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Gender of bebé

 

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  #1  
Old January 09, 2009, 05:44 PM
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Gender of bebé

I wish there was a "new language learners" sub-forum. Most of the other questions I see posted here are much more advanced than where I am in my learning. I am using Rosetta Stone to begin learning Latin American Spanish.

I was working through my most recent lesson, which is all photo based. There was a photo of a woman with a baby (obviously a girl baby, pink sweater, hair in a cute little pig tail and so on). They have been really good about not showing ANY people of indeterminate gender. So I'm sure that the baby was a girl.


Anyway - the sentence that they were looking for was "Este es mi bebé." But I thought that "bebé" was like "policia". Doesn't the article change when the gender of the person is known? Like a female police officer is "LA policia" and a male officer is "EL policia". Isn't "bebé" the same - matching el o la with the gender of the actual baby, if known?

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  #2  
Old January 09, 2009, 05:55 PM
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I think in Este es mi bebé you don't need the article
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Old January 09, 2009, 05:59 PM
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You're RIGHT! I worded my question incorrectly. What I meant was if it should be "ESTE" or "ESTA". THANK YOU!!
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Old January 09, 2009, 06:19 PM
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you're welcome ^_^
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Old January 09, 2009, 06:21 PM
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But do you have an answer as to why it's "Este" and not "Esta"?
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Old January 09, 2009, 07:05 PM
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well I think this
there isn't a gender rule thing for este and esta. I THINK it can be both...
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Old January 09, 2009, 08:01 PM
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The word bebé is a masculine noun, no matter the actual sex of the infant.
Its definite article is el. Its indefinite article is un.
The word este is a masculine demonstrative pronoun. It was correctly used in your language course, because demonstrative pronouns must match gender.

Don't confuse sex (gender) with Spanish noun gender. Spanish noun gender should be thought of as noun type. There are two types of nouns in Spanish.
There is no noun gender in English. Using masculine and feminine as English labels for the Spanish noun types was a bad idea. We English speakers try to associate every object with a gender. That doesn't work very well, especially in a language where a dress is masculine (vestido) and a tie is feminine (corbata)!

Some will argue that bebé is both masculine and feminine, meaning that the article can be switched according to gender. You'll find evidence that supports this idea on the Internet. But, it isn't so in most places.
All the dictionaries I looked at say the word is masculine.

You usually use bebé when talking about a newborn or a suckling child. If you want to know what sex the baby is, you ask '¿Es niño o niña?' After you know what it is, then you can start using él or ella instead. This isn't any different than in English when we say, "What a beautiful baby!" "Is it a boy or a girl?"
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Old January 09, 2009, 08:08 PM
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interesting I learned something. Hope you got it now, laepelba
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Old January 09, 2009, 08:28 PM
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Some Caribbean people often use nene baby boy and nena for a baby girl, and completely avoid the use of bebé.
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Old January 09, 2009, 10:10 PM
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here`s some examples words well known like BB.^_ ^
bebe; boy, el chico, el niño, el chamaco, el nene,
bebé: girl, la chica, la niña, la chamaca, la nena.

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