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Articles

The article is a kind of determinant updater, a category of morphology using certain language to update or clarify the reference of a noun, transforming it from unknown and abstract (“libro”) into known and concrete (“el libro”).

 

In traditional grammar, the article called determinant is defined as the undefined factor that relates to the meaning.

 

Nouns (Sustantivos) designate the actions, places, people, events, concrete or abstract ideas, and so on. In Spanish, these can be feminine or masculine, grammatically speaking. Sometimes, this classification does not make sense for an English speaking student. “La cama” (the bed) is not regarded as a genius of a “female object” nature, but as an inanimate object is feminine, because it ends in “a”, which is an indication of gender: most nouns ending in “a” are feminine in Spanish. There are some general rules that are not absolute on gender of nouns.

The articles are divided into definite (or determinants) and indefinite (or indeterminant).

 

* Items that are defined are those that speak of something known and can be identified.
* The indefinite articles are those that speak of something not known or cannot be identified.

 

Definite Indefinite
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Masculine el los un unos
Feminine la las una unas

The next slide show will help you understand the article


 

The following table provides some examples classified according to the article type, gender and number.

 

Definite Indefinite
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Masculine el auto los autos un auto unos autos
Feminine la casa las casas una casa unas casas

 

The contractions

 

The contractions occur when the article is preceded by the prepositions “a” or “de”. These form from the following structure:

 

Preposition

+

Article

=

Contraction

Examples

a

el

al

Voy al campo

de

el

del

Vengo del banco

 

The neuter article “lo”

 

It is used to mark abstract, and transforms adjectives into abstract nouns. No gender applies (female or male).

  • Lo difícil de aprender español son las conjugaciones.
  • Hay que aprovechar lo bueno de la vida.
  • Lo mejor de mi viaje fue…



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