Definite article

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Definite Article

Maskulin Feminin
Singular el la
Plural los las

With the preposition de and a, the article merges el to del and al


Marcos sale del cine a las diez por la noche

Quiero ir al zoológico

Use of the definite article

As a rule, the definite articles “el,” “la,” “los,” and “las” are used in terms that refer to concrete or known things.

The indefinite articles un, una, unos, unas, on the other hand, are used for terms that have not yet been mentioned (new) or are any person or object.


time - making time

El verano pasado – last summer
El año que viene –  next year
A las cuatro de la tarde –  at four o’clock in the afternoon
Son las seis en punto – it’s exactly six o’clock 

on weekdays

Los martes hacemos las compras – Tuesdays we buy
El lunes me encuentro con Carmen – On Monday I meet with Carmen

in sports, games and instruments (tocar oder jugar)

Mi hija juega al tenis –  My daughter plays tennis
Nos encanta jugar a las cartasWe like to play cards
Mis amigos tocan la guitarra –  My friends are playing guitar

always as part of the name

(el) Japón – (el) Perú – (la) Argentina – (la) India

sometimes before local names or proper names

La Habana – El Cairo – La Paz – La Coruña

before family names if a couple or a family is meant

Los Vega – the family / the couple Vega – the Vegas

before forms of address and titles, when someone is being talked about in the third person

Esta es la señora  Pérez – that’s missis Pérez

¿Dónde vive el doctor Ortega? –  Where lives Dr. Ortega?

in general statements about genus and species

La leche es nutritiva –  Milk is nutritious
Los bolivianos hablan lento –  Bolivians speak slowly
No me gusta el vinoI do not like wine
Me gustan los animales –  I like animals