Facts to deal with Spanish definite articles

Facts to deal with Spanish definite articles

Updated April 19, 2023

When it comes to your mind about definite articles in Spanish, it might have grabbed your attention why there are several ways to say “The” in Spanish.

Something already known

Firstly, it is remarkable to mention that definite articles are used to talk about something that is already known by the listener. Take for example, “The pen  is on the desk,” which means “El lapicero está en el escritorio.” It makes reference to a specific “pen”.

General ideas

Secondly, something peculiar about definite articles is that they are also used in order to denote  general ideas. Case in point, “Los libros son interesantes” > “ Books are interesting.” Another example to clarify: “Las profesoras son dinámicas.”> “Female teachers are dynamic”.This characteristic can confuse English speakers because a general view in English is expressed without articles.

Gender in articles

Thirdly, gender is a vital matter. It is well known that Spanish nouns have gender (feminine and masculine). To illustrate,  words like “la gallina” (“the hen”, feminine) and “el gallo” (“the rooster”, masculine). Thus, it is essential to identify the gender of nouns and the best way is to notice  these suffixes for feminine: a, -tad, -ed, -sión, -ción, -dad and -iz. Similarly, those in masculine: -o, -on, -or and -l.

Singular and plural nouns

One other important fact is the number, a noun can have two forms: singular and plural. One example can be “ la casa” “las casas” and “el carro” “los carros” respectively. Moreover,  when articles such as: “el”,” los”, “la”, and “las” introduce words, both definite articles and nouns must agree on gender and number. For instance,“la niña – las niñas” which means,  “the girl(s)”, feminine and “el niño – los niños” denotes “the boy(s)”, masculine.

Now that you are more familiar with definite articles, you can construct better phrases in Spanish. Before saying goodbye, I encourage you to study at Bright Lingua as it offers courses according to students’ purposes.

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