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Old 28th November 2009, 07:27 PM   #1
Konnor
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Default male and female nouns

Hi there,

I just wanted to check, for words that are masculine, such as colegio and hospital, and I wanted to say 'I work in a college' or 'I work in a hospital', would it be...

Trabajo en un colegio and Trabajo en un hospital?

And for female words such as office or clinic, would it be

Trabajo en una oficina and Trabajo en una clinica?

Or am I barking up the wrong tree slightly and it should be un -> a and una -> an (gender no important in this context)?

Following on from that, I have a book example that goes as follows

Y tú ¿trabajas en un hospital?
Sí, trabajo en el hospital de "La Paz".

I'm confused as to what the difference is between un and el, as it looks to be a hospital in both cases.

Many thanks,
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Old 28th November 2009, 08:18 PM   #2
apresencia
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Originally Posted by Konnor View Post
Hi there,

I just wanted to check, for words that are masculine, such as colegio and hospital, and I wanted to say 'I work in a college' or 'I work in a hospital', would it be...

Trabajo en un colegio and Trabajo en un hospital? YES, it's OK

And for female words such as office or clinic, would it be

Trabajo en una oficina and Trabajo en una clinica? YES, it's Ok

Or am I barking up the wrong tree slightly and it should be un -> a and una -> an (gender no important in this context)? gender is always importan in spanish

Following on from that, I have a book example that goes as follows

Y tú ¿trabajas en un hospital? YES, it's Ok
Sí, trabajo en el hospital de "La Paz".YES, it's Ok
I'm confused as to what the difference is between un and el, as it looks to be a hospital in both cases.

Many thanks,
un hospital= a hospital
el hospital= It's is an specific hospital (the hospital "La Paz")

Last edited by apresencia; 28th November 2009 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 28th November 2009, 10:06 PM   #3
lucas
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Mira, por si quieres más información, aquí te habla de los artículos determinados e indeterminados: http://babelnet.sbg.ac.at/carlitos/ayuda/articulos.htm
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Old 29th November 2009, 03:11 AM   #4
profa95
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Originally Posted by Konnor View Post
Or am I barking up the wrong tree slightly and it should be un -> a and una -> an (gender no important in this context)?

Both un and una mean a or an (depending on the English word).
Tengo un libro (I have a book)
Hay un elefante (There is an elephant).

Tengo una amiga simpática. (I have a nice friend)
Tengo una manzana (I have an apple)

Both el and la mean the.
Tengo el libro (I have the book)
Tengo la marcadora verde. (I have the green marker)
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Old 29th November 2009, 11:21 AM   #5
Juanjo
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Originally Posted by Konnor View Post
I'm confused as to what the difference is between un and el, as it looks to be a hospital in both cases.

The easiest way to understand it is remember that in English grammar "a/an" is the INdefinite article accompanying a generic noun; "the" is the Definite article accompanying a specific noun. Thus:

"I am sure there is
an hospital in that town" describing the concept of hospitals in general.

and

"I am sure
the hospital is in that town" describing a specific hospital.

Spanish is the same.

Last edited by Juanjo; 29th November 2009 at 11:21 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 29th November 2009, 11:49 AM   #6
Konnor
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Many thanks guys!

learning the male and female for most words and the formal and informal seems incredibly daunting!
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Old 29th November 2009, 02:33 PM   #7
mightykaboosh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juanjo View Post
The easiest way to understand it is remember that in English grammar "a/an" is the INdefinite article accompanying a generic noun; "the" is the Definite article accompanying a specific noun. Thus:

"I am sure there is
a hospital in that town" describing the concept of hospitals in general.

and

"I am sure
the hospital is in that town" describing a specific hospital.

Spanish is the same.
(sorry had to do it)
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Old 29th November 2009, 04:58 PM   #8
Juanjo
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Originally Posted by mightykaboosh View Post
(sorry had to do it)
Why? Some words beginning with the letter h have the primary stress on the second or later syllable. Pronouncing a as a schwa can diminish the sound of the schwa and melt into the vowel. Pronouncing it as a long a does not do this, but as the pronunciation cannot be prescribed, the word is spelled the same for either. Hence an may be seen in such phrases as an historic, an heroic, an hôtel of excellence, an hero. (Take a look at an English grammar book or Wikipedia)

Last edited by Juanjo; 29th November 2009 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 29th November 2009, 06:12 PM   #9
mightykaboosh
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an hospital, an hero, are you kidding me?

I'm sure johnny foreigner won't get any funny looks trying out those 2 examples. I can't believe that you would muddy the waters further to try and prove a point. I don't want to start a flaming match about this but come on, wikipedia is awash with errors.

Where is an hero when you need one?
Doctor my child needs medical attention, we'll send him to an hospital?
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Old 29th November 2009, 07:40 PM   #10
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About the ONLY place you will find "an" before an "h" these days is before the word "Historic/al". Grammerians have basically decided even that is an anachronism. "H" is a consonant, NOT a vowel
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Old 29th November 2009, 07:59 PM   #11
Juanjo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightykaboosh View Post
come on, wikipedia is awash with errors.

Where is an hero when you need one?
Doctor my child needs medical attention, we'll send him to an hospital?
Only a grammatically correct one! Pax!

the site, therefore, as a matter of course, one of
the very worst places that could have been chosen for the erection of an hospital.
British Medical Journal Sept 24 1859


By offering primary care access at the front of an hospital,

http://www.healthcareforlondon.nhs.uk/assets/Publications/Polyclinics/090323-Appendix-7.pdf

Specialised treatment is usually provided by an hospital or NHS Trust.
http://www.tsft.nhs.uk/AboutUs/FreedomofInformation/PartTwo/tabid/858/Default.aspx


"That forest-dell, where Lowood lay, was the cradle of fog and fog-bred pestilence, which . . . breathed typhus through its crowded school-room and dormitory, and, ere May arrived, transformed the seminary into an hospital. Semi- starvation and neglected colds had predisposed most of the pupils to receive infection: forty-five out of eighty girls lay ill at one time."
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë:

"Aberbargoed Hospital is an hospital in AberbargoedUK"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aberbargoed_Hospital


Electrical distribution of an hospital

http://www.schneider-electric.com/sites/corporate/en/solutions/business_segments/hospitals/secure-power/electrical-distribution-of-an-hospital.page

A serious and useful Scheme to make an Hospital for Incurables (Author: Jonathan Swift)

http://www.ucc.ie/celt/online/E700001-014/text001.html

NOT AN INN, BUT AN HOSPITAL. THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN and CANCER WARD
WILLIAMS Forum Mod Lang Stud.1973; IX: 311-332

http://fmls.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/IX/4/311



The constant provision of up-to-date information in an hospital is of crucial importance for good clinical practice but dissemination of relevant medical reference material is an expansive and time consuming activity.

http://www.chu-rouen.fr/dsii/publi/vidmie.html

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Old 29th November 2009, 08:46 PM   #12
greytop
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Obviously written by an andful of cockneys
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Old 29th November 2009, 09:03 PM   #13
Pippa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greytop View Post
Obviously written by an andful of cockneys


I was just thinking it may have been an hospital in Hackney!

(Juanjo, I know you are right, but it is not much used these days)

Last edited by Pippa; 29th November 2009 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 29th November 2009, 09:54 PM   #14
Garry Knight
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I have to agree with the others. The use of "an" with nouns beginning with 'h' is an anachronism. The only possible exception to this is the common use in the United States of "an herb", in which they don't pronounce the 'h' - something which sounds quite odd to us British who, as expected, say "a herb", pronouncing the 'h'.
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Old 29th November 2009, 11:50 PM   #15
Pippa
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British Medical Journal

The Lancet

Certainly it is not used in everyday English, but it is not wrong. I would say it is an archaism.

Last edited by Pippa; 29th November 2009 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 30th November 2009, 05:22 AM   #16
xan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightykaboosh View Post
an hospital, an hero, are you kidding me?

I'm sure johnny foreigner won't get any funny looks trying out those 2 examples. I can't believe that you would muddy the waters further to try and prove a point. I don't want to start a flaming match about this but come on, wikipedia is awash with errors.

Where is an hero when you need one?
Doctor my child needs medical attention, we'll send him to an hospital?
Mightykaboosh, you might as well just pipe down with the misplaced certainty. I am speaking here as an american--I don't myself say "an historian"-- but it is something I have come across repeatedly in writing from the UK. I had always supposed it reflected pronunciation differences between US and UK english; apparently not, since you are from the UK. But I am sure, as an impartial observer, that it is not uncommon. And it makes perfect sense in the case of those words where the h is not stressed or not heavily pronounced.

Confusing to foreigners? Perhaps, but then so is the rest of english grammar, pronunciation, etc...
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Old 30th November 2009, 10:40 AM   #17
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You sure are confusing me :P

I think we need an English grammar subforum!
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Old 30th November 2009, 10:58 AM   #18
Juanjo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greytop View Post
Obviously written by an andful of cockneys
'Ere mush! Wot the bleedin' 'ell going on 'ere wiv orl ver bleedin' sniping at us cockernees. Anywun ud vink we doant speak ver Queen's English. An anuvver fing! Wot's all vis shomuzzle abart ar grammer? Mine's darn the boozer sinking a dintime swift arf or vree.

Bleedin' cheek! Darn 'ere in Peckum, y'get as good English as wot vat bleedin' Brummie spoke, wotisname, oh yer, Biwell Shikesper or sumfing, innit!
Bleedin' sorcy gits!
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Old 30th November 2009, 11:06 AM   #19
greytop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Londoner_at_heart View Post
You sure are confusing me :P

I think we need an English grammar subforum!
And you a Londoner at heart!!
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Old 30th November 2009, 12:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greytop View Post
And you a Londoner at heart!!
Precisely. Heart truly a Londoner. Brain not so much!
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