El, la, los, and las



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The definite articles el, la, los, and las modify masculine or feminine nouns. The neuter article lo is used to refer to concepts that have no gender.

  • Copyright © 2008 Vista Higher Learning. All rights reserved.
  • 9.3–
  • The definite articles el, la, los, and las modify masculine or feminine nouns. The neuter article lo is used to refer to concepts that have no gender.

In Spanish, the construction lo + [masculine singular adjective] is used to express general characteristics and abstract ideas. The English equivalent of this construction is the + [adjective] + thing.

  • Copyright © 2008 Vista Higher Learning. All rights reserved.
  • 9.3–
  • In Spanish, the construction lo + [masculine singular adjective] is used to express general characteristics and abstract ideas. The English equivalent of this construction is the + [adjective] + thing.
  • Cuando leo las noticias, lo difícil es diferenciar entre el hecho y la opinión.
  • When I read the news, the difficult thing is to differentiate between fact and opinion.
  • Lo bueno de ser famosa es que me da la oportunidad de cambiar el mundo.
  • The good thing about being famous is that it gives me the chance to change the world.

To express the idea of the most or the least, más and menos can be added after lo. Lo mejor and lo peor mean the best/worst (thing).

  • Copyright © 2008 Vista Higher Learning. All rights reserved.
  • 9.3–
  • To express the idea of the most or the least, más and menos can be added after lo. Lo mejor and lo peor mean the best/worst (thing).
  • ¡Aún no te he contado lo peor del artículo!
  • I still haven’t told you about the worst part of the article!

The construction lo + [adjective or adverb] + que is used to express the English how + [adjective]. In these cases, the adjective agrees in number and gender with the noun it modifies.

  • Copyright © 2008 Vista Higher Learning. All rights reserved.
  • 9.3–
  • The construction lo + [adjective or adverb] + que is used to express the English how + [adjective]. In these cases, the adjective agrees in number and gender with the noun it modifies.
  • ¿No te das cuenta de lo bella que eres, María Fernanda?
  • Recuerda lo bien que te fue el año pasado en su clase.
  • María Fernanda, don’t you realize how beautiful you are?
  • Remember how well you did last year in his class.
  • lo + [adjective] + que
  • lo + [adverb] + que

The phrase lo + [adjective or adverb] + que may be replaced by qué + [adjective or adverb].

  • Copyright © 2008 Vista Higher Learning. All rights reserved.
  • 9.3–
  • The phrase lo + [adjective or adverb] + que may be replaced by qué + [adjective or adverb].
  • No sabes qué difícil es hablar con él.
  • You don’t know how difficult it is to talk to him.
  • Fíjense en qué pronto se entera la prensa.
  • Just think about how soon the press will find out.

Lo que is equivalent to the English what, that, or which. It is used to refer to an abstract idea, or to a previously mentioned situation or concept.

  • Copyright © 2008 Vista Higher Learning. All rights reserved.
  • 9.3–
  • Lo que is equivalent to the English what, that, or which. It is used to refer to an abstract idea, or to a previously mentioned situation or concept.
  • ¿Qué fue lo que más te gustó de tu viaje a Uruguay?
  • What was the thing that you enjoyed most about your trip to Uruguay?
  • Lo que más me gustó fue el Carnaval de Montevideo.
  • The thing I liked best was the Carnival of Montevideo.


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