I have these sentences from the exercise:
1. In addition, they improve colds. Además, mejoran los resfriados
2. They have vitamins and minerals. y tienen vitaminas y minerales
In sentence 1, though the English is 'colds' (without the article), the Spanish sentence has los resfriados
In sentence 2, both the English and Spanish do NOT have the articles.
Is there a rule for when to use the articles? Can you point me to some info?
Freeform Writing Exercise A1
Unfortunately there is no hard rule on when to use the articles or not. We have certain structures that need the article and don't admit the omission of them, like when using gustar "Me gusta EL chocolate" or with subjects "EL alcohol es perjudicial.".
There's a tendency to use them when the noun it's referring to is something we identify in our minds when talking and are a bit more specific and we drop it when the nouns are used more as general concepts. In these sentences:
mejoran los resfriados
we're seeing resfriados as something specific, and in
y tienen vitaminas y minerales
we think of these things as general concepts "vitamins and mineral in general".
It's quite tricky to decide which way to go, but unfortunately, the only way to master articles is being exposed to both spoken and written Spanish and see each time which kind of meaning/ interpretation is given to the nouns that use or not use articles.
Sorry we can't be more precise.
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