Definite Article in Spanish
What is an example of a definite article in Spanish?
Study how to use the definite article in Spanish. Learn Spanish grammar with online lessons. Vocabulary translation from English to Spanish with words and phrases.
Note: Feminine singular nouns that begin with an emphasized “a” or “ha” use the masculine form of the article.
el aire – the air
el hacha – the ax
el avestruz – the ostrich
el águila – the eagle
el accidente- the accident
el agua – the water
Note: This rule only applies to the singular form of the noun. The plural form uses the feminine article. Exceptions:
“el aire – los aires”, “el accidente – los accidentes”
el hacha – the ax ……………las hachas – the axes
el avestruz – the ostrich…….las avestruces – the ostriches
el águila – the eagle………..las águilas – the eagles
el agua – the water…………las aguas – the waters
Tip: The singular form uses the masculine article when the first syllable is an emphasized “a” or “ha”, because the article “la” tends to run together with the first syllable of the word when they are spoken. This doesn’t happen with the article “las”.
Note: The definite article is used with some countries and cities, and is not used with others. The definite article is always used with compound geographic names.
la América Central
la América del Sur
los Estados Unidos
Note: The definite article is used when talking about a person, but it is not used when talking directly to a person.
El chico es muy celoso – The boy is very jealous
La chica es muy bonita. – The girl is very pretty
Note: The definite article is used when reflexive verbs are followed by body parts, clothing, or other very personal possessions.
El vestido es precioso. – The dress is beautiful
Ella tiene grande la naríz – She has a big nose
Note: The definite article is often used in place of the possessive adjective when talking about parts of the body, or possessions that might be considered “personal”.
Paola se lava la ropa. (not
“su” ropa) – Paola washes her clothes.
Read more about the Spanish grammar