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Spanish Grammar: Articles
Gramática Española: Los Artículos

The first stop in Spanish Grammar is the articles (Los artículos).

Articles in Spanish are divided into 2 types: definite and indefinite articles.... Just like in English!

Definite Articles in Spanish

Definitive articles are generally used in Spanish whenever they are used in English, except that in Spanish they are repeated before each noun to which they refer: el hombre y la mujer (the man and the woman.)

In Spanish grammar, articles also appear:

  1. before nouns, including infitinives, used in a general sense: El pan es bueno. (Bread is good.) El viajar es agradable. (Traveling is pleasant);

  2. before titles (except don, and direct address): El señor Lopez esta aquí (Mr Lopez is here.) But you say Buenos dias, señor Lopez. (Good morning, Mr Lopez). Don Alfonso est&aaacute; aquí." (Don Alfonzo is here.);

  3. before days of the week, except after ser and seasons: Voy el lunes (I'm going on Monday.) But you say Hoy es lunes (Today is Monday);

  4. before names of languages, except immediately after the verb hablar, (to speak), de (of), en (in): Estudio el español (I study Spanish). But you say Hablo español (I speak Spanish);

  5. before names of certain cities and countries, and with modified geographical names: el Perú (Peru), la Argentina (Argentina); la America del Norte (North America);

  6. before parts of the body and articles of clothing, instead of possessive adjectives: Me lavo las manos (I was my hands); Me pongo el sombrero (I put on my hat).

  7. before terms of time and quantity, instead of "a", "an", and "per": un dóllar la docena (a dollar a dozen).

The definite article el forms contractions with the prepositions "a" and "de": a and el become al (to the, at the), and de and el become del (of the, about the, from the).

These contractions are used only before masculine singular nouns: Doy el libro al hombre (I'm giving the book to the man.) Hablamos del libro (We're talking about the book).

Indefinite Articles in Spanish

Indifinite articles in Spanish are generally used whenever they are used in English, except that in Spanish they are repeated before each noun to which they refer: Un hombre y una mujer (a man and [a] woman).

Indifinite articles are omitted:

  1. before unmodified predicate nouns denoting profession, occupation, nationality, and rank: El es médico (He is a doctor.) But you say El es un medico famoso (he is a famous doctor); Ella es una mexicana simpática (She is a chaming Mexican);

  2. before otro, otra (another) cierto, cierta (a certain...) cien, ciento (a hundred), mil (a thousand); and otro hombre (another man);

  3. after qué (what a...): ¡Qué mujer! (What a woman!) ¡Que día!;

  4. when the numerical "one" is superflous: No lleva sombrero (he doesn't wear a hat).

When "un" or "una" appear in the plural (unos, unasthey mean "some".

That was not too bad for a first step in Spanish Grammar, was it?

It gets even better and more interesting when you go beyond Spanish articles!

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