de largo que de ancho, de larga que de ancha

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There are two similar problems in this book. The first one begins like this (my translation):

Una piscina tiene el doble de largo que de ancho. / A swimming pool has its length equal to twice its width.

The second one says:

Una parcela mide el triple de larga que de ancha. / A plot of land measures three times as long as it is wide.

My question is why did largo and ancho change to the feminine versions in the second sentence? Both the subjects are feminine. The verb changed from tener to medir, but what difference does that make'

2784 views
updated NOV 4, 2008
posted by Natasha

5 Answers

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Whew. No wonder we couldn't figure it out. Thanks!!

lazarus1907 said:

:

Una parcela mide el triple de largo que de ancho. / A plot of land measures three times as long as it is wide.

It is a mistake: complements with "de" do not agree with the previous word, and the direct object where it belongs doesn't have to agree with the subject neither.

El largo de la piscina (feminine).

El largo del cuarto (masculine).

Tres metros (masculine) de largo

Tres pulgadas (feminine) de largo

However, if the verb "ser" had been used instead (or "estar" or "parecer"), but no "de", the agreement would be compulsory, since "atributos" must agree:

Una parcela es más larga que ancha.

>

updated NOV 4, 2008
posted by Natasha
0
votes

:

Una parcela mide el triple de largo que de ancho. / A plot of land measures three times as long as it is wide.

It is a mistake: complements with "de" do not agree with the previous word, and the direct object where it belongs doesn't have to agree with the subject neither.

El largo de la piscina (feminine).
El largo del cuarto (masculine).

Tres metros (masculine) de largo
Tres pulgadas (feminine) de largo

However, if the verb "ser" had been used instead (or "estar" or "parecer"), but no "de", the agreement would be compulsory, since "atributos" must agree:

Una parcela es más larga que ancha.

updated NOV 4, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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I'm hoping it's simply wrong. How could an adjective follow "de"?

samdie said:

My frst impulse is to say that the author simply made a mistake in the second sentence. However, If we consider the difference (in English) between "has a length that is twice the width" versus "is three times as long as (it is) wide", in the first case we are dealing with nouns and in the second with adjectives. That said, I would prefer that Lazarus come along and say, simply, that the second sentence is wrong.

>

updated NOV 4, 2008
posted by Natasha
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votes

Oh yeah, I see your point and I have no idea. The subjects are both feminine...I don't see it. Maybe it's what they call 'poetic license'. hehehe

updated NOV 3, 2008
posted by LadyDi
0
votes

My frst impulse is to say that the author simply made a mistake in the second sentence. However, If we consider the difference (in English) between "has a length that is twice the width" versus "is three times as long as (it is) wide", in the first case we are dealing with nouns and in the second with adjectives. That said, I would prefer that Lazarus come along and say, simply, that the second sentence is wrong.

updated NOV 3, 2008
posted by samdie