Definite Articles in Spanish

In English, we have only one definite article: [the]

Spanish has four definite articles. Like adjectives, articles match their nouns in gender and number.
Masculine singular: el
Feminine singular: la
Masculine plural: los
Feminine plural: las

Spanish uses the definite article more often than in English. This sometimes seems strange for beginning Spanish speakers. Here are some times that the definite article is used in Spanish:

Before days of the week
Unless you are telling the day using ser (Hoy eslunes.), you must use the definite article before the name of the days of the week, which are all masculine.
Examples:
Tenemos una reunión el martes. [Wehave a meeting onTuesday.]
Vamos al parque los sábados. [WegototheparkonSaturdays.]

With titles
If you are talking about a person whose name includes a title, you should use the definite article before the title. (This is not true if you are talking TO the person.)
Examples:
La señora Rodriguez es mi profesora. [Mrs. Rodriguezis my teacher.]
La oficina del doctor Peréz está en el primer piso. [Dr. Perez' office isonthefirstfloor.]

When commenting about all nouns of a certain type
If you are making a statement about all members of a group, rather than referring to a specific item, use the definite article.
Examples:
Las mujeres son emocionales. [Women are emotional.]
La pizza esdeliciosa. [(The) Pizza is delicious.]
Note: This formation can sometimes be a little vague, as in the last example. It could be referring to a certain pizza, or to pizza in general, depending on the context.

With abstract nouns
When talking about a general concept rather than a specific item, you should use the definite article.
Hace frío en el invierno. [It's cold in winter.]
El amor es tortura. [Love is torture.]

Before the names of languages
The definite article is used with names of language except if it is the object of a verb like hablar, and when it is preceded by en.
Examples:
El chino es difícil. [Chineseisdifficult.]
El ingles es importante para el negocio. [Englishisimportantfor Business.]

Related Links:
Present Progressive Tense in Spanish
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Spanish Quizzes
Spanish Games
Spanish FlashCards


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