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.

definite articles in spanish

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 Habana
la Rusia
el Japón
el Paraguay

la América Central
la América del Sur
los Estados Unidos
el África

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 narízShe 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

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