Learn About Spanish Articles

By OptiLingo

Overview of Spanish definite and indefinite articles

Understanding grammar will help you on your way to foreign language fluency. When learning the Spanish language, it’s important to know that similar to English, Spanish makes use of definite and indefinite articles. Spanish definite articles refer to a specific item, and are similar to the word “the” in English. Spanish indefinite articles refer to a general or non-specified item, and are similar to “a” or “an” in English.

In contrast to English, however, Spanish articles vary depending on the gender of the noun they refer to. (Don’t worry, we’ll cover noun gender in the section on Spanish nouns.)

Spanish articles also vary depending on whether they refer to a singular item or more than two, plural items. In English, for example, we only use ‘the’ for all nouns, but in Spanish we have to use ‘el’ if the article precedes a singular masculine noun, or ‘los’ if the article precedes plural masculine noun.

Here’s a summary of Spanish direct articles:

QuantityNoun GenderSpanish

Direct Article

singularmasculineel
singularfemininela
Pluralmasculinelos
Pluralfemininelas

El libro – The book

La mesa – The table

Los niños – The boys

Las niñas – The girls

QuantityNoun GenderSpanish

Direct Article

singularMasculineun
singularFeminineuna
PluralMasculineunos
PluralFeminineunas

Un libro – a book

Una mesa – a table

Un niño – a boy

Una niña – a girl