Definite Article in Spanish Made Easier

Table of Contents

What are definite articles?

  • So now we have learned that you have to choose between four definite articles: el, la, Los, and Las. 
  • You select the correct definite article depending on the noun that it follows that can be either masculine or feminine (i.e. their gender)

Tip: 

  • In English, there is only one definite article: the. 
  • In English, they can also be either singular or plural. 

 

What we already know?

In order to know what definite articles are, we need to do a quick review:

  • Nouns are people, places and things.
  • Adjectives are words that describe nouns. They have a gender and match in number or quantities. They can either be feminine or masculine. Usually nouns that end in -o are masculine and ones that end in -a are feminine. It’s not an absolute rule but a good rule to know.

Note: Nouns having gender is not something that is used in English, but don’t panic, we got this! Let’s review some examples as a refresher!

Definite Articles video lesson

Example(s):

Noun

Feminine or Masculine

Singular or Plural

 

mesa

mesa is feminine

mesa is singular

 

mesas

mesas is feminine

mesas is plural

 

carro

carro is masculine

carro is singular

 

carros

carros is masculine

carros is plural

 

What about nouns that do not end in -o or -a?

Noun

Feminine or Masculine

Singular or Plural

 

estudiante

Can be either feminine or masculine

estudiante is singular

 

estudiantes

Can be either feminine or masculine

estudiantes is plural

 

corazon

 

corazon is singular

 

corazones

 

corazones is plural

 

Tip: These will just need to be memorized, there’s no ‘rule’ for these!

DEEP DIVE! What is the focus from this lesson?

We are going to learn how to say the feminine singular and feminine plural and the masculine singular and masculine plural. 

Let’s look at this example together:

Me gusta _____ carro.

Me

gusta

_____

carro.

   

carro is singular and masculine

Me

gusta

el

carro.

  

el is the definite article

carro is singular and masculine

Tip: Él (he) vs el (the) (check out the subject pronoun video)

Me gustan _____ carros.

Me

gustan

_____

carro.

   

carro is singular and masculine

Me

gustan

los

carros.

  

los is the definite article

carros is plural and masculine

Me gusta _____ bicicleta.

Me

gusta

_____

bicicleta.

   

bicicleta is singular and feminine

Me

gusta

la

bicicleta is singular and feminine

  

el is the definite article

bicicleta is singular and feminine

What are definite articles?

  • So now we have learned that you have to choose between four definite articles: el, la, los and las. 
  • You select the correct definite article depending on the noun that it follows that can be either masculine or feminine (i.e. their gender)

Tip: 

  • In English, there is only one definite article: the. 
  • In English they can also be either singular or plural. 
  •  

How about when it’s a noun that ends in something other than -o or -a?

Noun

Feminine or Masculine

Singular or Plural

el

la

los

las

helado

Masculine

Singular

el

helados

   

Tip: definite articles in English are ‘the’ (specific); indefinite articles in English are ‘a’ (not specific) (check out the indefinite article video)

RECALL: el helado de chocolate (the chocolate ice cream)

What did we learn?

  • How to use nouns?
  • How to make nouns singular or plural? If it ends in a vowel add-s. If it ends in a consonant add -es.
  • How to determine if nouns are feminine or masculine? Most that end in -o are masculine. Most that end in -a are feminine. The others have to memorized.
  • How to add definite articles to nouns? Basically ‘the’ in English or a specific item like the chocolate ice cream. There are 4 el, la, los and las.

Table of Contents

  • I am Teacher Catalina.

  • I am a Spanish Teacher, a native Spanish speaker, and have been teaching Spanish in the USA for over 16 years, always teaching in a fun and engaging way. My passion ❤️ is to teach Spanish, share my expertise as an educator, and collaborate with people around the world 🌍.

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