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:
- Definite articles: el, la, los, las < the
- Indefinite articles: un, una, unos, unas < a, an
|Masculine||el; un||los; unos|
|Femenine||la; una||las; unas|
Spanish definite articles
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.
- El chico de la puerta a lado se llama Miguel. (The name of the boy who lives next door is Miguel.)
- Los chicos de la puerta a lado son gemelos. (The boys who live next door are twins.)
- Me encanta la comida italiana. (I love Italian food.)
- Me gustan las zanahorias. (I like carrots.)
Spanish indefinite articles
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".
- Tengo un abrigo nuevo. (I have a new overcoat.)
- Hay unos perros en el patio de mi abuela. (There are a few dogs in my grandmother's courtyard)
- Tengo una falda nueva. (I have a new skirt.)
- Compramos unas peras. (We bought some pears.)
Spanish lo - the neuter article
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.)
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