Coordination: particularities




In this chapter are included some complex cases of coordination. In general, the articles and the prepositions should not be omitted when the supression causes that independent elements are understood as a whole.

1 Nouns with prepositional complements

  • If the prepositional complement of a singular noun is formed by two or more linked nouns, they are are part of a whole.

El campo de fútbol y petanca (= One field)

El collar de oro y diamantes (= One necklace)

El profesor de física y química(= One teacher)

The preposition might be repeated before the second noun without changing the meaning.

El campo de fútbol y de petanca(= One field)

El collar de oro y de diamantes(= One necklace)

  • If the singular noun is followed by preposition + noun + conjunction + definite article + preposition + noun, we talk about two different things.

El campo de fútbol y el de petanca(= Two fields)

El collar de oro y el de diamantes(= Two necklaces)

In this case it appears nominalization after the conjunction.

See Nominalization

  • If a noun in plural is followed by a prepositional complement formed by two coordinated nouns, this one refers to a single group.

Hay collares de oro y diamantes.(= They are all made of gold and diamonds.)

Los profesores de física y química(= They all teach both subjects.)

  • If a noun in plural is followed by preposition + noun + conjunction + preposition + noun, this one refers to two different groups.

Los profesores de física y de música(= Physics teachers and music teachers)

Hay collares de oro y de diamantes.(= There are two different groups of necklaces.)

2 Nouns with coordinated adjectives

  • If the adjectives used with a singular noun are linked by the conjunction y, they all refer to the noun.

La luz blanca y brillante(= One light)

Un día triste y frío(= One day)

  • If the second or the next coordinated adjectives used with a singular noun are preceded by article, they refer to two or more different elements.

El ministro alemán y el belga(= Two ministers)

El jersey amarillo y el verde(= Two sweaters)

See Nominalization

The same noun in plural, with the coordinated adjectives, is the equivalent of the former pattern.

Los ministros alemán y belga(= Two ministers)

3 Several coordinated nouns

  • If the coordinated nouns are preceded by article, refer to different things or persons.

El marinero y el poeta(= We talk about two people: one is a sailor, and another a poet.)

La princesa y la cantante(= We talk about two people: one is a princess and another a singer.)

Also, with prepositional complements or adjectives it is understood that they refer to different elements.

El gran marinero y el famoso poeta(= Two people)

La noble princesa y la conocida cantante(= Two people)

  • If the second coordinated noun is not preceded by article, it refers to only one thing or person.

El marinero y poeta(= One person who is a sailor and poet at once)

La princesa y cantante(= One person who is a princess and singer at once)

  • If two or more nouns with close meaning in reference to another one are coordinated, the first one of the series may be preceded by article, unlike the second one. It may happen that the article only agrees with first noun.

La estimación y cariño hacia los animales nos hacen más humanos.

No olvido las mentiras y patrañas que me explicaste.

  • If the meaning of the nouns is not close, each one of them is preceded by article.

Los melocotones y las cerezas de secano son más sabrosos.

He visitado los museos y las iglesias de la ciudad.

4 An adjective qualifying more than one noun

  • If a masculine plural adjective follows more than one masculine noun or masculine and feminine nouns at the same time, qualifies all the nouns.

El gato, el tigre y el leopardo son felinos.

Las plantas y los animales africanos están en aquella sección.

Me han regalado una bicicleta y un ordenador fantásticos.

We tend to move the masculine noun closer to the adjective.

Las plantas y los animales africanos están en aquella sección.

Los animales y las plantas africanos están en aquella sección, with the feminine noun next to the masculine adjective, sounds bad and we try to avoid it.

In the sentence: los animales y las plantas africanas están en aquella sección, is understood that the plants are africanas, but not the animals; in this last case the adjective only qualifies one of the nouns.

  • A feminine plural adjective following two or more feminine nouns qualifies both at the same time.

Dame la libreta y la goma nuevas.

  • If an adjective in plural precedes several nouns, it will agree with the first one, but refers to all of them.

Tengo buenas amigas y amigos.

5 Coordinated prepositional complements

In the first section of this chapter, the prepositional complements are also mentioned; then referring to the noun, now to the verb.

  • The preposition that rules before a pronoun may not be removed.

Pienso en ti y en mí.

No puedo vivir ni contigo ni sin ti.

  • If two different prepositions appear, both are retained.

Entramos en su casa y salimos de ella en menos de cinco minutos.

Voy al mercado y vuelvo de él todos los días.

However, the popular Spanish prefers shorter forms that the Academia considers incorrect.

Entramos y salimos de su casa en menos de cinco minutos. (Not advised)

Voy y vuelvo del mercado todos los días. (Not advised)

  • The Academia dissuades from preceding an element by several coordinated prepositions. However, this not advised use is common in popular Spanish.

Puede venir gente con y sin perro. (Not advised)

Puede venir gente con perro y sin él. (Advised by the Academia)

  • The second preposition may not be removed if any of the nouns is used with an adjective not affecting the rest of the nouns.

Nos ha hablado de plantas y de animales africanos.(= The animals were African; the plants were not.)

Nos ha hablado de plantas y animales africanos. (= The animals were African and the plants too.)

  • If the preposition before the second coordinated infinitive is removed, we understand that the complements refer to all the infinitives.

Aprendí a cantar y a bailar pasodobles. (= I learned to sing all kinds of songs and also learned to dance a particular type of dance, pasodoble.)

Aprendí a cantar y bailar pasodobles.(= I learned to sing and dance pasodobles.)





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