Chapter 4   --   All about the

In Spanish, the word “the” is formed as follows :

                             masculine singular = el            masculine plural = los

          example:      el toro ( the bull)                       los toros ( the bulls)

                             feminine singular = la               feminine plural = las

          example:      la persona ( the person)             las personas ( the persons)

It can be seen from these examples that the word "the" must agree in number and gender with the word it modifies.


In general, usage is the same in Spanish as in English, but there are a few differences.

* Parts of the body, and clothing are referred to with an article rather than a possessive form.

examples:               She has blond hair.                  Ella tiene el pelo rubio.

                             My stomach hurts me.              Me duele el estómago.

                             I put on my shoes.                    Me puse los zapatos.

* An article is always included to express the hour of the day.

          examples:    It is one o’clock.                       Es la una.

                             I go to bed at ten.                     Me acuesto a las diez.

* An article is always included with days, months, and seasons of the year

          examples:    We start on Monday,               Comenzamos el lunes.

                             I visited Chile in September.    Visité Chile en el septiembre .

                             Spring is always pleasant.        La primavera siempre es agradable.

* When referring to the numerical order of rulers, the article is omitted

          example:      King George the fifth                El rey Jorge quinto


When the preposition a is followed by the article el, they are contracted into al.

When the preposition de is followed by the article el, they are contracted into del.

Note: these two contractions are the only contractions in the whole of the Spanish language.


When referring to a family, the plural los is used.

Thus, the Spanish equivalent of “The Smiths” is “Los Smith”.


How about a?

Using a pattern similar to the word “the”, the Spanish forms of the English words “a” or “an” are:     a or an  = un (masculine singular)     = una (feminine singular)

With one exception, the usage is the same as in English.

          a book = un libro                     a cow = una vaca

          a desk = un escritorio               an idea = una idea

          He is a famous pianist.             Él es un pianista famoso.


But ,   She is a doctor.                         Ella es doctor.

The rule here is that if an unmodified noun is used after the verb to be, the word “a” or “an” is omitted.


The English words some or several are translated as unos or unas.

           examples :    some men = unos hombres       several women = unas mujeres

The English terms few or a few are translated as   poca, pocas, poco, or pocos.

          examples:    few people = poca gente                    a few hours = pocas horas

                             few books = pocos libros                    a few times = pocas veces

The word poco is also used to mean "a little". For example, Ella habla el español un poco. She speaks a little Spanish.


This book is available from under item number 3352644. Books purchased from Lulu are accompanied by a complete list of irregular verbs and all of their forms.

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