HomeQ&Aagua is a feminine noun but, 'el' seems to be used.

agua is a feminine noun but, 'el' seems to be used.

1
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Why is 'agua' stated as a feminine noun in SpanishDict dictionary but, I always see "el" used with agua?

3789 views
updated AGO 9, 2009
posted by Incógnito

7 Answers

2
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Eric: Most of the examples you gave are of words of Greek origin ending in -ma, -pa, or -ta that use "el" and "los" in all forms (el problema, los problemas, el sistema, los sistemas, etc.)

What was being discussed above was the use of "el" with words that begin with a stressed "a" or "ha" sound, such as "agua" and "águila". These words are FEMININE, so they are modified by feminine adjectives (el agua fría, el águila bonita), replaced by "la" as a DOP, etc. The only reason that they use "el" in their singular form is to avoid the difficulty (technically called a cacophony) of saying "la agua" or "la águila" very quickly (the a's would run into eachother.)

But also note, as Fred said, that if anything comes before the article and the noun, then "la" is used. So: "la mejor agua" and "la fantástica águila".

PS: Don't get confused with a word like "la habilidad". Though it begins with "ha" it is not the stressed part of the word; the "a" of "dad" is.

updated NOV 17, 2009
edited by Nick-Cortina
posted by Nick-Cortina
1
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This is a response to a comment made on an earlier post in this thread. I decided to post this is an answer so that it wouldn't get lost. Anyway:

Fred said: Although, I don't see why you wrote "dámela" with an accent over the a. The chart at this site has the imperative form for "tú" as da.

Remember this:

  • Aguda: Words whose stress fall on the last syllable. If an aguda ends in -n, -s, or a vowel, it must have a written accent.
  • Grave: Words whose stress fall on the penultimate syllable. If a grave ends in a consonant other than -n or -s, it must have a written accent.
  • Esdrújula: Words whose stress falls on the third to last syllabe. Esdrújulas always require a written accent.

Now, in "da-me-la" the natural stress falls on the "a" of "da"; "da" is the third to last syllable, thus, "damela", as a whole, is an esdrújula, which always require a written accent. So, an accent goes over the a, making it "dámela". (Notice that command forms of only 1 syllable like haz, ten, di, da, etc. only require a written accent if 2 pronouns are attached. In "dime" the natural stress falls on the penultimate syllable, "di" and since "dime" ends in a vowel (not a consonant other than -n or -s) then no written accent is needed.)

I hope this helps you. Please, anyone feel free to correct me if I said anything incorrectly. grin

updated NOV 17, 2009
posted by Nick-Cortina
0
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There are a few of them like that.... Here is a list

El idoma El agua El sistema El día El tema El vodka

Welcome to the forum.

updated AGO 9, 2009
edited by eric_collins
posted by eric_collins
Your mixing apples and oranges. "agua" is the only feminine word in your list. The others really are masculiine (despite ending in "a"). - samdie, AGO 9, 2009
0
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Aguda: Words whose stress fall on the last syllable. If an aguda ends in -n, -s, or a vowel, it must have a written accent. Grave: Words whose stress fall on the penultimate syllable. If a grave ends in a consonant other than -n or -s, it must have a written accent. Esdrújula: Words whose stress falls on the third to last syllabe. Esdrújulas always require a written accent.

Wow! I love grammar terms. Let me give you a simplier rule. The accent must fall on the syllable where it fell before you appended the pronouns. Therefore, the accent must be on the "a" in dámela. ayúdame dándonoslos escribirlo

updated AGO 9, 2009
edited by 0074b507
posted by 0074b507
0
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Hi Incógnito. The reason el is used with agua is because of the a at the beginning of the word agua. However, do not be misled, when in the plural form it will be "las."

If the feminine noun begins with a stressed a or ha, the singular forms of the article used are el or un. If anything intercedes between these two items, use the normal la or una.

updated AGO 9, 2009
edited by Fredbong
posted by Fredbong
I would imagine that when using it as a pronoun "it" you would also use its feminine form, for example, "me la da," give me it (refering to the water). But, I would need another more fluent person to back me up on this one. - Fredbong, AGO 8, 2009
Actually, my appologies, me la da is actually he gives me it. You would need say damela for give me it. - Fredbong, AGO 8, 2009
I don't understand the remark about the accent over the "a", e.g. el águila. - 0074b507, AGO 8, 2009
dámela o démela (dad, den)...[you] give me it. - 0074b507, AGO 8, 2009
Ah, yes, I must have been mistaking it for another rule, the accent doesn't make a difference in this case. Although, I don't see why you wrote "dámela" with an accent over the a. The chart at this site has the imperative form for "tú" as da. - Fredbong, AGO 8, 2009
I believe that the rule is that the accent must fall on the syllable where it did before you appended the pronouns which would be the "a" in dámela - 0074b507, AGO 9, 2009
0
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http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/genoun2.htm

This site will help you better understand.

updated AGO 8, 2009
posted by angelbabyliz
0
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¡Vale Nick, Te doy las gracias!

updated AGO 8, 2009
posted by eric_collins
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