Definite article?

RC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Definite article?

Puse solo la mitad de la harina en el bol.

I only put half the (quantity of) flour in the bowl.

Ella tiene el doble de hermanos que él.

She has twice as many siblings as he does.


Why is it de LA harina, but not de LOS hermanos? Is the definite article always skipped after doble de? There was a quiz question for "________ tiempo" meant to be filled with doble. Would it be "el doble de" or "el doble del"? 

Asked 3 weeks ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola R

When we use the article here with quantities like la mitad de ... or el doble de ... we will use the article when we are thinking about something specific. For example I can say this with or without the article:

1. Puse solo la mitad de la harina en el bol.

2. Puse solo la mitad de harina en el bol.

In 1.,  I am using the article because I am referring/thinking about an exact quantity of flour; something that I have already read on the recipe in front of me, for example. Then with la harina I am referring to that specific [quantity] of flour.

In 2., without the article the sentence would have more of a general meaning and referring to "flour" in general. So if I say "la mitad de harina" I am saying that whatever quantity is needed (I don't know yet) I put half. It is an unknown quantity of flour so far. 

With the example about "doble the brothers", to be honest, this explanation above doesn't quite fit because even though we are not using an article here, the speaker does know how many brothers the other person has, otherwise he wouldn't have said it. It would sound a bit odd to use it with the article. I will do a bit of research and will let you know. 

Inma

Definite article?

Puse solo la mitad de la harina en el bol.

I only put half the (quantity of) flour in the bowl.

Ella tiene el doble de hermanos que él.

She has twice as many siblings as he does.


Why is it de LA harina, but not de LOS hermanos? Is the definite article always skipped after doble de? There was a quiz question for "________ tiempo" meant to be filled with doble. Would it be "el doble de" or "el doble del"? 

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