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Quick answer
"El" is a definite article which is often translated as "the", and "rico" is an adjective which is often translated as "rich". Learn more about the difference between "el" and "rico" 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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An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (wealthy)
a. rich
Su sueño era hacerse rico y viajar por el mundo.Her dream was to become rich and travel the world.
2. (culinary)
a. delicious
¡Qué rico está este pastel de zanahoria!This carrot cake is so delicious!
b. tasty
Se me antoja algo rico, pero no sé qué quiero.I'm craving something tasty, but I don't know what I want.
c. yummy
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
¡El pastel que hiciste te quedó bien rico!The cake you made turned out really yummy!
3. (abundant)
a. rich
El salvado es una fuente rica de fibra.Bran is a rich source of fiber.
4. (lovely)
Regionalism used in Spain
a. cute
¿Has visto lo rico que es el niño de Marga?Have you seen how cute Marga's little boy is?
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).
5. (wealthy person)
a. rich man (masculine)
Gloria siempre soñó con casarse con un rico.Gloria always dreamed of marrying a rich man.
b. rich woman (feminine)
Alberto quiere encontrarse a una rica para no tener que trabajar.Alberto wants to find himself a rich woman so he doesn't have to work.
A plural noun indicates that there is more than one person, place, thing, or idea.
plural noun
6. (rich people)
a. the rich
Este gobierno solo se preocupa por los ricos.This government just looks after the rich.
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