1. Use the definite article in Spanish before titles like Mister, Lady or Mrs.
La señora Infante no está en casa (Mrs Infante isn’t home)
In Spanish we can use the article to talk about a specific lady, but in
English it is derogatory. However, if you use the definite article in Spanish
without any abbreviation or aforementioned title, it can also be
La María está en casa. (The María is home) It is derogatory in both languages.
Why is it very important to study the definite article in Spanish and English.
It is very important to study articles in both languages because the meaning of them changes and what can be bad or dyslogistic for one, can be correct in the other.
2. To tell the days of the week
We use the definite article (el/los) in Spanish to talk about the days of the week.
El sábado voy al cine (On Saturday, I will go to the cinema)
Los domingos trabajo (I work on Sundays)
NOTE: When days of the week are pluralised such as “domingos” or “sábados”, we use “los”.
No trabajo los sábados.
In many cases, however, this pluralisation is unnoticeable:
No trabajo los lunes — I don’t work on Mondays.
No trabajo el lunes — I won’t work this Monday.
The article «the» and the preposition «on»
In English we use the preposition “on” to talk about the days of the week and in Spanish we use the article “The” (El, los) only in masculine.
3. To tell the time
What time is it? It is 3 p.m.
¿Qué hora es? Son las 3 de la tarde.
Es la 1 de la mañana (It is 1 a.m.)
All times of day are expressed with “las”, except 1am and 1pm. For instance, “Es la una de la tarde” It’s one in the afternoon. Es la una y media de la mañana. It’s 1.30am.
In English we don’t use the article to tell the time; but in Spanish we do.
4. The definite article as demonstrative: El que, la que, las que, los
que, lo que.
Este vehículo es el que compré la semana pasada.
(This is the car (which/that) I bought last week)
We don’t use the definite article as demonstrative in English.
5. The definite article with possessive value: El de, la de, los de, las
de, lo de.
Este cuaderno es el de José (This is Jose’s notebook)
The definite article never indicates possessive value in English.
5. We use the definite articles in Spanish for generalisations.
Me encantan los gatos. (I like cat)
Las computadoras le estresan a mi mamá.
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