Definite Article - Desayuno (los) cereales y (el) pan tostado

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by newhorizons, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. newhorizons

    newhorizons New Member

    English - UK

    I'm currently studying French and Spanish and am having some trouble understanding the usage and ommission of the definite article in Spanish. I've read that in Spanish it is used similarly to how it is used in English. My Spanish teacher, who is also a French teacher, has always taught us to define the article before each noun (so always a/some/the before nouns).

    However, if I take this example:

    For breakfast, I eat cereal and toast.

    Would this translate as...

    "Desayuno cereales y pan tostado."

    Or would we say...

    "Desayuno los cereales y el pan tostado."

    The second option is the way we've been taught but I've been told this sounds terribly foreign.

    Thanks for your help in advance.
  2. adrs Senior Member

    I would say:
    - Para el desayuno, tomo cereales y una tostada.
    - Desayuno cereales y una tostada. (I have cereales and a toast for breakfast)

    The second option you gave, sound terribly for me.
    Anyway, you could also say:
    ....pues yo desayuno los cereales con la tostada/con el pan tostado--->But it doesn't make much sense.

    (Check my english, please)
  3. newhorizons

    newhorizons New Member

    English - UK
    Thanks for your help - it's been really useful.

    When is the indefinite article of 'some' used? It's suprising that, unlike the French, you don't say 'unos cereales'.

    Oh, you'd say: "The second option you gave sounds terrible to me."
  4. adrs Senior Member

    Well, I could also say:
    - Todas las mañanas (me) tomo unos cereales con leche.
    (Every morning I have (some) cereals with milk)

    Some paper= algo de papel.
    Some pencils=algunos lápices.

    Sólo unos pocos niños saben nadar = Just a few children know how to swim.

    Do you see the differences?
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  5. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    English and French are not bad starting points, but I must warn you that in neither of the two are articles used quite the same way as in Spanish.

    A major difference between Spanish and English is that abstract nouns generally take an article in the former, whereas they generally do not in the latter.

    Careful! French des is a partitive, not an indefinite article!

    Where French uses a partitive, Spanish most often omits the article.
  6. anubiz Member

    medellin, colombia
    colombian spanish
    In Colombia, when you say when you use the definite article for something is because that saomething is something actually specific and ussually you have made reference to it before. But when talking in general or about habits, we omit the definite article.

    (yo)desayuno cereal(les) y pan

    Deayuno el cereal y el pan. NOT CORRECT, unless you have a list of items to choose from and you have to make a decision.

    EXAMPLE= Que quieres desayunar? el pan o el cereal?
    ANSWER= yo quiero desayunar el pan

    I love this forum, it's awesome!!!

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