The definite article in Spanish

The definite article in Spanish is similar to that in other Romance languages. There is a corresponding article in the singular as well as in the plural. This also differs for masculine and feminine nouns.

Moreover, it is important that the ending of the noun can change depending on the article.

The definite article with masculine nouns

If a noun is masculine, you need the article el in the singular and los in the plural.

  • el libro – los libros (the book – the books)
  • el hermano – los hermanos (the brother – the brothers)
  • el chico – los chicos (the boy – the boys)

Additionally, it helps that masculine nouns in Spanish usually have a specific ending.

  • -o – el chico (the boy)
  • -l – el hotel (the hotel)
  • -e – el coche (the car)
  • -r – el ordenador (the computer)

The definite article with feminine nouns

As soon as the noun is feminine, you use the article la in the singular and las in the plural.

  • la casa – las casas (the house – the houses)
  • la hermana – las hermanas (the sister – the sisters)
  • la mesa – las mesas (the table – the tables)

Feminine words also have clear endings in Spanish, so you can easily recognise them:

  • -a – la chica (the girl)
  • -ión – la cancíon (the song)
  • -ud – la salud (the health)
  • -e – la madre (the mother)
  • -ad – la posibilidad (the possibility)

But be careful: the masculine article with feminine nouns

Despite all the rules, there are special features in Spanish for the definite article. Feminine nouns in which the a at the beginning of the word is pronounced with emphasis or which begin with a silent h need the article el in the singular. There are no changes to the plural article.

  • el arma (the weapon)
  • el hambre (the hunger)

How to learn the definite articles in Spanish

The definite article in Spanish follows clear rules that make learning easier for you. Nevertheless, you should make sure from the beginning that you learn the words with the corresponding article so that you don’t have any problems later.

Don’t worry, our app Sabelovu will help you with this. It shows you every noun together with the article.

Do you have questions about the definite article in Spanish?

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