How do you count words? Ashley Wagner discusses the question as part of our video on the number of words in the English language.
The indefinite article a or an is translated by un before a masculine noun, una before a feminine noun:
a car = un coche
an actress = una actriz
Singular feminine nouns, however, that begin with a stressed or accented a or ha take the article un rather than una:
an eagle = un águila
a fairy = un hada
The article is not translated in the following cases:
With jobs and professions:
she’s a lawyer = es abogada
he works as a waiter = trabaja de camarero
But the indefinite article is translated when there is a qualification:
he’s a good dentist = es un buen dentista
she is an excellent teacher = es una profesora excelente
After what a:
what a shock! = ¡qué susto!
what a big dog! = ¡qué perro más grande!
After such a:
how could you do such a thing? = ¿cómo pudiste hacer eso?
I have never said such a thing = nunca he dicho tal cosa
it’s such a bore = es tan aburrido
Before a certain when qualifying a subject noun:
a certain man = cierto hombre
When expressing prices in relation to weight or length, the indefinite article is translated by el before a masculine noun or la before a feminine noun:
it costs 2 dollars a pound/3 dollars a meter = cuesta 2 dólares la libra/3 dólares el metro
When a means per, there are various translations:
twice a week = dos veces a la or por semana
three times a day = tres veces al día
50 miles an hour = 50 millas por hora
A lot of people get compliment and complement confused: they’re pronounced in the same way and have very similar spellings but they have completely different meanings.
The question of whether the word internet should be capitalized is so passionately debated and rife with controversy that it has its own Wikipedia article.
We’ve delved into the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary to come up with some historical substitutions for hug as a verb.