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Using Articles When Referring to a Part of a Group

In this lesson, we would like to remind you of a very simple rule, which is nonetheless often forgotten even by native Spanish speakers. Let's start this lesson with a simple quiz. Which of the following sentences is incorrect?

 

Sentence A

Pero tenéis que entender que la mayoría de animales

But you have to understand that most animals

Captions 48-49, Amaya Mis burras Lola y Canija

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Sentence B

"Cultivaremos la mayoría de los alimentos en los océanos".

"We'll grow most of [our] food in the oceans."

Caption 3, Escuela BCNLIP Clase con Javi: el futuro - Part 3

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If you're not sure which sentence is incorrect, we invite you to read this lesson.

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A simple rule to keep in mind

In expressions in which a part of a group is mentioned, it is appropriate to keep the article (ella, los, or las) after the preposition de.  Let's look at a couple of examples with different expressions:

 

la mitad + de + article

 

Correct:

 

La mitad de los artistas deberían estar presos

Half of the artists should be in jail

Caption 34, Calle 13 Calma Pueblo

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Incorrect:

 

está limitado a la mitad de personas que pueden entrar habitualmente.

is limited to half the people who can usually enter.

Caption 32, Sergio Socorrismo y COVID-19

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In this sentence, the article is missing after the preposition de. Considering that, the following would be the appropriate way of saying this sentence:

 

está limitado a la mitad de las personas que pueden entrar habitualmente.

 

 

la mayoría + de + article

 

Correct:

 

es uno de los principales problemas ambientales de la mayoría de los países del mundo,

is one of the main environmental problems of most countries in the world,

Captions 8-9, 3R Campaña de reciclaje - Part 1

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Incorrect:

 

En la mayoría de casos, el burro es incautado por la policía de los animales

In most cases, the donkey is confiscated by the animal police

Caption 51, Santuario para burros Santuario - Part 1

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As you can see, in this sentence, the article is also missing after the preposition de. That said, the appropriate form would be the following:

 

En la mayoría de los casos, el burro es incautado por la policía de los animales

 

Can you now answer the question we posed at the beginning of this lesson?

 

While this mistake is not a dramatic one, we invite you to keep this rule in mind so you can construct these kinds of sentences properly. That's all for now. We hope you have enjoyed this brief reminder, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!

 

 

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