pelo / el pelo

rthomes

Senior Member
english
Esta mujer joven tiene pelo negro. Este hombre joven tiene el pelo azul.

Why does one sentence use tiene pelo and the other tiene el pelo adding the el?
 
  • Fernita

    Senior Member
    castellano de Argentina.
    Maybe the difference is that her hair is black but he had it dyed.

    El tiene el pelo azul ahora. Antes lo tenía negro.
    I'd never say "él tiene pelo azul" because it's impossible to be born with blue hair. That's why I'd say: "El tiene el pelo azul. Se lo tiñó".
    Hope it helps you.
     

    chefsita

    New Member
    Perú Español
    I think that it´s because the sentence is comparing the hair of both person
    " Ella tiene pelo negro en cambio él lo tiene azul"
     

    Fernita

    Senior Member
    castellano de Argentina.
    I think that it´s because the sentence is comparing the hair of both person
    " Ella tiene pelo negro en cambio él lo tiene azul"

    I don't think that's the reason because, if that's the case, we can say:
    "Este joven tiene pelo azul. Esta joven tiene el pelo negro.", but it doesn't sound natural at all.

    Just want to add something that may help.

    Would you say "El tiene pelo azul" or "El tiene el pelo azul"? I'd say "El tiene el pelo azul" referring to the momento of speaking. Maybe tomorrow "El tiene el pelo colorado". Pero no nació con el pelo azul ni colorado.
     
    Last edited:

    fenixpollo

    moderator
    American English
    I agree with Fernita.

    In my mind, "tiene pelo negro" is describing a characteristic of the person, like saying "she is a black-haired girl".

    On the other hand, "tiene el pelo azul" is describing the hair, not him: "he has blue hair (right now)"; or "his hair is blue".
     

    Guillo1

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Argentina
    Actually, from a strictly grammatical point of view, both are correct. You CAN say "él tiene pelo azul" or "yo tengo pelo negro". No need to use the article. In practice, using the article sounds more of description and not using it sounds like a statement... kinda like saying "I wear my hear short" instead of saying "I have short hair".
     

    rthomes

    Senior Member
    english
    Can you also explain the rule for using an article in front of a body part. I thought normally you would use the article. Like- La niña se cepilla el pelo. Ellos se lavan las manos con jabón. If you have now of an article that explains this well please let me know. I searched but couldn´t find one.
     
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