Definite Articles

  • 304
  • 2
  • 3
  • English 
Nov 15, 2017 03:16
This is one of the things Spanish learners struggle the most. I can understand it because we English learners have the same confusion, we do not know for sure when to use it.

Just to refresh your memory, the definite articles are: el, los, la, las (and "lo" the neutral article, that should be explained separately).

I'm going to mention some cases in which you should use the definite article. As always there are exceptions, but this should be a good guide.

1. With abstract nouns:

La belleza es algo pasajero (Beauty is fleeting)
La esperanza es lo último que se pierde (Hope is the last thing you lose)

2. With nouns used in a general sense:

El calcio es un elemento importante para la nutrición humana (Calcium is an important element for human's nutrition).
La vida es bella (Life is beautiful).

3. With body parts:

El corazón es un músculo muy fuerte (Heart is a very strong muscle).
Los ojos de esa niñita son hermosos (That little girl's eyes are beautiful).

4. With the adjetives "pasado" and "próximo":

El próximo sábado vamos al parque (We're going to the park next saturday).
Juan vino a mi casa el pasado miércoles (Juan came to my house last wednesday).

5. With professions:

El profesor es muy estricto (The teacher is very strict).
La arquitecta diseño un edificio espectacular (The architect desinged an amazing building)

6. With languages:

El italiano es una lengua muy bella (Italian is a beautiful language)
El ruso es muy difícil de aprender (Russian is hard to learn)

7. With seasons, days of the week, dates, and hours of the day:

El otoño es la mejor estación del año (Fall is the best season of the year).
El cinco de mayo es mi cumpleaños (My birthday is on the 5th of May ).
Mi amiga viene a las seis de la tarde (My friend is coming at six o'clock in the afternoon).
Los martes voy al cine (I use to go to the cinema on tuesdays).
Te veo el domingo (I'll see you on sunday).

8. To avoid repeating nouns:

Los libros de Ana y los (libros) de Pedro son viejos (Ana's and Pedro's books are old).