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I am an English/Spanish language trainer who thinks communication is a key issue in human interaction. Good sensible communication is needed whatever the language. On the personal side I strive for happiness by keeping love, respect and honesty as main ingredients. Last but not least, my smile is my trademark :O)

19 de septiembre de 2009

APRENDIENDO ESPAÑOL (1): Artículos (Articles)

Artículos indefinidos (indefinite articles)

un (masculine, singular) a/an unos (masculine, plural) some as equivalent
una (femenine, singular) a/an unas (feminine, plural) some as equivalent

We use the indefinite article to refer to a person or an object for the first time:

Es una casa. It’s a house.
Son unos libros de inglés. They’re some English books.
Un hombre vino a verte ayer. A man came to see you yesterday.

In English the indefinite article has only a singular form a (an when the next word starts with a vowel sound –note: vowel sound not vowel letter). We use either zero article or the determiner some (if we want to express indefinite quantity) when referring to either uncountable nouns or plural countable nouns. In Spanish we have a plural form of the indefinite article: unos/unas, which is used with plural countable nouns but we do not have an equivalent to some for uncountable nouns.

Son (unos) libros para el colegio. They’re some books for the school.
Hay leche en el frigorífico. There’s (some) milk in the fridge.
Hay (unos) huevos en el armario. There are some eggs in the cupboard.


Artículos definidos (definite articles)

el (masculine, singular) the los (masculine, plural) the
la (feminine, singular) the las (feminine, plural) the

We use the definite article to refer to someone or something that has been previously mentioned or it refers to a defined one:

Es un libro de español. Es el libro del alumno. It's a book of Spanish. It's the pupil's book.
El profesor no está en la clase. The teacher is not in the classroom.

The use of los, las when referring to things or people in general has the equivalent of zero article in English. Thus,

Me gustan las manzanas. I like apples.
Los elefantes son animales muy grandes.
Elephants are very big animals.

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Contracciones: A + EL = AL
DE + EL = DEL

The preposition A (to as its equivalent) and the article EL are contracted as AL:

Vayamos al supermercado. Let's go to the supermarket.
Vayamos a la playa. Let's go to the beach.

The preposition DE (of/from as its equivalent) and the article EL are contracted as DEL:

Es del norte. He's from the north.
Es el perro del vecino. It's the neighbour's dog.

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