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Spanish Definite Articles
Unlike English, which has only one definite article, which is “the", Spanish has 4 definite articles:
Generally you can use the Spanish definite articles the same way you use it in English, however there are some exceptions when definite articles are used in Spanish but not in English and vice versa, here are some examples:
Spanish is the language of Spain = El español es la lengua de España.
I’m going to school on Monday = Voy a la escuela el lunes.
President Juan Carlos lives in Madrid = el presidente Juan Carlos vive en Madrid.
Napoleon segundo = Napoleon the second
The exceptions are not very common, and they can be learnt with practice, so no worries!
Spanish Indefinite Articles
While we have (a / an / some) in English as indefinite articles, we also have un/ una. unos/ unas in Spanish .
In general, whenever un or una are used in Spanish, you need to use "a", "an", or "some to say the equivalent in English.
Un libro = a book
Una casa = a house
Unos amigos = some friends
Unas casas = some houses
The table below shows when they should be used according to the gender and number:
Sometimes Spanish seems to avoid using the indefinite articles in many places while English does like in occupations, affiliation, religion, before otro (other), after con (with) and sin (without), usually after tener (have)/ llevar (wear)...etc here are some examples:
Soy professor = I'm a professor
¿Eres musulmán? = Are you a Muslim?
Es artista = he is an artist
Compré otro coche = I bought another car
Escribo con lápiz = I write with a pencil
Trabajo sin descanso = I work without a break
No tengo carro = I don't have a car
Ella lleva camisa gris = She wears a gray shirt
¿Tienes hija? = Do you have a daughter?
If you're a new learner of Spanish, don't worry about these exceptions. First of all, they're not very common compared to the rule. Second of all, you can easily pick up the idea of when to use articles and when to not use them as you practice Spanish more. Now what you need to worry about is to memorize these easy rules in the summary section.
Summary of Spanish Articles:
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