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Quick answer
"El" is a definite article which is often translated as "the", and "arca" is a noun which is often translated as "chest". Learn more about the difference between "el" and "arca" below.
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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A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
1. (large box)
a. chest
Los exploradores hallaron un arca llena de monedas de oro.The explorers found a chest full of gold coins.
b. ark
A word or phrase that is no longer used in contemporary language and is recognized as being from another era (e.g. thou).
En la capilla está un arca que contiene reliquias santas.In the chapel there is an ark containing holy relics.
A feminine noun is almost always used with feminine articles and adjectives (e.g. la mujer bonita, la luna llena).
2. (boat)
a. ark
Noé construyó su arca para poder sobrevivir al Diluvio Universal.Noah built his ark so as to survive the Flood.
3. (strongbox)
a. safe
Siempre guardo las pertenencias de valor en un arca cuando me quedo en un hotel.I always keep my valuables in a safe when I stay at a hotel.
A plural noun indicates that there is more than one person, place, thing, or idea.
plural noun
4. (finance)
a. coffers
La inversión ha supuesto un gran desembolso para las arcas del estado.The investment has been a big expense for the nation's coffers.
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