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The articles (artículos) have the main purpose to indicate the gender (masculine or feminine) and number (singular or plural) of the nouns, as well as whether or not it is a specific noun (definite or indefinite).
There are eight different articles in Spanish, four belonging to the definite category and four to the indefinite one:
|Masculine||el; un||los; unos|
|Femenine||la; una||las; unas|
Definite articles are used to indicate a specific noun and they often correspond to the English the. However, in many instances where the definite article is necessary in Spanish, it is omitted in English.
In both Spanish and English, indefinite articles refers to one individual out of a general group. In their singular form, they often correspond to the English "a, an", while in their plural form, they stand for "some, a few".
Spanish has a "third gender", which is expressed by the neuter article lo. This form is invariable and it is mostly used to communicate an abstract idea.
Lo importante es que hayas llegado bien a casa. (What matters / The important thing is that you have arrived home safely.)
And now have a look at the Spanish articles subpages to have a more in-depth explanation of them.
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