una pizca de sal

AdamB1Kwiziq community member

una pizca de sal

For this question:

"El guiso solo necesita una pizca de sal. No pongas ____ "


I couldn't decide whether it should be "tantas" or "tanta" because it wasn't clear to me at all whether the pronoun is referring to "una pizca" or "sal". If I recall correctly I put "tantas", attempting to agree with "una pizca" but it was the wrong answer. Is it possible that both might be acceptable in real world speech because of that ambiguity, or am I missing some clear difference?

(e.g. in English "This stew only needs one pinch of salt. Don't put too many" would sound a bit wrong, but technically would be correct for the same reason, in my opinion. Of course you'd usually hear "This stew only needs *a* pinch of salt. Don't put too much.". While salt is an uncountable noun (in most contexts), "pinch" is, of course, not!)

Asked 1 month ago
SilviaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola Adam

Your intuition about the ambiguity is understandable, but in Spanish, the choice between "tantas" and "tanta" in this context hinges on what is being described— the quantity of salt. Since "sal" (salt) is an uncountable noun in Spanish, similar to English, the correct form to use is "tanta" to match the uncountable nature of what you're referring to. So, the complete sentence would be:

El guiso solo necesita una pizca de sal. No pongas tanta.

Here, "tanta" refers directly to "sal", indicating not to put too much of it. While "una pizca" is indeed countable, it serves here merely to quantify the salt rather than to be the focus of the negation.

In everyday speech, you might hear variations, and speakers might play fast and loose with grammatical rules, especially in colloquial settings. However, from a strictly grammatical standpoint, "tanta" is the correct choice. Your comparison to English is apt, and just as in English, where we would say 'too much' to refer to an uncountable noun like 'salt', in Spanish, we use "tanta" to agree with the uncountable nature of "sal."

Saludos

Silvia

 
 
 
 

una pizca de sal

For this question:

"El guiso solo necesita una pizca de sal. No pongas ____ "


I couldn't decide whether it should be "tantas" or "tanta" because it wasn't clear to me at all whether the pronoun is referring to "una pizca" or "sal". If I recall correctly I put "tantas", attempting to agree with "una pizca" but it was the wrong answer. Is it possible that both might be acceptable in real world speech because of that ambiguity, or am I missing some clear difference?

(e.g. in English "This stew only needs one pinch of salt. Don't put too many" would sound a bit wrong, but technically would be correct for the same reason, in my opinion. Of course you'd usually hear "This stew only needs *a* pinch of salt. Don't put too much.". While salt is an uncountable noun (in most contexts), "pinch" is, of course, not!)

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Ask a question

Find your Spanish level for FREE

Test your Spanish to the CEFR standard

Find your Spanish level
Clever stuff happening!