title don, and de enfrente

0
votes

In a story I am reading I have come across the following sentence.

A los pocos días pasa por allí un amigo suyo, y le grita a don Pedro desde la acera de enfrente.

  1. The story repeatedly refers to don Pedro in the third person, without using the definite article. Is "don" an exception to the rule that titles of third parties take the definite article (such as with "el señor Gomez")?

  2. The above sentence refers to a scene that takes place outside a fish shop. When I read "desde la acera de enfrente," I thought it meant "from the sidewalk in front (of the shop)," but it is clear from the context that the meaning is "from the sidewalk across the street." Is this obvious to a native? How would you say "in front"'

4637 views
updated AGO 16, 2008
posted by 00bacfba

14 Answers

1
vote

Hi James. "desde la acera de enfrente" means "from the sidewalk across the street" in this case. "Enfrente" can also mean "in front", depending on the context. By example if you say "Está enfrente tuyo" means "It's in front of you"
Regarding the "don", I don't know the technicalities, but when you use it, is like it's part of the name, so you don't use the definite article. Same for "doña" which is the female.

updated DIC 24, 2010
posted by 00e657d4
0
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Natasha said:

You are confusing me to pieces . . . I agree with James that one of the hardest things to get right is prepositions and directional words. Well, practice, practice, right?

I don't think prepositions are the hardest thing in Spanish, but in any case, I wasn't trying to confuse anyone. The comment was meant for James, who, I am sure, can appreciate and easily understand all the grammatical jargon and the subtle points I was making. Next time I'll include a warning for the rest, like when we talk about Maths, hehe.

updated AGO 16, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
0
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In Breaking Out of Beginner's Spanish (which, by the way, has a whole section on the different ways to say "front"), the author suggest using "en la puerta de la tienda" as a less-confusing way to say "in front of the shop".

updated AGO 15, 2008
posted by Valerie
0
votes

lazarus1907 said:

James said:

Thanks, Heidita and Guillermo, for the helpful replies. I guess the similarity in sound between enfrente and "in front of" is what threw me. The use of such prepositions has always been a weakness of my Spanish (one of many, actually...).

Prepositions? It is true that it behaves somehow like a preposition (not entirely), but "enfrente" is a kind of adverb called nominal adverb, because it is morphologically an adverb, but it can be combined with other nouns using the preposition "de". After all, it was originally two words: a preposition and a noun, so it has features from both. And you can also write it as "en frente" (even though it is not advisable).Well... not very useful, but I though you might want to know.

You are confusing me to pieces . . . I agree with James that one of the hardest things to get right is prepositions and directional words. Well, practice, practice, right'

updated AGO 15, 2008
posted by Natasha
0
votes

By the way, the word "don" is not capitalized by default, but its abbreviation (D.) is.

updated AGO 15, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
0
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ismarys said:

"Don" is a voice most usual in Spain and some Latinamerican countries, for example in Cuba this voice is not used. Don Pablo, Dona Elena, but is the reference is by the last name, then we use the definite article: el senor Gómez, la señora Pérez Pablo Gómez is Don Pablo or Señor Gómez, Elena Pérez is Dona Elena or Señora Pérez

You should be more careful when writing in Spanish: people are here to learn, not only to speak, but to write as well.

And "don" is not a voice, but a noun.

updated AGO 15, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

I'm cuban my native lenguage is spanish, so I'm going to ry to do my best
"Don" is a voice most usual in Spain and some Latinamerican countries, for example in Cuba this voice is not used.
"Don" is used to refer to a person by his/her name: Don Pablo, Dona Elena, but is the reference is by the last name, then we use the definite article: el senor Gomez, la senora Perez
That means

Pablo Gomez is Don Pablo or Senor Gomez, Elena Perez is Dona Elena or Senora Perez

updated AGO 15, 2008
posted by ismarys
0
votes

James,
I´m really glad you brought the don/doña point because this was something I learned when I wrote the grammar references. I think, like you, I assumed that don and doña functioned like señor and señora. Only one of the books I used as a reference for writing the definite articles reference mentioned this, which is strange. Also, like you, I think I confuse enfrente de with in front of because they sounds so similar. I always have to think of a dance teacher I had in Spain repeating "delante...detrás...delante...detrás" to remember that it is delante, and not enfrente.
- Paralee

updated AGO 14, 2008
posted by Paralee
0
votes

Specifically "in front" means= "ENFRENTE"

updated AGO 13, 2008
posted by brenda3
0
votes

lazarus1907 said:
Prepositions? It is true that it behaves somehow like a preposition (not entirely), but "enfrente" is a kind of adverb called nominal adverb, because it is morphologically an adverb, but it can be combined with other nouns using the preposition "de".

Right you are (as usual). I guess if I had really thought about it, I would have realized this myself, since "in front of" isn't a preposition, either. But it sure did smell like a preposition. wink

Thanks!

updated AGO 13, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
0
votes

James said:

Thanks, Heidita and Guillermo, for the helpful replies. I guess the similarity in sound between enfrente and "in front of" is what threw me. The use of such prepositions has always been a weakness of my Spanish (one of many, actually...).

Prepositions? It is true that it behaves somehow like a preposition (not entirely), but "enfrente" is a kind of adverb called nominal adverb, because it is morphologically an adverb, but it can be combined with other nouns using the preposition "de". After all, it was originally two words: a preposition and a noun, so it has features from both. And you can also write it as "en frente" (even though it is not advisable).

Well... not very useful, but I though you might want to know.

updated AGO 13, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Thanks, Heidita and Guillermo, for the helpful replies. I guess the similarity in sound between enfrente and "in front of" is what threw me. The use of such prepositions has always been a weakness of my Spanish (one of many, actually...).

updated AGO 13, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
0
votes

2. The above sentence refers to a scene that takes place outside a fish shop. When I read "desde la acera de enfrente," I thought it meant "from the sidewalk in front (of the shop)," but it is clear from the context that the meaning is "from the sidewalk across the street." Is this obvious to a native? How would you say "in front"'

Yes, it is obvious.

In front of the shop?

delante de la tienda

updated AGO 13, 2008
posted by 00494d19
0
votes

1. The story repeatedly refers to don Pedro in the third person, without using the definite article. Is "don" an exception to the rule that titles of third parties take the definite article (such as with "el señor Gomez")'

Don never takes an article.

Fem: doña

Llegó doña María y......
Don Pedro era un hombre grande....

La anteposición de don (abreviado D.) al nombre de los varones y de doña (abreviado Dña.) al de las mujeres, no indica un título sino un tratamiento deferencial cuyo uso tuvo grandes variaciones a lo largo del tiempo.

Interesante el artículo en wikipedia:
[url=http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_%28tratamiento%29]http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_%28tratamiento%29[/url]

updated AGO 13, 2008
posted by 00494d19