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  #1  
Old March 01, 2016, 09:32 AM
AlwaysLost AlwaysLost is offline
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How many?

I am using some memory aids and I need to make a sentence with the words.... La comunidad, cuanto(s)/a(s) and hay. I want to say how many people are there in the community.

Something like: ¿cuantos la gente en la comunidad hay?
Response: hay ventiseis la gente.

But I don't know if this is correct. Can you help me out. Also, when do I capitalize and when do I not capitalize?
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  #2  
Old March 01, 2016, 01:16 PM
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wrholt wrholt is offline
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a. "La gente" is the wrong word for "people" in your context. The word you want is "personas" (a countable set of individuals).

b. When "cuántos/cuántas" stands before a noun as in your context, it replaces all articles. Similarly, when a number or quantifier such as "muchos/muchas" or "pocos/pocas" stands before a noun to specify how many, either it replaces the article OR the article comes first.

In your context: "how many people" = "cuántas personas", and "twenty-six people" = "veintiséis personas".

So:

Q: *"¿Cuántas personas en la comunidad hay?"
R. "Hay veintiséis personas."

c. However, the question still is odd: it is unusual to put "hay" after the adverb of place "en la comunidad".

So, the best structure for your question and answer is:

Q: ¿Cuántas personas hay en la comunidad?
R: (Hay) veintiséis (personas).

d. Regarding capitalization: always capitalize the first word in a sentence. Some words must also be capitalized even when they are not the first word of a sentence. However, the customs for which words are always capitalized in Spanish are different than the customs for which words are capitalized in English.

For example, in Spanish one does not capitalize days of the week (lunes, martes, and NOT Lunes, Martes) or months of the year (enero, febrero, and NOT Enero, Febrero), or the names of languages, nationalities, ethnicities, and religious affiliations (inglés, español, canadiense, hindú, cristiano, and NOT Inglés, Español, Canadiense, Hindú, Cristiano) unless you are using these words as a proper name, such as a person whose name is Cristiano/Cristiana.

e. Please be careful to use accent marks where necessary: in standard writing "cuánto(s)/cuánta(s)" (written accent mark) asks the question "how many/how much", while "cuanto(s)/cuanta(s)" (no accent mark) has several uses conveying the idea of "unspecified number/amount", or coordinated with "tanto(s)/tanta(s)" to relate two unspecified quantities to one another. The are not equivalent.

Last edited by wrholt; March 01, 2016 at 01:19 PM.
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  #3  
Old March 01, 2016, 01:44 PM
AlwaysLost AlwaysLost is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrholt View Post
Q: ¿Cuántas personas hay en la comunidad?
R: (Hay) veintiséis (personas).

Thank you,

Why are you using cuántas over cuántos? If you don't know whether there are men in the group or not, wouldn't you just assume the group is mixed?
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Old March 01, 2016, 04:51 PM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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The feminine of "cuántas", suggested by Wrholt, is determined by the gender of the word "personas".
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  #5  
Old March 01, 2016, 06:25 PM
AlwaysLost AlwaysLost is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelicaDeAlquezar View Post
The feminine of "cuántas", suggested by Wrholt, is determined by the gender of the word "personas".

So I would use personos?
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  #6  
Old March 01, 2016, 06:49 PM
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JPablo JPablo is offline
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No, "persona" is always feminine.

If you want masculine you could use "individuos"...
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  #7  
Old March 01, 2016, 07:44 PM
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I think the OP is confused about what 'gender' means, when it comes to Spanish vocabulary. Spanish nouns are classified into two types, masculine or feminine. That classification has nothing to do with what or who the noun names.

persona = person (it doesn't matter what gender the person is - the word is feminine)
gente = people (this word is also feminine - it doesn't matter what people you're talking about)
individuo = individual (the word is masculine, but it names either a man or a woman)

It's unfortunate that 'gender' (masculine or feminine) is the word linguists chose to represent noun classification. Gender is certainly out of the question.
Otherwise, how could we allow a tie to be corbata (feminine) and a dress to be vestido (masculine)?
We need another designation for noun classification. Until that time comes, think in terms of class or category, not gender.
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  #8  
Old March 02, 2016, 04:23 AM
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The problem is the phrase "the word is feminine". You can't say that in Spanish.

An educated person will tell you

"Gente es de género femenino"

a less educated person will tell you

"Es LA gente"

Both clearly telling that "femenino" is not an adjective that affects "gente".
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  #9  
Old March 02, 2016, 02:45 PM
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I was only trying to get the point across, using terms we use in English, that it is the word, not the meaning of the word, that is masculine or feminine. That is how we are taught Spanish.
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  #10  
Old March 02, 2016, 04:11 PM
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I see. Maybe it's the right thing to tell in the beginning as género is such a foreign topic for English speakers.

But we say "gente es femenino y siempre singular" which only means it falls in the "género" (set of all items belonging to a category; nothing to do with a classification based on the reproductive system, nor gender as a male or female identity) that makes us place a "la" in front and coordinate with matching adjectives. I suspect that uses of "género" in phrases like "violencia de género" is an anglicism, and "gender" and "género" are a bit in the false-friend way.
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