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Quick answer
"El" is a definite article which is often translated as "the", and "ala" is a noun which is often translated as "wing". Learn more about the difference between "el" and "ala" below.
el(
ehl
)
A definite article is a word that identifies a noun as as specific or known to the speaker (e.g. the girl).
1. (general)
a. the
El gato está en el tejado.The cat is on the roof.
El teléfono estaba encima de la mesa.The telephone was on top of the table.
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ala(
ah
-
lah
)
A feminine noun is almost always used with feminine articles and adjectives (e.g. la mujer bonita, la luna llena).
1. (anatomy)
a. wing (of a bird, bat or insect)
Me encontré un pájaro con un ala rota.I found a bird with a broken wing.
2. (aviation)
a. wing
La ventanilla de mi asiento daba a las alas del avión.The window beside my seat looked out over the wings of the airplane.
3. (section of building)
a. wing
El incendio empezó en el ala norte del edificio.The fire started in the north wing of the building.
4. (sports)
a. wing (area)
Pérez se situó en el ala izquierda.Pérez positioned himself on the left wing.
5. (military)
a. flank
El ejército planeó un ataque por el ala izquierda.The army planned an attack on the left flank.
b. wing
El enemigo atacó por el ala derecha.The enemy attacked on the right wing.
6. (faction)
a. wing
El ala izquierda del partido quería convocar elecciones.The left wing of the party wanted to hold elections.
7. (part of hat)
a. brim
Juan se tocó el ala del sombrero.Juan touched the brim of his hat.
8. (part of roof)
a. eaves
El ave construyó un nido bajo el ala del tejado.The bird built a nest under the eaves of the roof.
9. (part of a table)
a. leaf
Compré una mesa extensible con dos alas laterales.I bought an extending table with two side leaves.
This means that the noun can be masculine or feminine, depending on the gender of person it refers to (e.g. el doctor, la doctora).
10. (player)
a. winger
El ala derecha del equipo se lesionó la rodilla.The team's right winger injured her knee.
b. wing
Las alas jugaron demasiado tiempo en el centro del campo.The wings spent too much time playing in midfield.
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