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Articles vs. Possessive Pronoun Adjectives

 

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Old October 31, 2009, 06:16 PM
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Articles vs. Possessive Pronoun Adjectives

"Abre los ojos" translates to "Open your eyes".

When do you use articles? And when do you use possessive pronoun adjectives?
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  #2  
Old October 31, 2009, 06:25 PM
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In Mexico, they tend to use the possessive adjective in your sentence. Elsewhere, the article is used, but only when the possessive adjective 'ties' to the subject of the sentence.
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Old October 31, 2009, 06:35 PM
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I should clarify.

I want to know why "abre los ojos" means "open your eyes" and not "open the eyes".
Why would you use "los" instead of "su" or "tu"?
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Old October 31, 2009, 07:07 PM
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the reason is on the tip of my tongue. Can't figure it out. Whoever can tell us what the answer is, I will also be grateful
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Old October 31, 2009, 09:30 PM
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The reason why we don't use possessive pronouns in those cases is because we consider it a pleonasm. If we want a person open his/her eyes, we assume that person can't open someone else's eyes. Same for things like washing someone's hands, having a body part aching, etc.


So we prefer "me duelen los pies" to "me duelen mis pies", because you can't feel the pain of someone else's feet.

Me lavo las manos. (I wash my hands)
Saco la lengua. (I stick out my tongue)
Meto las manos a los bolsillos. (I put my hands into my pockets)
Me duele la cabeza. (My head aches)
.
.
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Old November 01, 2009, 01:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelicaDeAlquezar View Post
The reason why we don't use possessive pronouns in those cases is because we consider it a pleonasm. If we want a person open his/her eyes, we assume that person can't open someone else's eyes. Same for things like washing someone's hands, having a body part aching, etc.
Pero sí que dirías a tu esposo "Lávale las manos al bebé", ¿no? Así que es un poco más complicado.
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Old November 01, 2009, 03:02 AM
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Originally Posted by pjt33 View Post
Pero sí que dirías a tu esposo "Lávale las manos al bebé", ¿no? Así que es un poco más complicado.
Porque no son sus manos. A él le diría: lávate las manos.
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Old November 01, 2009, 10:42 AM
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Claro, pero mi punto era que la razón por la que dices "Lávate las manos" (en vez de "Lava tus manos") no puede ser que es imposible lavarle las manos a otra persona. Debe haber otra razón por la que frases así se dicen con la persona como el objeto indirecto del verbo y no como un genitivo modificando el objeto directo.
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Old November 01, 2009, 10:53 AM
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Puede que lo encuentres absurdo del mismo modo que yo puedo encontrar absurdo que digáis "abre tus ojos" cuando es obvio que estás hablando de los ojos de la persona a la que te diriges.
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Old November 01, 2009, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjt33 View Post
Pero sí que dirías a tu esposo "Lávale las manos al bebé", ¿no? Así que es un poco más complicado.
Quote:
Originally Posted by irmamar View Post
Puede que lo encuentres absurdo del mismo modo que yo puedo encontrar absurdo que digáis "abre tus ojos" cuando es obvio que estás hablando de los ojos de la persona a la que te diriges.
I've been silently following this conversation. I've been working on my Spanish long enough to know that this is one of those things that is different from English ... just because it is.

I have to say that with the "lávale las manos al bebé" example, the proof is in the context given: you said that it's someone saying this to their spouse. I would propose that the context is crucial for understanding a statement using the definite articles where, in English, we would otherwise use the personal possessive pronouns.
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