English has quite a lot of contractions (short forms of a word or group of words made by leaving out a sound or letter), such as can’t, we’ll, you’d, they’re, you’ve, etc. Spanish, however, has only two!
Meet al and del
More on al
|Correct||Are you going to the hotel?|
|Incorrect||¿Vas a el hotel?|
|Correct||We are going to the restaurant over there.|
|Incorrect||Vamos a el restaurante allá.|
|Correct||They went to El Paso.|
|Incorrect||Se fueron al Paso.|
More on del
Normally, whenever de and el are together, you must shorten them to del . However, if el is a capitalized part of a name, it does not contract to del when used with de. Sound familiar? It should, because it's the same rule you just learned for al.
|Correct||This is the professor's class.|
|Incorrect||Esta es la clase de el profesor.|
|Correct||I'm from the United Kingdom.|
|Incorrect||Soy de el Reido Unido.|
|Correct||He's from El Salvador.|
|Incorrect||Es del Salvador.|
Do not form contractions with other definite articles (la, los, las).