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El agua está contaminada?

GregorioSpanish NoviceWed, 01 Apr 2009 19:42:50 +0000
At approximately 24:30 in lesson audio 4.4 of advanced, Carmen says: "El agua está contaminada."

This is yet another confounding use of combining the definite masculine article with a feminine adjective. In another thread I pointed out another such occurrence in the lesson talking about bank interest rates. But let's just focus on this one for the time being.



nohabloSpanish NoviceWed, 01 Apr 2009 20:14:35 +0000
Thanks to the book _Correct Your Spanish Blunders_, which I bought just a few days ago, I can answer this. The word "agua" is feminine, but because it begins with an a, it is preceded by el rather than la for pronunciation purposes. This same principle applies to words beginning ha-, such as el hambre (which is feminine and means the hunger). The book gives several example sentences:

El agua está fría - The water is cold.
Tengo mucha hambre - I'm really hungry
Te amo con toda el alma - I love you with all my heart/soul.
GregorioSpanish NoviceWed, 01 Apr 2009 20:43:12 +0000
Ah, thank you. I will try and find that book.

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