HomeQ&AEl agua !!!

El agua !!!

2
votes

Bonjour !
This is my first message on this forum as I started the course 2 days ago.
I speak french but I ask my question in english :
Why do we say "el agua" as the final letter is feminin ? I suppose it should be "la agua"? but even in french, we have some exceptions which are really boring !!! Thank you in advance for your answer.

20350 views
updated FEB 10, 2010
posted by Marielle-SULMONI

32 Answers

5
votes

Bienvenue!

A feminine noun that starts with A or HA and is stressed on the first syllable takes the masculine article in the singular form.

el agua, las aguas
el hacha, las hachas

updated MAR 12, 2011
posted by 00bacfba
3
votes

What about 'hache'? Is it "la hache" like "la ce", "la eme", and all other letters of the alphabet, or does it still fall under your phonetic rule?

Excellent question. I had never thought about it, but it is indeed an exception to this rule. I have no idea why the rule is not applied to it. Maybe someone can enlighten us. As far as I know (which isn't really all that far), this is the only exception to the rule, and this seems to be confirmed by some googling just now.

Mark Baker wrote:

So if there was a need to write 'Good Water? in the singular it would be 'buen? since agua is a singular masculine noun and then changes to 'bueno? for the plural, since the plural aguas is a feminine plural noun? Is that right?

Agua is not a masculine noun, it is a regular feminine noun. The only thing that changes is that the articles el and un and the indefinites algún and ningún proceed such nouns in masculine form. This is done for the purpose of euphony only. Agua is feminine in all of its forms.

Words that are not stressed on the first syllable do not fall under this rule: la alhambra, la harina, la acné.

Also, the article goes back to being feminine if there is an adjective between it and the noun: la cristalina agua, la tremenda hambre (but "el hambre").

updated OCT 17, 2013
posted by 00bacfba
This is great. Thank you. - Lrtward, FEB 10, 2010
2
votes

With regards to el agua, the el does not have a tilde on the "e" unlike él other definate articles.

Actually "él" means "he"; the article "el" never takes the accent.

And by the way the tilde is the little squishy thing (~), the one that goes on top of ñ. What goes on top of vowels is called the "acute accent".

updated FEB 10, 2010
posted by 00719c95
1
vote

As far as I know (which isn't really all that far), this is the only exception to the rule, and this seems to be confirmed by some googling just now.

According to B&B, there are a few others: Women's names (la Ana, la Ángela), la aya, la haz, la Haya, la árabe, la ácrata, and abbreviations (la AUF).

Saludos smile

updated OCT 18, 2009
posted by Vikingo
1
vote

Hey Beethoven, I was taught it was called the "acute accent" in French many years ago .....and the other is the "grave" accent

There's also the circumflex accent (â), the umlaut (ä), the cedilla (ç)... but anglophones can be forgiven for not knowing much about all this nonsense smile

updated OCT 18, 2009
posted by 00719c95
1
vote

What about "la águila"? If the rule has exceptions then it does not help at all.

It's not an exception, and it should be "el águila."

updated OCT 18, 2009
posted by 00bacfba
0
votes

Hay que tener en cuenta que en el español corriente (Méx.) por vicio de dicción se dan las contracciones y es común oír:

¡mira l'águila! (el águila)

¡pásame l'acha! (el hacha)

Tony, no es un vicio, sino una tendencia natural al hablar que las gramáticas denominan sinalefa. En el lenguaje hablado espontáneo es lo normal, y se considera totalmente correcto incluso en situaciones formales; esas frases solo se pronuncian por separado y sin "contracciones" al hablar muy despacio o al hacerlo de un modo casi artificialmente cuidado.

updated MAY 5, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Thanks, I hadn't thought to do a search. I did find the old posts that addressed this question.

updated MAY 5, 2009
posted by alice_m
0
votes

Please do a search for previous topics, as this has been discussed many times. In English you say "a cat", but you don't say "a arch", but "an arch"; that change from "a" to "an" to softens the transition between both words, and avoids that double "a a". Similarly, in Spanish, when a feminine word beginning with an stressed "a" sound (remember that the H has no sound in Spanish), the article "la" changes to "el", pretty much like "a" changes to "an" in English.

Other words like this:

águila
hacha
arma

Ah, and it is "grammar", not "grammer". The word comes from Latin grammatica (through French "grammaire"); you are not "grammering" anything.

updated MAY 5, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

I was reviewing some of the spanish grammer lessons under the reference tab. The lesson on definite articles refers to agua as male - "el agua". The lesson on indefinite articles refers to agua as female - "una agua". Is this an error or does the gender of agua change? Thanks

updated MAY 5, 2009
posted by alice_m
0
votes

Hay que tener en cuenta que en el español corriente (Méx.) por vicio de dicción se dan las contracciones y es común oír:

¡mira l'águila! (el águila)
¡pásame l'acha! (el hacha)

updated ABR 20, 2009
posted by AntMexico
0
votes

jajaja Robert Austin.....Lazarus is waiting for you in the car park and his sleeves are rolled up and he looks mean.

Lol

updated ABR 19, 2009
posted by Robert-Austin
0
votes

Gracias por la pregunta. [size=3][/size]

updated ABR 18, 2009
posted by Cathy-Silva
0
votes

Woaaaohhhh ! I didn't imagine that my simple question would be at the origin of a such intensive discussion ! thank you, and I'll try to remember the rules and exceptions.

updated ABR 18, 2009
posted by Marielle-SULMONI
0
votes

jajaja Robert Austin.....Lazarus is waiting for you in the car park and his sleeves are rolled up and he looks mean.

updated ABR 18, 2009
posted by Mark-Baker
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