Using the Definite Article in Spanish
Spanish nouns are often accompanied by a definite article, and they are often used in instances in which an article would not be used in English.
Spanish vs. English Usage
A lot of the time, the inclusion or omission of a definite article in Spanish matches up with the English translation.
However, there are also times that you will use the definite article in Spanish, but not in the English translation. Below you will find a some helpful guidelines for remembering when to use the definite article in Spanish. Though this list is not exhaustive, it gives you a good idea of some uses of Spanish definite articles that don't match up with English usage.
When to Use the Definite Article
1. To Talk Things in General
When talking about something in general, such as a type of food, music, book, etc. or a group of some sort, you'll use the definite article in Spanish.
2. Days of the Week
In Spanish, definite articles are used with the days of the week.
3. Names of Languages
Definite articles are used with names of languages in Spanish when the language is the subject of a sentence.
When a language is the object of a verb, the definite article is not used.
4. Body Parts and Clothing
Definite articles are often used with body parts and articles of clothing in Spanish.
5. Telling Time
Definite articles are used before numbers when telling time.
6. Long-Form Possession
Definite articles are used when talking about things possessed or created by someone.
7. Titles Used When Talking about Someone
Definite articles are also used when giving someone's title.
Articles aren't used before titles when you are talking to someone or with titles like San, Santo/a, Don, and Doña.