Using the Neuter Article ("Lo") in Spanish

Quick Answer

The neuter article in Spanish only takes one form: lo. It's often used with an adjective (lo bueno) or with a que clause (lo que más me gusta).

Let's take a look at how to use this versatile article!

Uses of Lo

Lo to Mean Thing(s)

In each of the following sentences, lo can be taken to mean roughly la cosaor las cosas(thing or things). Followed by an adjective, such an expression generates the syntactic equivalent of a noun phrase.

Lo SentenceEquivalent SentenceEnglish
No me gusta lo amargo.
No me gustan las cosas amargas.
I don’t like bitter things.
examples
No entiendo lo que haces.
I don’t understand the things that you do.
Lo importante es que venga.
The important thing is that she comes.
Me da lo mismo ir a la playa que a la piscina.
It’s all the same thing for me if we go to the beach or to the pool.
Lo que dice es imposible.
The things he says are impossible.

Lo to Mean Part

In each of the following sentences, lo can mean la parte(the part or portion). In this sense, it's used to express an entity, place, or abstract idea that can be considered a part of something that relates to a whole.

Lo SentenceEquivalent SentenceEnglish
Lo importante de la vida es el fin.
La parte importante de la vida es el fin.
The important part of life is the end.
examples
Lo difícil del español es el vocabulario.
The hard part about Spanish is the vocabulary.
No puedo separar lo suyo de lo mío.
I can’t separate his part from my part.

Lo to Mean How

In each of the following sentences, lo can mean cómoor la manera en que(how). In this sense, it is used to express the extreme degree or nature of a given entity, concept, or idea.

Lo SentenceEquivalent SentenceEnglish
Quedó sorprendido por lo absurdo de su manera de ser.
Quedó sorprendido por el extremo absurdo de su manera de ser.
She was surprised by how absurd his way of life was.
examples
Quiero que los estudiantes se den cuenta de lo bello que son aquellos pasajes.
I want the students to realize how beautiful those passages are.
No tengo palabras para definir lo feliz que soy.
I don’t have the words to define how happy I am.
No tengo palabras para definir lo importante que es nuestra unión.
I don’t have words to define how important our coming together is.
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