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Definite and Indefinite Articles

What are the definite and indefinite articles in Spanish?

Study how to use the definite and indefinite articles in Spanish. Learn Spanish grammar with online lessons. Vocabulary translation from English to Spanish with words and phrases.

Definite and Indefinite Articles in Spanish, Spanish grammar, definite articles in Spanish, indefinite articles in Spanish, Definite and Indefinite Articles

Definite and Indefinite Articles (Artículos Definido e Indefinido)

The difference between definite articles and indefinite
articles can be observed in the following two sentences:

definite and indefinite articles in spanish



Dame la galleta – Give me the cookie.
Dame una galleta – Give me a cookie, please.


The difference between the definite and indefinite articles is the difference between talking about a specific cookie, or any cookie.

la galleta – the cookie

una
galleta – a cookie


Note: The definite article has 4 forms, depending on whether the noun is masculine, feminine, singular, or plural.

Singular Masculine   Plural Masculine

el – los

 

Singular Feminine   Plural Feminine

la – las

 

e.g. “gato” (cat)

Singular Masculine    Plural Masculine

El gato (the male cat) Los gatos (the male cats)

 

Singular Feminine      Plural Feminine

La gata (the female cat)Las gatas (the female cats)

 

Note: The masculine plural definite and indefinite articles (los, unos) are also used to indicate a group of mixed sex. Thus, “los gatos” could refer to a group of 20 male cats, or it could refer to a group of 19 female cats and one male cat.

In English, the indefinite article is the word “a”, “an” or “some”

una galleta – a cookie
una manzana – an apple
unos
libros – some books

 

Note: The indefinite article has 4 forms, depending on whether the noun is masculine, feminine, singular or plural.

 

Singular Masculine      Plural Masculine

un – unos

 

Singular Feminine   Plural Feminine

una – unas

 

e.g. “perro” (dog)

Singular Masculine – Plural Masculine

Un  perro (a male dog) Unos perros (some  male dogs)

Singular Feminine – Plural Feminine

Una perra (a female dog) Unas perra(some female dogs)

 

Note: As long as the group of creatures has at least one male member, the masculine plural article is used. 

Note: “Un” and “una” can mean “one”, “a” or “an.”

e.g.

Un libro – One book/ A book

Una pluma – One pen/ A pen

Una manzana – One apple/ An apple


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