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Spanish Definite Articles

 

Unlike English, which has only one definite article, which is “the", Spanish has 4 definite articles:

 

Spanish Definite Articles

 

Singular

Plural

Masculine

el

los

Feminine

la

las

 

El Hombre (the man), Los Chicos (the boys)

La Mujer (the woman), Las Chicas (the girls)

El libro es rojo (the book is red)

La casa es grande (the house is big)

Los amigos de mi padre (the friends of my father)

Las chicas altas (the tall girls)

 

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:

 

Spanish Indefinite Articles

 

Singular

Plural

Masculine

un

unos

Feminine

una

unas

 

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:

 

Definite Articles:

 

Spanish Definite Articles

 

Singular

Plural

Masculine

el

los

Feminine

la

las

 

Indefinite Articles:

 

Spanish Indefinite Articles

 

Singular

Plural

Masculine

un

unos

Feminine

una

unas

 

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