HomeQ&ALas manzanas son una fruta sana.

Las manzanas son una fruta sana.

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This is a sentence in a picture dictionary in my local library. English version: Apples are a healthy fruit.

Is that right in Spanish? (It just sounded funny to me, like it should be plural: unas frutas sanas.)

2901 views
updated OCT 29, 2008
posted by Natasha

3 Answers

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By the way, you CAN say in English:

The apple is a healthy fruit.

It sounds just fine and has the same meaning as "Apples are a healthy fruit." In fact, I think I like the singular version better.

Lazarus1907 said:

:

La manzana es una fruta sana.

updated OCT 29, 2008
posted by Natasha
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Thanks, it makes sense.

I wish I could find children's books that were translated the other way (written in Spanish, translated to English), as that would be more helpful to Spanish learners. However, they seem to be scarce to the point of non-existent.

lazarus1907 said:

It sounds to me as if the translator did his/her best to make the translation as literal as possible, no matter what the effect in Spanish.

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updated OCT 29, 2008
posted by Natasha
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It sounds to me as if the translator did his/her best to make the translation as literal as possible, no matter what the effect in Spanish. It sounds too much, yes, but I don't think it is wrong. I would have said:

La manzana es una fruta sana.

But the agreement used in the original sentence is fine, because "ser" is used to classify, and they are not saying that each apple is a healthy kind of fruit, but all of them can be regarded as one kind of healthy fruit, so meaning takes preference over agreement. Even in English, the agreement is ignored, as you are saying "apples", in plural", and " a (fruit)", in singular: several things are one. In any case, an alternative like mine, both meaningful and respecting the agreement is preferable.

The translator probably ignored that English uses the plural without article in these cases, but Spanish frequently uses the singular with the definite article without referring to a specific apple.

updated OCT 29, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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