definite article following relexive pronouns

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by PW84, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. PW84 Member

    Born in U.S., native English speaker
    Buenas todos,

    I have a simple question, however, it naturally different for English speakers.

    Examples include,

    Me lavo la cara. en vez de Me lavo mi cara.
    Me lavo el coche. en vez de Me lavo mi coche.

    In which situations can the definite article become possessive?

    Gracias Todos
  2. Rayines

    Rayines Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
  3. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I second Rayines. Possession is indicated by the object pronoun me, rather than the articles.
  4. Bilbo Baggins

    Bilbo Baggins Senior Member

    Manhattan, NY
    American English
    I agree with the above. I just want to add something. Only when the objects in question are body parts, articles of clothing, or intimate possessions, do object pronouns denote possession. So saying: "I wash my car." doesn´t qualify.
    Saying: "Te lavé la cara." "I washed your face." Does. Also, possessive adjectives aren't used with body parts or clothing to denote possession. The articles are used instead. "My eyes" "Los ojos" NOT "Mis ojos"
  5. lazarus1907 Senior Member

    Lincoln, England
    Spanish, Spain
    The "general" rule is that you avoid posessives whenever the belonging relationship is obvious, but this applies mostly to parts of the body and sentences where other pronouns can determine these relationship:

    Me lavo mi cara :warn: -> Me lavo la cara ("me" indicates whose face we're talking about)
  6. ChocolateLover Senior Member

    More examples:

    Saquen los libros/Me gusta el/tu carro

    Espero que te sirvan de ayuda


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