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Spanish 101A

Spanish 101B

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The definite article refers to a specific item.

In English the definite article is "the". In Spanish the definite article also is "the", but there is more than one way to write "the" in Spanish!

In Spanish we need to consider the number and the gender of the word being described because an article is an adjective and has to match as any other adjective would. We have to consider if the word being indicated by the article is masculine or feminine, singular or plural.

For instance, in English when we refer to a specific book, we say "the book". When we talk about several specific books, we say "the books". The article "the" doesn't change in English if there is more than one book.

But it does in Spanish:

Here are the definite articles:

Singular Plural
Masculine el los
Feminine la las

An indefinite article refers to something or somethings in general.

In English the indefinite article is represented by "a" or "an" in the singular form and by "some" in the plural.

For instance, in English when we refer to a book in general, we say "a book". When we refer to an apple in general, we say "an apple". When we talk about several books, we say "some books". And several apples are "some apples."

Spanish also has indefinite articles with singular and plural forms, but, like the definite articles, it also has forms for gender as well.

Spanish has forms for gender and number:

  • un libro (a book)
    unos libros (some books)
  • Una manzana (an apple)
    unas manzanas (some apples)
  • Here are the indefinite articles:

    Singular Plural
    Masculine un unos
    Feminine una unas