When to Use a Definite Article in Spanish

However, if you`re targeting people with their headlines, leave the article aside. Why so much? Remember that the article in Spanish must match the gender and name number. For example, if you use a singular noun and a feminine noun, your particular article must also be singular and feminine. The most important area to resist the temptation to translate directly from English is when talking about identity. The article is used before most personal titles when it comes to people, but not when talking to them. El señor Smith está en casa. [Mr. Smith is at home.] But, hola, señor Smith (hello, Mr. Smith). Doctora Jones asistió a la escuela.

(Dr. Jones attended school.) But, Dr. Jones, ¿como está? (Dr. Jones, how are you?) The is also often used when talking about a famous woman who uses only her last name. La Spacek durmió aquí. (Spacek slept here.) Before turning to the exceptions for Spanish articles, I would like to give you some examples of situations to demonstrate the contrast between specific Spanish articles and indefinite articles. The first sentence uses a particular article because it refers to a particular burger – the one on the plate. The second sentence uses an indefinite article because it is not about a particular hamburger, but about the concept of a hamburger. As mentioned above, you need a specific article to talk about a known element or place, and an indefinite article to talk about an element or place in general. Cities, continents, countries, states, and regions usually don`t need an article in Spanish. For example: practice makes perfect. Knowing the rules for specific and undefined articles in Spanish is only the first step.

Now you need to use them – ideally in a conversation. The translation of this word into Spanish is also the most common pair of words in the Spanish language, the specific Spanish articles: el and la. And, of course, remember that any associated adjective must be feminine, even if you use the article el: el águila blanca (the white eagle). Just like body parts, use the particular item if you use a possessive pronoun in English for clothing. However, there are also times when you use the particular article in Spanish, but not in the English translation. Below are some useful guidelines for remembering when to use the particular article in Spanish. Although this list is not exhaustive, it gives you a good idea of some uses of Spanish-specific articles that do not conform to the use of the English language. Use the plural article to talk about the usual actions. The last for date and time, when it comes to talk time and you`re not talking about a specific time between 1 and 11, you need to use a preposition (a or de) instead of an article. The days of the week are usually preceded by el or los, depending on whether the day is singular or plural (the nouns of the days of the week do not change in the plural).

Voy a la tienda el jueves. (I go to the store on Thursday.) Voy a la tienda los jueves. (I go to the store on Thursdays.) The article is not used in any form of verb ser to indicate which day of the week it is. Hoy es lunes. (Today is Monday.) Note that the months of the year are treated in the same way in Spanish as in English. Specific and undefined articles in Spanish are perfect because you use them in the same way as articles in English in most situations. In Spanish, the article is abandoned, why? ¿Me puedes dar mil dólares? In English, we rarely use specific or indefinite articles when we talk about the days of the week. Of course, there are certain specific circumstances that require the use of an article (“the Monday after the next”, for example). But in general, we are used to having prepositions before weekdays. As you may have noticed in the sample sentences, the Spanish articles do not necessarily correspond to the English translation. Indefinite articles refer to a person or thing that is not defined or specific.

In English, use “a”, “on” and “some”. In Spanish, there are still 4 options available depending on the number and gender. Streets, avenues, squares and similar places are usually preceded by the article. La Casa Blanca está en la avenida Pennsylvania. (The White House is located on Pennsylvania Avenue.) Let`s briefly check out what the specific and indefinite Spanish elements are. Seasons usually require the specific item, although it is optional after, in, or some form of ser. Prefiero los inviernos. (I prefer winter.) No quiero asistir a la escuela de verano. (I don`t want to go to summer school.) If there is exactly one of something, use the indefinite article for feminine and masculine nouns in the singular.

Much more common are the cases where you do not use the article in English, but you need it in Spanish. The most common uses are listed below. Spanish names are often accompanied by a particular article, and they are often used in cases where an article would not be used in English. It`s tempting to think that if Spanish has specific and undefined articles like English, you can easily translate them from one language to another. Unfortunately, you usually can`t. When it comes to talking about date and time, you usually need an article in Spanish. Just like English, Spanish has a specific article and an indefinite article and the concept remains the same. If you are talking about possessions or creations in Spanish, use the specific item.

In English, the particular article is “the”. The indeterminate elements are “a” and “on”. In Spanish, gender and number are questioned, so you have more options to match the name. Language names require the article unless they immediately follow in or a verb commonly used by languages (especially Sabre, Aprender and Habellar, and sometimes Entender, Escribir or Estudiar). Hablo español. (I speak Spanish.) Hablo bien el español. (I speak good Spanish.) Prefiero el inglés. (I prefer English.) Aprendemos ingenuous. (We are learning English.) As in English, the particular article is used to identify a particular name or to refer to a name that has already been specified. You can also use the singular of the Spanish undefined articles un and una to describe a set of “one”. Be careful, as this is contrary to English usage. If you want to talk about a group of things or people in general, you need to use a specific article in Spanish.

That`s why you need to learn when to use the particular articles in Spanish instead of just trying to translate them. Some items are often used with body parts and clothing in Spanish. Unlike the last examples in the previous section, if you`re not talking about fixed plans, but about the date in general, you should drop the article. .