Definite Articles or Los Artículos Definidos, refer to the beginning word “the.” In Spanish there are four ways of saying the, two for singular nouns and two for plural nouns. Let’s take a look at them.
In Spanish, we have feminine and masculine nouns or the gender grammatical feature. Feminine nouns are those words with the last vowel as “a.” Masculine nouns are those with words with the last vowel “e,i, o and u.” This is regardless of any consonant that may come after the vowel. Here it is in a more graphic way with examples:
mesa (table), regla (ruler)
libro (book), marcador (marker)
The will change in Spanish to match the noun:
The= la, el, las or los
la if the noun is feminine and singular
el if the noun is masculine and singular
las if the noun is feminine and plural
los if the noun is masculine and plural
Note: plural means there is more than one item, so the word has an s at the end.
So to add the article The to the previous nouns, this is what they would be:
la mesa (the table), la regla (the ruler)
el libro (the book), el marcador (the marker)
las mesas (the tables), las reglas (the rulers)
los libros (the book), los marcadores (the marker)
Sadly, there are exceptions to this rule, and sometimes there are words that use el even though they end in a. For example el agua (the water), el sacapunta (the sharpener), etc.
And there are words that even though they end in e, i, o or u and use la. For example: la llave (the key), la mano.
NOTE: In a group of words, like “lápiz de color” you look at the ending of the first word. So lápiz… el lápiz de color
Now it is time for a practice. Here is a chart with the classroom objects:
Write down the objects with their respective article in Spanish. Check your answers HERE.
This a guide about adding definite and indefinite articles to nouns in Spanish. Below it you will see a link to its PDF.
This is a game you can play to practice these grammatical skills in a fun way. Below are their PDFs.
For more activities check out the book “Los Objetos del Salón” HERE. It has many activities for all levels ranging from kindergarten to Sixth Grade.
Last, but not least… this is a video that can help your students practice definite articles: