This is a bilingual English/Spanish joke-- especially good for a class of native Spanish speakers. It also illustrates an important gramatical difference between languages (genders of nouns).
An Englishman went to Spain on a fishing trip. He hired a Spanish guide to help him find the best fishing spots. Since the Englishman was learning Spanish, he asked the guide to speak to him in Spanish and to correct any mistakes of usage. They were hiking on a mountain trail when a very large, purple and blue fly crossed their path. The Englishmen pointed at the insect with his fishing rod, and said, "Mira el mosca!" The guide, sensing a teaching opportunity, replied, "No, senor, 'la mosca'... es feminina."
The Englishman looked at him, then back at the fly, and then said, "Good heavens... you must have incredibly good eyesight."
感謝LionEnglish大師和DaSaGwa大師很迅速地回應了這題! 二位大師學問真的很淵博, 令我又羨慕又佩服!
- DaSaGwaLv 78 年前最佳解答
OK! it is really a nice joke! Let me try to explain to you why it is so funny:
First, let me tell you a little bit of noun gender in Spanish. In Spanish, majority of the noun has its own gender. Only a few that are neutral. Like English, for singular noun, you need articles. In Spanish, article needs to agree with gender. That means, masculine noun need masculine article. With this said, let's go back to the joke:
"mosca" means "fly" in English. It is a feminine and singular noun, so it needs a feminine and singular article, that is "la". However, the Englishman uses "el", that is for a masculine and singular noun. The guide just want to correct his using the wrong article. However, Englishman has a wild imagination that the guide has a good eyesight to SEE the gender of the fly (mosca).
Hopefully, you can understand my explanation.
By the way, for plural noun, it has plural article too. For example
las moscas (moscas = flies), so "las" is the article for plural feminine noun.
2012-11-16 10:57:03 補充：
masculine noun need masculine article ==> masculine noun needs masculine article.
2012-11-16 11:12:25 補充：
FYI, not only the article needs to agree with noun's gender and numbers, but also the adjective. For example:
una grandisima mosca = a large fly
muchas grandisimas moscas = many large flies
2012-11-16 11:16:50 補充：
therefore, if someone use:
una bonito mariposa = a beautiful butterfly
it would be a joke, because "mariposa" is feminine, but use a masculine adjective "bonito". Somehow you change the gender of mariposa in the middle of the sentence. It shall be "bonita".
2012-11-17 03:24:23 補充：
I was shivering for your follow-up question. To my surprise, that was it!參考資料： self
- LionEnglishLv 78 年前
很多歐洲語言名詞有分男性女性，使用不同冠詞。 西班牙文名詞，陽性用 el，陰性除 a 開頭之外，要用 la。
Mira el mosca!
No, senor, 'la mosca'... es feminina.
不不，先生， la mosca， 它是女性。