Definite Articles in Spanish
In Spanish, nouns don't like to be alone, so they are often accompanied by articles! Spanish articles indicate the gender (masculine or feminine) and number (singular or plural) of a noun, as well as whether or not a noun is a specific noun (definite or indefinite).
There are four definite articles in Spanish, and they often all translate to the same little word in English: the. There are also cases where they don't have a direct English translation, but help to indicate the gender and number of a noun.
Definite Article Forms:
Here are the four forms that Spanish definite articles can take.
Matching Gender and Number
A definite article always has to match both the gender and number of its noun.
- If the noun is feminine and singular (like salsa ), then the article also has to be feminine and singular (la salsa ).
- If that same noun is plural (salsas ) the article is also plural (las salsas ).
Check out these examples with the different definite articles in Spanish.
When a feminine singular noun begins with a stressed a, or ha sound, the masculine definite article is used instead of the feminine definite article to aide in pronunciation.
When the same noun is plural, the regular feminine article is used.
Check out these examples of feminine words that take the masculine singular article (el) in the singular, but the feminine plural article (las) in the plural.