La Argentina or Argentina

La Argentina or Argentina


When writing in Spanish, and referring to Argentina...is it necessary gramatically to put the article "la" in front of Argentina. I see that in many places they refer to "la Argentina" rather than just writing "Argentina " If so, why? this seems weird....Like saying "the Canada" or "la China"...however we do say "the United States"

Thank you for your help! Mucho Gracias! grin

updated ENE 14, 2011
posted by dreamweaver
"La Argentina" is not a grammatical question but a "political" one. What does the country call itself? - geofc, MAY 31, 2010

4 Answers


this seems weird....Like saying "the Canada"

Actually, Spanish does say the Canada. (el Canadá).

Read this article on definite article with country names

According to this site, it is La Argentina.

Unfortunately, there is no pattern to the usage.

updated JUN 1, 2010
edited by 0074b507
posted by 0074b507
In Spanish: los Estados Unidos - waltico, MAY 31, 2010
Pretty good list on that website, gfreed, except for one thing: for El Salvador, the "El" is an integral part of the country's name. - waltico, MAY 31, 2010
Good point. - 0074b507, MAY 31, 2010
extremely helpful everyone...thanks! - dreamweaver, MAY 31, 2010

One of my antique passports stamps me out as an "Antiguo Residente de La Argentina". While this only tells you what the official name was in 1967, I believe that this is still correct. The official name of the country is "La Republica Argentina", or at least it was, and this is shortened to "La Argentina". Please bring me up to date one of you Argentinos who posts on this site.

Thank you.

updated ENE 14, 2011
posted by geofc
I couldn´t say it better. - mediterrunio, ENE 14, 2011

As far as I know there is no rhyme or reason to when to use or not use the article. The official name for Bolivia used to be la República de Bolivia, and these days it is: el Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia. But we have always said Bolivia, not el Bolivia, nor la Bolivia.

On a related topic, who decided which countries are male and which ones are female?

For example, why la India, but el Canadá?

updated NOV 30, 2010
posted by waltico
That's what I'd like to know, who made these decisions :~) - Jack-OBrien, MAY 31, 2010
Could it be the "Real Academia Española"? Heidita??? It's in your town! :) - waltico, MAY 31, 2010

from one of my text books, and something I've never understood:

Voy a Italia.
Voy a la India.

updated MAY 31, 2010
posted by Jack-OBrien
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