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  Lección Noventa y ocho (98)
  1 The neuter article lo, which is very frequently used in Spanish has no exact equivalent in English.
However, it is very easy, by comparing a few examples, to get a very precise idea of it.
We find it especially before adjectives and participles used as nouns to express a quality, an acceptation that we can render in English by :
What is (adj.) in (or about, etc..) ;
or sometimes by a noun :
lo cierto, what is certain (is...) ;
lo malo de este negocio
: what is bad in this business (is...) ;
lo difícil del caso es que : what is difficult in the circumstance is that;
Io general, what is general, the generality;
por lo general, in general, generally;
lo mío : what belongs to me;
hay que devolver a cada uno lo suyo : one must give back to everyone what belongs to him;
lo de Juan : what belongs to John;
lo dicho : what has been said.

Before a relative, we shall translate it by what;
lo que hay : what there is;
lo que dices : what you say.

Let us remember a few phrases :
a lo más, a lo sumo, at the most;
por lo menos, at least;
a lo mejor, as well, perhaps indeed;
a lo más tarde : at the latest;
en lo sucesivo : in the future, henceforward,

Lo may also correspond to : how, in :
lo mal que trabajas, how badly [that] you work.
No sabes lo cansada que estoy : you don i know how tired (femin.) I am.
  2 ¿Cuál? — Which?
¿Cuáles? (plur.).
— You must keep in mind that cuál? and cuáles? are never followed by a noun :
¿cuáles el tuyo? Which is yours?
— Before a noun, it is replaced by qué, invariable :
¿Qué libro es tuyo? Which book is yours?
¿Qué platos escogió usted? Which dishes did you choose?
  3 Diminutives and augmentatives.
— The most current way of forming diminutives is to replace the final o or a by the suffixes -ito, -ita, -illo, -illa.
But one must be cautious, because there are many irregularities especially when the word ends in e, or a consonant:
the suffix is then : -(e) cito, -(e) cillo :
Thus : un puertecito (puerto), a little port;
un rinconcito (rincón), a little comer;
un airecillo (aire) a little breath of air;
un cafecito (café), a little café;
un pececito (pez), a little fish;
una cancioncita (canción) : a little song.

The most current, augmentatives are :
ón, ona, and, azo, aza :
un hombrón, a big man;
una casona, a big house;
un perrazo (perro), a big dog;
unas manazas (mano), big hands, etc...

Other suffixes of the same kind :
un hombrote : a poor fellow;
una mujeruca, an ugly little woman;
una casucha (casa) : a hut of a house;
un corpachón (cuerpo) : an unshapely body..., etc.
  4 A stroke of... : golpe;
dar golpes : to give blows.
But Spanish has two appropriate suffixes (azo and ada) which are added to the name of the instrument or object used for striking.
Azo is used for a smiting blow :
un martillazo (martillo), a stroke of the hammer;
un sablazo (sable), sabre-stroke;
un puñetazo (puño), a blow of the fist;
un zarpazo (zarpa) : a scratch.
Ada is used for a thrusting blow :
una cuchillada (cuchillo) : a stab;
una estocada (estoque), sword-thrust;
una lanzada (lanza) : lance-thrust;
una patada (pata), kick (of animal).

This rule is general, but not absolute; so, as with the diminutives, it must be applied cautiously, and checked.
We have also : una paliza (palo) a cudgeling;
un puntapié : a (mans) kick.
  5 El verano.
— Amanece temprano y anochece tarde; los días son largos y calurosos.
Es la época de las grandes faenas del campo :
se siega el heno, se cosecha el trigo, la cebada, y más tarde el maíz.
Como llueve poco, se secan los arroyos y las fuentes.
Pero a veces después de un día de calor sofocante o de bochorno, viene alguna tormenta :
relampaguea y truena, cae la lluvia a cántaros y menos mal si no graniza,
porque el granizo hace mucho daño en las cosechas.
Maduran las primeras frutas : las cerezas, las ciruelas, las manzanas, las peras, los melocotones y albaricoques.
— Day comes early and night comes late; days are long and hot.
It is the period of the great works of the country;
people mow the hay, reap the wheat, oats, and a little later, Indian corn.
As it rains little, the brooks and springs get dry.
But sometimes after a day of sweltering heat or sultry weather, a storm comes;
there are lightnings, it thunders, it rans heavily [at mugs], and it's lucky [less bad] if it does not hail,
for the hail does much harm to the crops.
The early fruit ripen : cherries, plums, apples, pears, peaches and apricots.
  Amanecer : to dawn, be day;
anochecer, to fall (night);
al amanecer : at daybreak;
al anochecer : at nightfall;
cuando cierra la noche : liter. : when the night is shut (as with a curtain) : when the night is dark.
Relampaguear : to flash (lightning) ; un relámpago : a flash of lightning.
Tronar : to thunder;
el trueno, thunder; el rayo, thunderbolt;
un pararrayos : a lightning-rod;
un rayo de sol : a sun-ray, -beam;
el radio de un círculo : the radius of a circle.