Take the 2-minute tour ×
Spanish Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Spanish language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I recently came across this sentence:

No tenemos fecha.

which means "We do not have a date." The context of this may be when making an appointment with the dentist and you are saying you do not have an appointment.

But why is "una" avoided, as doesn't one say

No tenemos una fecha

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

In spanish, the word "un/una" are not usually used to say "we don't have any ...". Actually if you add the "un/una" to the sentence, you should end the sentence with an adjective, for example:

"No tenemos una fecha disponible"

which means "We don't have any available date"

Hope it helps

share|improve this answer

I guess this is one of these things where there is no grammatical rule. In this particular case, I understand that fecha is something generic, so it would be like saying We don't have (any) dates. So you don't need to add una, actually it sounds weird if you put it there. A different example could be: No nos queda leche, which means We are out of milk or We don't have (any) milk

A similar case (but slightly different), would be: ¡Ya tenemos casa!, which means We have a flat now!. You don't have to add unaor la. You are referring to "your flat", "the flat", the one that you wanted or needed.

Hope it helps :)

share|improve this answer

In English, we tend to use the word "a" as an article a lot, just like Spanish uses "the" in the EL o LA forms. If this were to be written with Una, it wouldn't be completely wrong, rather just awkward since it's not as direct as possible. You really only need to use UN o UNA when referring to a quantity. In this case, the message was simple referring to one single thing, making it with out the Una quicker, more to the point and 'better' in terms of using it as a phrase.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.