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The use of the article

 

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  #1  
Old July 22, 2008, 06:03 AM
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The use of the article

Do you find that Latinamericans use the article (el, la, los, las, un, una ) less than people from Spain? I am almost certain that this is true, but I would like to hear if others agree with me.

Also, I have a question for the people from Spain in these forums. Do you find that the article is often left out in everyday speech, or does the leaving out of the article sound foreign?
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Old July 22, 2008, 06:08 AM
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I think the article is never left. We skip names, and so on, but not articles.
original "Mi tia se fue de excursión a la playa con los amigos de la escuela"
left "Mi tia se fue de excursión a playa con amigos de escuela"
sounds veeery bad.
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Old July 22, 2008, 06:31 AM
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I agree with Sosia. You can never leave the article out, unless it's required by the sentence...

¿Quieres agua?
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Old July 22, 2008, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sosia View Post
I think the article is never left. We skip names, and so on, but not articles.
original "Mi tia se fue de excursión a la playa con los amigos de la escuela"
left "Mi tia se fue de excursión a playa con amigos de escuela"
sounds veeery bad.
The sentences sure not only sound bad without the articles, they´re also not correct, unless you want to communicate another thing, but sometimes when spanish speakers talk really fast, it sounds like they´re leaving out the articles(though they´re not).
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Old July 22, 2008, 06:40 AM
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This is really interesting. Sosia's example "son amgos de escuela" is something I believe I hear among Latin Americans or maybe it's the way I (as an English speaker) hear it. School friends and friends from the school have different meanings to me.

Do you find that English speakers leave out the article a lot?
Do you find that Latin Americans leave out the article sometimes too?
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Old July 22, 2008, 08:54 AM
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One thing to consider is that I think Mexican Spanish has been influenced a lot more by English than Iberian Spanish.

For example, you hear a lot of things like: Me duele mi pie, whereas in Spain I don't think they would ever say that- It would be Me duele el pie.
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Old July 22, 2008, 09:51 AM
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Yes, amigos de escuela is certainly used (you'll find evidence of that fact on the Internet). I know this is substandard usage, but it exists still the same.

I believe it is good to know and use correct grammar. The way I see it, you've two options when you are conversing with someone that uses substandard English. If you believe you'll offend or sound snobbish, and you're comfortable with using substandard speech, you may choose to speak the same way. Or, you can speak correctly. Some may take offense, some may learn something new, and some people just don't care.

I usually try to use grammatically correct English, but there are some grammar rules that are falling out of favor and I'm forced to realign my views.
For example, it is grammatically correct to say 'It is I,' but most people prefer 'It's me.'
Another example that is quite common nowadays is, 'Eat healthy vegetables.' Food can't be healthy. It can promote health, so it is healthful. I haven't seen any carrots pumping iron at the gym or parsnips doing pilates, but, try as I might, I just sound odd to everyone else if I use the correct word.

Last edited by Rusty; July 22, 2008 at 12:06 PM.
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Old July 22, 2008, 11:39 AM
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Languages change over time. What we call correct grammar today certainly wasn't for Shakespeare, and most likely won't be in one hundred years. That's why I prefer grammar that describes how speakers use the language instead of prescribing how people should use language.
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Old July 22, 2008, 11:55 AM
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How refreshing!

I totally agree with you David.

As an interpreter I have found that if I use medically correct terms, many people will not understand what I am saying so what I do is that I bring it down a notch and then "educate" them in the proper way of calling the test, procedure, condition, etc.

I think it makes (helps) them feel more at ease and know that I am not snobbish and in fact am here to help them.

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Old July 22, 2008, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
... you've two options when you are conversing with someone that uses substandard English. If you believe you'll offend or sound snobbish, and you're comfortable with using substandard speech, you may choose to fit in. Or, you can speak correctly.
Rusty, I don't think this is common nor even possible in Spanish for a Spanish speaker. It works other way than English. First of all, you will never offend other people just by talking correctly. Most of Spanish speakers speak correctly (more or less). Register doesn't have anything to do with correction. A low register can be correct, and a high register can also be incorrect, although it's more uncommon. Even you can go to little villages inhabited by non scholarized people who speak a perfect Spanish with some idioms, sounds, vocabulary and good habits that have been lost in high educated enviroments. Nevertheless, when you speak Spanish, you've got two or more options, but nobody will speak incorrect Spanish as an option.

I think substandarized English (you use this term, and it sounds efficient to me) is actually really standarized. This doesn't happen with Spanish. So, you don't have that choice. What's the other choice but to speak your own idiolect? Not to say technical words? To say swering words? Of course, you are not talking a substandarized Spanish.
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