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LEARN SPANISH DEFINITE ARTICLES

Spanish Definite Articles are the words we use to define the nouns (specifically). In Spanish we have four definite articles, we are talking about the words "el, la, los, las". In Spanish the article will always precede the noun that it is determining.

Example

El perro. (the dog) (article + noun)

La casa blanca en la colina verde.(The white house on the green hill) (article + noun + adjective + preposition + article + noun + adjective)

Unlike English, in Spanish we distinguish between masculine and feminine, singular and plural forms in the articles, adjectives and nouns . So the Spanish articles "el, la, los, las" are the equivalent to the English article "the". The four forms are:

Masculine singular

Masculine plural

Feminine singular

Feminine plural

el

los

la

las

SOME GENERAL USES

We use the definite article when we speak about the names of oceans, streets, seas, rivers, lakes, mountains, islands.

Example

El Mediterráneo es un mar tranquilo.

The Mediterranean is a quite sea

El Océano Atlántico es muy frío.

The Atlantic Ocean is very cold

El Támesis es el río que cruza Londres.

The Thames is the river that crosses London

Los Pirineos separan España de Francia.

The Pyrenees separates Spain from France

El Lago Ness está en Escocia.

The Loch Ness is in Scotland

Las Canarias son unas islas privilegiadas.

The Canary Islands are privileged islands

We use the definite article when we refer to churches, schools, prisons, hospitals and other public places regarding their generic use.

Example

Ella va a la escuela.

She goes to school

James está en el gimnasio.

James is at gym

El hombre está en la cárcel.

The man is in prison

Ellos están en el hospital.

They are in hospital

We use the definite article in front of the names of substances, materials, colours and languages.

Example

El hierro es duro.

Iron is hard

El español es fácil.

Spanish is easy

El azul es un color bonito.

Blue is a beautiful colour

We use the definite article when we speak about the meals of the day: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Example

El desayuno es a las diez.

Breakfast is at ten

La comida se sirve a partir de las dos.

Lunch is served from two o'clock

La cena es en el salón azul.

Dinner will be served in the Blue Saloon

We use the definite article when we speak about parts of the body with the verb "to have".

Example

Peter tiene los pies muy bonitos.

Peter has beautiful feet

Esther no tiene los pies planos.

Esther does not have flat feet

La niña tiene el pelo rubio.

The girl has blonde hair

SOME GENERAL OMISSIONS OF THE DEFINITE ARTICLE

We do not use the definite article when we speak about the countries, cities or regions.

Example

Vivimos en España.

We live in Spain

Eres de Midrid.

You are from Madrid

Tu hermana está en America.

Your sister is in America

We do not use the definite article in front of the names of the months.

Example

En enero hace frío.

In January it is cold

En julio es tu cumpleaños.

It is your birthday in July

En mayo es nuestro aniversario.

Our anniversary is in May


Spanish Indefinite Articles