Please Help: Am I Saying this Right?

5
votes

Hi,

I would like someone to tell me if I am using the word "lo" properly in Spanish.

En el mundo de Gabriel García Márquez, es difícil distinguir entre lo extraño y lo mundano.

"In the world of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, it is difficult to distinguish between the strange and the mundane."

In that case, is the word "lo" appropriate, or am I supposed to another article like el, la, etc.? And do you think that my Spanish is overall a good translation of my English sentence?

Thanks for the help - I'm in Spanish 4 in college and need to do well on all the nitpicky grammar!

1442 views
updated MAY 19, 2010
edited by StillLearning
posted by StillLearning
Great question StillLearning

3 Answers

4
votes

Hi Still learning,

This looks good to me. Distinguishing itself from the other definite articles (el and la) the neuter article, lo, can be placed before an adjective in order to express and abstract quality or idea (whereas el and la cannot perform this function). Here both "extraño" and "mundano" are adjectives that have been nominalized by the use of the neuter article.

Here is what the RAE (Diccionario panhispánico de dudas) has to say on this:

Por su parte, "lo" suele considerarse como artículo neutro por su capacidad de sustantivar adjetivos y determinadas oraciones de relativo: lo malo, lo que está mal; para muchos lingüistas se trata, en cambio, de un pronombre.

updated MAY 19, 2010
posted by Izanoni1
Muy apropriado
4
votes

En el mundo de Gabriel García Márquez, es difícil distinguir entre lo extraño y lo mundano.

Yes, that's a great way to use that "lo"! I think your translation is good too.

updated MAY 19, 2010
posted by 003487d6
2
votes

I'm just asking, why lo and not el?

updated MAY 19, 2010
posted by TheSilentHero
because it is placed before an adjective to nominalize it - a function that neither of the other definite articles can perform.