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SPANISH-ARTICLES

General Introduction

Spanish nouns are nearly always introduced by a definite or indefinite article.

THE DEFINITE ARTICLE

The definite article, the equivalent of the English, the, takes five forms depending on whether the noun is masculine or feminine singular or plural; or the neuter case (for specific situations). For example:-

el coche / los coches the car / cars
la piscina / las piscinas the swimming pool / pools
 

The use of the definite article in Spanish is much more comprehensive than in English. This is a list of the instances when it is used:-

1 When nouns are used in a general sense.

French wine is the best - El vino francés es la mejor

2 When telling the time.

It's nine o'clock - Son las nueve

3 Titles and names.

Professor cox spoke on the universe - El profesor Cox hablo sobre el universo

4 Measurements and weights.

Olives cost three Euros a kilo - Las aceitunas cuestan tres euros la kilo

5 Days of the week.

On Thursdays we play golf - Las jueves jugamos el golf

6 Parts of the body.

I have a headache - Me duele la cabeza

7 Languages.

Spanish and English are important languages - El español y el inglés son idiomas importantes

8 When the infinitive is used as a noun.

Working a lot is not good - El trabajar mucho no es bueno

9 Lo, the neuter article, is used with adjectives or adverbs to express abstract ideas or quality

We try to see th good in all people - Tratamos ver lo bueno en today gente

 

THE INDEFINITE ARTICLE

There are four indefinite articles in Spanish representing the masculine, feminine and plurals of: a (an); some or a few

he is driving a car el conduce un coche
she is buying some pens ella compra unos boligrafos
it was an awful fue un terrible problema
they are eating some apples ellos comen unas manzanas

Here is a list of when the indefinite article is used:-

1 To describe an unspecific quantity or number

We have about eighty fruit trees - Tenemos unos ochenta arboles de frutas

2 To indicate a single unit within a general group

A Maserati is one of the fastest sports cars today - Un Maserati es un de los mas rapidos coches hoy.

3 To link a person with a noun describing a quality

They are devils - Ellos son unos diablos

Here is a list of when the indefinite article is not used:-

1 With nouns of nationality, occupations or professions after SER

I am a doctor - Soy medico. He is a priest - El es sacerdote

2 With nouns which are not specific regarding quantity

Do you grow any strawberries in the garden - Creces fresas en el jardin

3 When a noun is preceded by certain words eg tal(es), medio(a), qué, otro(a)

I don't believe such a thing - No creo tal cosa

They are leaving in half an hour - Salen en media hora

What good luck - Qué buena suerte

I would like another drink please - Me gustaria otro beber per favor

 

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