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Grammar question (use or articles)

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Just a short question about the proper use of articles: Do you say "me ama siensa" or "me ama la siensa"? I'm not really sure why languages like Spanish and French have articles in those places (it seems unnecessary) so my guess is that LFN probably dispenses with the article, but I'm not sure. Daniel

  • "Me ama siensa" is fine. But "me ama la siensa" is also fine. The grammar says:
    "La" introduces a noun that denotes someone or something that the listener is already aware of. It is used [… when …] the thing is well known to everyone. This includes fields of study and abstract nouns.
  • And it gives the example "me no comprende la matematica". You can argue that "la" promotes a word like "matematica" to the status of a proper noun – Mathematics, the one and only! This is very similar to the standard use of "la" to form proper nouns from common nouns like "luna" or "urso grande". Simon
    • Thanks! It is interesting/odd that both are correct. But I do understand that this makes the language simpler. That page you linked to also gives the examples "me gusta cafe" and "me gusta la cafe" as valid ways to say "I like coffee". Daniel
    • Consider also the lack of difference in meaning between "the guitar is a musical instrument", "a guitar is a musical instrument", and "guitars are musical instruments" in English. Here "guitar" denotes every guitar (singular), i.e. all guitars (plural), and "the guitar" is in effect serving as a proper noun for the whole guitar species. In translating that sentence into LFN, "la gitar", "un gitar" and "gitares" would all be correct. Simon
      • Ha! I never thought of that. Thank you. Daniel
    • As a further interesting point, notice that "la" is often included merely to ensure that what follows is interpreted as a noun. This becomes important when what follows would otherwise be a verb: "me gusta leje", "me gusta leje esta libro"; "me gusta la leje", "me gusta la leje de esta libro". Simon
      • This difference is more subtle because (AFAICT) "me gusta leje" and "me gusta la leje" convey the same message. I can see it in Spanish ("me gusta leer" vs "me gusta la lectura"), but it's harder to explain in English (maybe "I like to read" vs "I like reading"...). Daniel
      • Yes, "me gusta leje" and "me gusta la leje" mean essentially the same thing. My analysis of "me gusta leje esta libro" would be that the entire clause "leje esta libro" is doing noun duty, in the role of object to the verb "gusta". So "me gusta leje esta libro" is really just a less verbose way of saying "me gusta (la ata de (leje esta libro))". And to come back to your point, "me gusta leje" and "me gusta la leje" are really just less verbose ways of saying "me gusta (la ata de (leje))". So the difference is purely stylistic. Simon

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