BB08 – BB14 Review of Systems Update!

Learn vocabulary for describing the skin and joints. Practice useful grammatical constructions for describing bodily states and changes.

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  • Es correcto decir “su pecho” en vez de “ el pecho” en la frase “ ¿Ha sentido un bulto en su pecho?” También es correcto decir “su cuello” en vez de “el cuello” en la frase “ ¿Ha sentido un nódulo en su cuello?” Gracias!

    • Hola Lauren,

      Gracias por tu pregunta. This is a very common question. Yes! You can definitely use a possessive adjective (e.g. su, tu, mi) in those cases. I would say that when it is obvious to whom you are referring, or to whose body part you are referring, it is more common to use a definite article. However, it is not uncommon to use a possessive adjective.

      I would note that when we use an indirect object pronoun (e.g. “le” or “te”) to refer to the patient, then we should use the definite article before the body part.
      Example: Le voy a examinar el abdomen.

      A variation of this would be to omit the pronoun “le” and use the possessive adjective “su” before the body part.
      Example: Voy a examinar su abdomen.

      Also, when using reflexive verbs, which contain a reflexive pronoun, it is best to use a definite article before the body part.

      See: Verbs with the Body in Spanish

      Espero que te haya sido de utilidad esta explicación.

  • Hola Molly!
    Tengo una pregunta
    Por qué dices ,”Ha sentido un bulto en su pecho? “y no “el pecho” como los otras partes del cuerpo? Y ” Ha sentido un nódulo en su cuello?” y no “el cuello?”
    gracias.
    Eileen

    • Hello Eileen,

      This is a a great question. Here, you could use either SU or EL before CUELLO. It is more common to use a DEFINITE ARTICLE (el,la) before a part of the body, but it is not uncommon to use a POSSESSIVE ADJECTIVE (su, tu). Many times either one is perfectly acceptable, but there are situations in which one may be more common than the other.

      When it is obvious whose body you are referring to, it is more common to use a DEFINITE ARTICLE (el, la). For example, if you were to use a pronoun (SE, LE, TE) to refer to the patient, then it would be more common to use the definite article.

      Examples:

      ¿SE cepilla LOS dientes todos los días?
      Ahora, LE voy a escuchar LOS pulmones.

      To clarify whose body you are referring to, you can use the possessive article before the body part: “¿Ha sentido un bulto en SU pecho?” However, “¿Ha sentido un bulto en EL pecho?” works as well.

      We talk about the choice between SU or EL/LA before parts of the body in other lessons.

      Espero que mi respuesta sea clara.

      Molly

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