq. Iniciar un período de hostilidad o enfrentamiento.

ser alguien un ~.

  1. loc. verb. coloq. Ser muy diestro o sobresalir en cualquier actividad.

□ V.

callo de hacha

lengua de hacha

maestro de hacha

Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados

1 Vote

I answered in the thread for you, lis:

Lis said:

I am confused about this word: is it feminine or masculine? In the site dictionary and my Spanish dictionary, it is listed as a feminine noun. In the heading of this thread and several posts, it is used as a masculine noun. In the account of John the Baptist's beheading in Mateo 3:10, "el hacha" is used.

Is this one of those words that has a different meaning when used with different articles? If so, what do "la hacha" and "el hacha" mean?

Hacha, same thing with agua, always feminine. The article el is used to avoid cacofonía.

La hacha does not exist.

1 Vote

Hizo un hacha de armas (note in the word of the day I'm suggesting the masculine indefinite article has been incorrectly used)

No Moe, Quentin found it, we call him the finder hereraspberry

1 Vote

However and commonly you'll hear "l'acha" in Mexico. It's a kind of contraction in the way of speaking. I haven't heard anyone saying clearly "pásame el hacha" and the common way is pásame l'acha... well this can be tricky because you can hear "pásame'l hacha" with the same speaking contraction.

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